Advertisers wondering where to advertise amidst Facebook boycotts have a ready-made solution in the power and persuasion of Rich Media.

Brands in no way want to be associated with hate and bigotry because it doesn’t align with their core values. That’s what makes advertisers look for ad environments that are completely brand safe and suitable. This is especially relevant because our recent survey of ad professionals, including employees from GroupM and Google, indicates 2020 will be defined by more corporate social responsibility and brand focus.

Many brands including Verizon, Coca-Cola, and Adidas are pressing pause on their social media campaigns as they evaluate whether Facebook’s policies of not censoring hate speech align with their brand values. What alternatives do brands have once they step away from social advertising? Luckily for advertisers, there are digital display alternatives to Facebook that promise better brand safety and better performance.

Verified and Triple-Checked Safe Environments

Due to the content on social media platforms being user-generated, it can be hard to moderate and guarantee brand safety. Brand messages could have easily been just a scroll away from a vulgar or negative post. According to a collaborative study from Magna, ads appearing near negative content result in a “2.8 times reduction in consumers’ intent to associate with these brands.” Even more alarming is the same research reports two-thirds of consumers believe brands intentionally place their ads next to content, which could mean negative effects if that content is unsafe.

Digital display advertising addresses this by making selectivity key within publisher networks. There are dedicated supply teams who vet every single online publication for offensive or unsafe content. Questionable content gets blocklisted by publishing managers to ensure brands never have their message appear next to something negative.

The sites within these premium networks have stature and are committed to high-quality content and brand-safe environments. This is because content on sites within the network is generated from trusted journalists and vetted bloggers who have stated and verifiable publication standards. Local journalism accounts for 35% of the JustPremium network and local journalists are perceived as more caring (36%), trustworthy (29%) and neutral or unbiased (23%) by consumers than larger news outlets, according to a study by The Knight Foundation.

Ultimately, the real Rich Media digital display advantage comes from the power and control it gives to advertisers. They can handpick where they want to advertise. So far, Facebook has refused to offer the same guarantees to advertisers, maintaining that they do not plan on changing their policies. This may put brands in a precarious position if they find that Facebook and other social media platforms are not receptive enough to their brand safety standards.

Unparalleled Performance

High impact creatives in brand-safe environments make Rich Media ads incredibly effective. Often brand success and sales boosts are directly attributable to a strong Rich Media campaign that provides a high return on investment for the advertiser.

The endless scroll of Facebook and other platforms makes it easy for users to scroll past ads in a matter of milliseconds. In fact, the average In-View Time of a mobile ad on Facebook is 1.7 seconds. Now, when analyzing next to Rich Media’s average In-View Time of 69 seconds, it’s clear which is more effective for brand imprint. But that’s not all. Rich Media also outstrips Facebook ads in CTR, boasting an average 1.1% compared to a meager 0.9% from Facebook.

Despite this, Facebook is still seen as a resource to brands for its net reach as well as its ability to use profile data for targeting. However, through a programmatic ad buying structure, Rich Media offers as much control and coverage as Facebook. For instance, JustPremium’s Rich Media Marketplace hosts over 15 billion impressions per month across the globe, including sovereignties Facebook can’t access, such as China. Rich Media campaigns can also support niche targeting options within their programmatic platform. Cutting-edge contextual targeting abilities can be accessed through partnerships such as with Peer39 that finds the right audience with laser focus and raises CTR by an average of 16%.

Rich Media is also more effective than other online ad formats, as it helps brands stand out from ad noise and clutter in crowded environments. A study by Lumen Research found that user’s dwell on Rich Media formats 28 times longer than standard display advertisements. Almost 40% of users are still viewing JustPremium Rich Media ads after 5 seconds, compared to less than 1% for standard desktop display.

Rich Media is a better option for advertisers looking to find a new home for their brand message as it provides verifiable brand safety guarantees. Until Facebook can take the responsibility advertisers are asking for, brands must carefully weigh whether the drawbacks of advertising there are worth the potential gains. As of the beginning of July 2020, Facebook has reached no such agreement with advertisers and remains obstinate about changing its policies. This position combined with a new focus on brand social responsibility may have brands rethinking their long-term plans when it comes to how they market themselves – and where they choose to do it.