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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

ADT's Brand Media Strategy Secures #7 Spot On Top Shared Brands List in 2020

Winner in Real Time Media Buy

Finalist in Media Buying Strategy-Large


As stay-at-home orders went into effect, it was evident in early 2020 that social media usage was changing before our eyes. ADT saw this shift early on and quickly pivoted both our content and media strategy with a new relevant and real-time campaign, Safe at Home.


While the overall strategy of Safe at Home media evolved quickly during the first few weeks of the pandemic, the overall goal was to provide the consumer with relevant and real-time content to keep them safe at home, driving high quality, retargetable, platform engagement. An engagement on Facebook is defined as any click or view, such as reactions, comments, shares, saves, link clicks, photo and video views.


Strategy and Execution

During the middle of March 2020, ADT conducted custom research amongst the general population and security intender audiences with a 72-hour turnaround time and found that users were using social media 54% more due to COVID. This gave us the insight that social was an important channel for ADT and it would be a big focus for upcoming brand efforts. 

We recognized that when people were spending more time than ever at home, mindsets shifted back to basics, like the need for safety and security. We were inspired to create content to help keep people Safe at Home, which opened up new themes that ADT would never have explored before. Real-time brand relevant trends inspired these new content themes, so we needed to ensure we were optimizing media in real-time. 

Knowing our audience is primarily on Facebook, the new media strategy allowed the Facebook algorithm to bid towards garnering engagement for these trending ads and then pushing the ads public after engagement momentum was built. This was to ensure our engagement was always visible and had a halo effect on our direct followers' organic reach. 

However, about a week into the campaign, we uncovered something extraordinary. Our shares started to skyrocket, and we garnered 214% more shares in 7 days than the full year of 2019. We began to think "outside of the octagon" on what effect these shares truly had. We uncovered that a share is the one action a user can take on Facebook that drives organic reach, which is an extension (bonus) to paid reach. This halo of organic reach from our paid efforts was vastly extending our overall reach (Paid + Organic), identifying that the highest quality type of engagement was a share. These results opened up a new way to think about paid media performance and how brand-paid metrics drive and influence organic performance.

This caused a quick pivot in strategy. The new strategic implementation was based on a custom metric ADT created in Facebook's ad manager, which showcased the true source of where organic reach was coming from. Applying the same original campaign objective of engagement, we then manually optimized our ads to this custom metric, on a daily basis. We did not allow the bidding algorithm to auto-optimize for us, instead, we owned our destiny by daily manual optimizations towards our custom created media metric. 


We not only increased the volume of retargetable engagement YoY by 98%, but we also improved the quality of that engagement through our manual optimizations. Our Facebook platform brand engagement was the top-performing retargeting audience in 2020 and was 222% higher than our Facebook prospecting efforts.


With our engagement content shareability increasing 18,431% YoY, it also increased our Organic Reach 2,689% YoY. Allowing ADT to garner nearly $500,000 in free reach in 2020! 


Additional Successes:

Partnering with Facebook, ADT ran a brand lift study on our Safe at Home brand campaigns and saw a 89% lift in ad recall and 40% lift in action intent. This lead to Facebook writing a Resilient Success Story around ADT’s Safe at Home Campaign.

ListenFirst is a platform ADT utilizes to benchmark our brand metrics across all brands on Social Media. Safe at Home helped us breakthrough as one of the top shared brands of 2020 – moving up 131 spots from 2019 to the #7 shared 2020 brand on Facebook.

We saw an influx of positive comments throughout 2020, thanking ADT directly for sharing engaging content during a hard year. These qualitative comments resulted in increasing Facebook's positive sentiment by 104% and decreasing negative by -81% year over year, all fueled by our brand paid media.


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