Opting In to Ads – Facebook’s Powerfully Simple Campaigns

Social media is one of the newest, most customizable, and most readily received channels for advertising today. It is flexible, easily manageable and, when used correctly, potentially powerful.

As such, it behooves us to inspect a few case studies of advertising campaigns in the social medium known as Facebook.

First up: Food.

Blue Sugar Bakery

Blue Sugar Facebook Screenshot

Blue Sugar takes a simple, but incredibly effective approach to their social media marketing. As they are advertising food, the ads work best on the hungry, but the pictures are taken in such a way that even slight hunger can get the best of those who see them. At least, such has been my experience.

Whenever a new flavor of cupcake or other baked confection is completed, there is a Facebook post to publicize it and encourage locals to try it while they still have it in stock. When a large order or remarkable event cake is complete, a picture usually follows, showing the high-quality of the work done. On blessed days of divine intervention, a sale will occur, often due to a canceled order, and a Facebook post lets the town know.

Overall, they portray themselves in a friendly, transparent, professionally skilled way. And in the case of advertising cupcakes, simpler seems to be better.

Formal Education

Formal Education Facebook Screenshot

This men’s clothing store has almost constant giveaways featured on their Facebook page. The way to enter is to like the post, with an added entry for sharing it also. Their giveaways are nothing paltry, either. The post featured above is one of their most common prizes, giving away a free grey suit.

The giveaways get our attention, but the rest of their page’s content keeps it. Formal Education frequently acquires new varieties of merchandise, and everything new is shown on Facebook.

The downside is that while many people like and share their posts for entry into the giveaways, that is sometimes all that they do. A deeper involvement to enter any sweepstakes (such as greater participation on their actual site) could influence potential customers to act, rather than simply appreciate.

The upside, however, is the powerful reach that Formal Education’s Facebook ads achieve through the liking and sharing required to enter any drawings or giveaways. Every time someone likes their post, that at least shows up in the smaller activity feed, and if they share it then the news feed is affected as well. This could lead to bombardment of the same ad to numerous people within the community, applying some key guerrilla marketing tactics. (whether or not guerrilla marketing actually works is another issue entirely)

Clif Bars

Clif Bars Facebook Screenshot

These delicious bars have an ad campaign that specifically targets the outdoor adventurer lifestyle (as you might expect). Clif sponsors a variety of outdoor events, and those feature prominently in their Facebook posts. Also included are developments like the one pictured above, in which Clif bars have gone international.

Of course their new products are posted often, but even more often (and perhaps more interesting) one will see publicity for Clif-sponsored events. Why should this be?

Because when people go to these events, they stock up on Clif bars at some point along the way. Also, it reinforces Clif as the niche brand for this specific market, becoming the ideal energizing snack food in the minds of the adventurers that frequent the posted events.

To me, the most fascinating part of Facebook ads is that I actually willingly opt in to have this publicity displayed to me whenever I log in to Facebook, simply by liking the page. When I follow a company, I actually expect and want them to send me these notifications and ads.

In my mind, that makes Facebook and other social media platforms some of the most effective areas advertising can be displayed in, because the audience is a willing one.


What if Dawn Advertised Like AXE?

Dish soap has long appealed to one specific target audience: the housewife, or more recently the housewife on the go.

The problem with this is that brand loyalties run deep in women who have bought their own dish soap for much of their lives. It is difficult, if not impossible to convince a consumer of the validity of your product when, to be honest, the one they currently use works just as well.

In the interest of grabbing a mostly-unexplored corner on the market, I created an ad for Dawn that could market them like AXE or Old Spice have done with shower soaps. The idea is to show the virile masculinity and inherent manliness in doing something simple, like washing the dishes by hand.

I’ve not yet tried my hand at storyboarding in this project, but I’ll have to eventually.

Behold, the script:

The man himself is a great message alone of the simple, peaceful pastime of dishwashing, but the ad serves another purpose as well: rather than abandon the female market entirely, it encourages both men and women to work together, encouraging men to participate and women to buy this product in the hopes that they’ll get some more willing help.

Another feature of this ad is the ease by which it could be converted into a television campaign. By replacing the first subject with other kinds of manly fellows, in other household situations (such as cleaning the bathroom or taking care of facial blemishes)

So what do you think? Would Dawn, marketed like AXE, have an impact on the dish soap consumer market? Would men be into it?

5 Showcased Video or Television Ads

Here’s the formula: 1 picture = 1000 words. 1 video = about 24 frames per second. 1 30-second TV ad, therefore, is equal to about 720,000 words. That’s some efficient broadcasting.

I’m constantly discovering the impressive things done through visual media, particularly in the form of video ads, whether they’re meant for TV commercials or viral videos. Here are a few whose messages were particularly potent and applicable to their intended audiences.

1. TOSANDO Music

Do you speak Japanese? This ad for piano lessons will likely give you a lump in your throat either way. The message is communicated visually in such an effective way that the words the bride speaks don’t really matter. You know when she’s wondering what her father is up to, when she’s crying from pain and remorse, and when she’s silently encouraging and pleading with her father to finish the song.

2. Castrol Footkhana: Naymar Jr. vs. Ken Block

Cars trying to play soccer sounds like a good way to waste perfectly good soccer balls. Such is not the case here. There’s little or no dialogue in this whole viral ad, and Castrol is only showcased indirectly as being used in the car, but the attention-getting, memory-impacting power of this viral ad is in the eccentricity and celebrity endorsement of it. A car can apparently play goalie and forward, which comes as a surprise, and also crafts an image of Castrol users as absurdly capable drivers.

3. The Bible of Barbeque – Tramontina

This advertising idea comes straight from Brazilian barbeque experts to your…bookshelf. Everything (even the charcoal) that you need to make some excellent barbeque is included in this book, incorporated as pages. This video showcase of it effectively highlights all the most important pages, and shows the imagination and design skill that went into the book itself. There is some spoken script at the beginning, but the visuals, once again, speak for themselves. Unrelatedly, I’m now very hungry.

4. Turkish Airlines – Euroleague Epic Pool Dunk

Perhaps taking a hint from some of the more popular Vine videos, Turkish Airlines has decided to showcase a few of their (presumable) customers, by making one of the most epic pool dunk videos ever. While it is attention-grabbing, and somewhat memorable, it is a stretch to connect an airline with an epic pool dunk. Just the same, the image (and the message it portrays) is one of coordination and skill, as well as a certain professionalism and pride in one’s trade, which are all things an airlines wants to be associated with.

5. Nike Football – Winner Stays

Nike outdid themselves in this soccer-themed advertisement. This ad is meant to show the supposed lifestyle of Nike wearers, and ends up showcasing the quirks and oddities of soccer players as well. Young men playing the sport can identify with the dreams of soccer stardom, as well as the nuances of playing a pick-up game in the neighborhood. Ad to that a number of pop-culture references and an appearance by Nike spokesman Michael Jordan, and you have a golden ad for an 18-28 male audience.


CAD Shipping Radio Ad – Trying My Hand at Writing Effective Copy

CAD Shipping is a (fictitious) company trying to change its image. Their presence in the U.S. is somewhat overshadowed by larger shipping companies, and they’ve gained something of a reputation for inaccuracy and lateness. To remedy these faults, they’ve upgraded their shipping systems and technology to match the performance of their competitors, but the old image remains, especially with regards to 48-hour shipping.

To create a new image for them, I wrote a radio ad detailing the morning habits of the “new wave of CAD Shipping employees.” This ad is designed to show that the employees of CAD Shipping are dedicated to getting packages delivered within 48 hours, and will go to whatever lengths necessary to make that happen. It is designed to appeal to a younger generation, ages 18-35, particularly the hard-working, Internet-savvy, and probably somewhat impatient and busy individuals within those ages. The ad is humorous, but avoids being overtly goofy or silly, and the company remains a faceless corporation, with no specific spokesman with which to label them.

Here’s the ad copy. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

Interviewer: (Background: Director: “3-2-1, action!” and other on-set sounds) So, you’re part of the new wave of CAD Shipping employees?

CAD Employee: That’s right!

Interviewer: All right. Tell me a little about how you prepare for work every morning.

CAD Employee: Well, I start out with a cup of “wake-up juice.”

Interviewer: Wake-up juice?

CAD Employee: It’s a blend of orange juice, protein powder, and nitrous oxide.

Interviewer: I see. What else do you do?

CAD Employee: My morning workout.

Interviewer: Which is?

CAD Employee: Pushups, squats, and some tiger-wrestling for cardio.

Interviewer: With live tigers?

CAD Employee: Of course! (tiger roar) If I have time, I throw in a 3-minute mile for good measure.

Interviewer: This seems extravagant. Why do you go to such extremes to get ready?

CAD Employee: I can’t afford not to; I’m the new wave of CAD employees, committed to delivering your packages in 48 hours or less.

Announcer: Does this guy seem extreme? If so, that’s just the dedication of our employees toward 48-hour shipping, available in-store or online at cadshipping.com. Dependable. Accurate. Fast. CAD Shipping.