Pinterest Debuts Video Ads

Pinterest, the digital catalogue of objects, how-to, recipe and article “pins,” is offering marketers video advertisements for the first time.

“There are a lot of places where users can watch video but can’t take the next step to learn more about a product or buy it — on Pinterest, people are here to do that,” Mike Bidgoli,  Pinterest’s product manager for monetization said in an interview. Bidgoli’s online shopping startup Tote was acquired by Pinterest earlier this year.

“Video on Pinterest is not just about offering marketers views, but about offering action,” Bidgoli added.

Instead of autoplaying from start to finish like video ads on Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest’s video ads will appear as previews in users’ home feeds and will play at a speed that corresponds with users’ scrolling pace. Users can view the video ad with sound by clicking on the ad. Nearly 70% of Pinterest users say video on Pinterest spurs them to take an action.
Pinterest’s new video ads, which run through Pinterest’s native video player, make it easy for businesses to browse up to six product “pins” below the video. Makeup company bareMinerals, for example, has used video to demo beauty products above a selection of items for purchase.

Pinterest said it charges for video impressions, but advertisers can feature pins below videos ads for no extra cost. Currently video ads have a time limit of five minutes, but Pinterest said it could adjust length eventually. For now, Pinterest’s video ads are only available on mobile, the way more than 80% of users spend their time on the site.

We definitely see mobile as where this product lives,” Bidgoli said. “Video has been organically saved on our platform for a few years, and video will have a permanent home on Pinterest.”

Pinterest said a recent study with Millard Brown showed that promoted video “performs well across a wide range of products and businesses, including food, beauty, financial services and entertainment.” The General Mills food brand, for example, found that prompted video ads were four times more memorable than non-video ads on Pinterest.