I was hanging out on Facebook the other day when an ad on the left side of my screen caught my eye – which was unusual because normally I don’t even notice ads. But this ad was different – maybe because I couldn’t tell what the image was after my quick glance or maybe it was because the headline was “Portland Fun!” and who isn’t looking for something fun to do in our great city of Portland?
Either way I decided to take a closer look – it was an ad for Groupon. As I stared at the ad I kept looking at the image and questioning it…first I wondered what exactly it was…a bridge? It didn’t look like any bridge I’d seen close by. In fact, it didn’t look like anything I’d seen any where near Portland. So I decided to search it out (my Googleing skills have become highly advanced since working at Anvil) – and I found it! It’s actually located outside of Portland – WAY outside of Portland – it’s actually in Amsterdam.
Now maybe Groupon was trying to get me excited about the idea of doing something new in Portland, so they just wanted to use a visual that would catch my eye. But really it just irritated me – in a way the ad was kind of false advertising and insulted my intelligence. There is no twisted bridge I can walk across here – in fact it would have to be a pretty amazing Groupon to even make it possible for me to walk across the twisted bridge (“68% off of Amsterdam Airfare” – yeah that would be sweet). This brings me to my point – audiences are smarter than advertisers may think and they need to take the time to cater to them. You can’t just slap a city name on an ad, target it to that city and use cool looking stock photos if you want someone to click on your ad (this photo is actually on several blogs about the bridge – I wonder who actually owns the rights to it…).
It is important to truly understand your audience and do your research to learn what messaging and images might work best – then you have to test them. By doing this you’re more likely to get clicks on your ads from ad savvy audience members and ultimately it will increase your chances of making money.
Facebook Ad that Sparked the “Hmmmm”