Thursday, August 21, 2008

Congratulations, your ad SUCKS!

CNET has a story about Facebook's new 'Engagement Ads". One of the more notable features of the new ad format is the ability for Facebook users to interact with these ads. Now interacting with ads is nothing new, but it is how the users will interact that makes this exciting. Users will be able to give these ads a "thumbs up", "thumbs down", and most importantly comment on what they liked or disliked about an ad.

In the past, brands have been able to A/B test different ads easily. This was enabled because many of the mature advertising networks automatically use your ad that performs the best to be shown the most. But this did not tell an advertiser why one particular ad performed better then another. That (why one performed better then another) was left open to speculation, and usually decided by a closed team (Marcom,creative group or agency), and not by the most important people...the consumers.

Advertisements...welcome to a Web 2.0 world...its about time. In case you have been living under a rock - from a brand perspective old school was all about marketing TO them. In the Web 2.0 world we keep moving closer to letting the consumer tell US what THEY want. After all, hasn't it always been about giving the consumer what they want?

Engagement ads will give you yet another tool to help you along this path if you let them. Embrace them, do not fight the trend. When you get the thumbs down on your crappy campaign, learn from it, correct it. Watch the successful ones, and learn what they are doing that you are not (do not get defensive). For a much more in depth analysis of Facebook Engagement Ads, I strongly suggest you read this post by Jeremiah Owyang.

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