"In Kolkata where we ran Facebook advertising there was a more-than-double digit sales lift versus Mumbai where we were absent. So we are well ahead of Facebook is about engagement, Facebook is about reach, Facebook is about great brand impression. Facebook is now about market share data. When Nielsen signs on this result I think it brings back the confidence to the industry and it is a big win," said Sandeep Bhushan, business head- FMCG and media, India and South Asia, at Facebook India and a former Unilever executive.
Pankaj Sharma, marketing head for Garnier said Facebook’s ad solutions helped them deliver the brand message to a wide carefully targeted audience between March and April, contributing to the brand's success.
Some of the biggest advertisers in the FMCG sector have been making use of Facebook's unique ad solutions and insight tools over the past few months to drive more sales and make use of the platform’s enormous data reserves.
Companies like Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and L'Oreal have been using targeted Facebook ads for selling brands and products ranging from Gillette Presto razors to Durex condoms and Veet hair removal cream.
Reckitt made use of the ICC World Twenty20 series in March this year to target Indian males for its Durex condoms in a cheeky campaign. Using Facebook's audience insight tools, Durex realised its target base cared a lot about cricket and created a series of photo and video ads alongside suggestive cricket themed images encouraging men to take a break from cricket and put the products to use.
Reckitt said it saw a 29% jump in sales during the campaign and directly reached 54 million men in India. It is now thinking of extending Facebook advertising to some of its other over the counter brands like Moov.
Rohit Jindal, marketing director, Reckitt Benckiser India likened Facebook to a personalised newspaper or a personalised television where someone at the backend always knows what people want to see.
"If we get the creatives right, the value that we derive from Facebook as a media is in some cases better than the value from TV. Our TV spends have grown in double digits every year and Facebook at least twice that the rate. When people are looking at Facebook, they are there by choice and purpose. It is package viewing and not going through newspapers and all the pages to read it for ten minutes. It is also not like looking at TV while having dinner," he said.
Reckitt's 'Girls On The Go' campaign for Veet on Facebook registered a 600 base points growth for the brand over the base growth.
The competitive FMCG sector is one of the biggest media spender in the country, accounting for upwards of 30%. Procter & Gamble previously ran advertising for its low end razor brand Gillette Presto only on feature phones on Facebook, while Nestle used the platform extensively for Maggie's welcome back campaign. Unilever uses Facebook for lead generation for its Pureit water purifier business.
"Facebook is virtually entirely mobile so out of our 15 crore users, 95% log on through a mobile which means it’s always on. Every moment is prime time," said Bhushan.