Facebook Ads Tend Toward "Weird," and "Creepy"

From the New York Times today:

Odd Web ads, like the dancing women promoting mortgage brokers, are not new. But on social networks like Facebook, where people go to communicate with one another, advertisers seem to be trying especially hard to intrude on the conversation.

Rank amateur advertisers, the writer should have noted. Bad advertising, done through "self service" channels, has always fallen flat. In the old days of print, there was clip art advertising that was just as bad, though not as weird, as the templates were actually created by skilled creatives. These days, the opportunity to create ads that are weird and bad have multiplied, thanks to digital tools and advertiser access to all that personal information we've provided platforms like Facebook, so we all suffer the creepy results:

“When it works, it’s amazingly impactful, but when it doesn’t work, it’s not only creepy but off-putting,” said Tim Hanlon, a principal at the consulting firm Riverview Lane Associates of Chicago. “What a marketer might think is endearing, by knowing a little bit about you, actually crosses the line pretty easily.”

There's an interactive feature attached to this article that is pretty cool, and you should check it out. It shows you what targeted ads different demographics see. This provides you the opportunity to see what they're going to try and sell you if you were to become an 85-year old woman, or if you could go back in age to become a teenage girl. Fascinating insight for a middle-aged man like myself...


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