Two and a half years after launching its first paid ads, Pinterest is finally ready to compete head-on with Google, Facebook, Snap Inc. and others for big brand dollars.
Specifically, the San Francisco-based player has spent a couple of years building a measurement and data tool, search-like targeting and video ads to make the case for bigger brand budgets. But Pinterest’s ad business has been slower than others to catch on—it reportedly made $300 million in 2016—partly because its 150 million monthly users are small potatoes to behemoths like Google or Facebook.
“I think people have crossed into a threshold where they’re really paying attention and seeing us as a platform where they need to invest in the same way that they have to invest on Google and Facebook—I didn’t feel that a year ago,” said Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s president.
Adweek talked to Kendall about the virtual pin board’s video, measurement and ad plans for 2017 and why more brands are buying into the site’s advertising.
Adweek: You’ve been president of Pinterest for about 10 months and have made a number of acquisitions, hires and new features. What can we expect for 2017?
Tim Kendall: The eye-opening point that you’re going to hear from us all year is, “We’re a mass reach play.” A marketer tends to think, “If I want mass reach with my customer, I go to Facebook with their 1.7 billion users or I go to Instagram because they have 600 million users.” But if you think about the major CPGs and retailers, the audience that drives all the decision-making are women, 25 to 54. If you want to reach those people, we reach 80 percent of what Facebook reaches every month. And we reach more of that segment than Instagram, Snap or Twitter.