Facebook Ads: How Do They Pick What Ads To Show Us?
The number of targeting options for online ads has exploded in recent years.
On platforms such as Facebook, advertisers can target based off of demographic data, which is pretty standard, but also based off of what users have 'Liked'.
Have you ever paid attention to the ads that Facebook serves you?
Here are three that were shown to me today:
At first glance, these all seem pretty irrelevant to me, but taking another moment to think about it, it's pretty clear what targeting options each advertiser is using.
First, the "Defense Jobs" ad. While I am gainfully (and happily) employed, I'm still being targeted. I assume, being that it's defense-related, that I'm being targeted because I live/work in the DC area.
Second, Gillette. You may think that the target is all men, but if you look more closely at the image, you'll see the baseball glove and ball. I list several baseball teams on my profile, so it's an admittedly subtle, but nice way to tie my sports preference to deodorant. Sadly for them, I'll be sticking with Old Spice. You just can't beat the brand that has the following on their containers: You wouldn't be here if your grandfather hadn't worn it.
Third, Central Michigan University. This one seems like poor targeting. Again, location based to the DC area, but can't they see I already have a degree? Perhaps it's just a case of poor copy and they should have said Advanced Degree or Master's Degree. Either way, the impression isn't going to become a click.
Last, the Obama ad. This could be targeted either on a location basis, but likely it's targeting off of my 'Like' for President Obama from 2008.
Next time you're on Facebook, take a look at the ads that you are shown and think about why you're seeing them!
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