Facebook ads revisited

Long time no see, Facebook ads!

I recently stopped using Adblock Plus and thus saw ads at FB once again, oh the joy!
But hey, perhaps someone remembers my really, really old series of blog posts on FB ads? (Part 1, part 2 and part N, back from 2008 ūüėģ ).


Shame on you.

Anyway, I think it’s time to restart the series!

Below I present a selection of today’s ads, in the same format as years ago. (Title – Content – Relevance – Origin)

  1. Title:
    Uinti Tampere (“Swim Tampere”)
    Picture of two small kids in swimming caps. Local swimming club’s activities.
    Relevance (to me):
    Relevant. My kids are of the age and yes, they have been attending swimming lessons.
    Finnish / Targeted to me based on my kids ages (?), my home town etc.
  2. Title:
    Olemme auki läpi kesän Рvastaamo.fi
    Picture of a multi-storey house. “Apua mielenterveys- ja k√§yt√∂sh√§iri√∂ihin my√∂s kes√§ll√§.” Local psychiatrist’s office, ad.
    Relevance (to me):
    Well, not that relevant. I can sometimes be a tad on the crazy side, but that’s only sometimes.
    Finnish / I don’t how it’s targeted.
  3. Title:
    Powerslide Suomi / Nitronstore.fi
    Pictures of inline race skates. Inline skate brands as list, link.
    Relevance (to me):
    Relevant, Inline skating is a dear hobby.
    Finnish / targeted based on my hobbies and groups (plus browsing history?)

Three examples today. What should I say?

Compared to 2008, ads are more relevant to me. There’s certainly a bigger amount of advertisers (and money!), even on the Finnish market.

Targeting principles are more obscure¬†(imo) now at 2015 than they were eight years ago. Clicking the “Why I’m seeing this?” pops up the following:
One of the reasons you’re seeing this ad is because XYZ¬†wants to reach people who are similar to their customers. We think you’re similar based on what you do on Facebook, such as the Pages you’ve liked and ads and posts you’ve clicked on.”

Well, ok.

Then there’s the “Ad preferences” – interesting! Click, click and a list:
fb_ad_prefThat’s a list of things I’m interested in. Let’s click the “Other”:
fb_ad_pref_otherOh, jolly good. I liked a page (which one? Can’t remember.)
Another test:
fb_ad_pref_motherhoodErrm, what? “Motherhood” – “based on what you do on Facebook”? I’m a dad of two, mom of none. Perhaps I do motherly things, don’t know…

And one more:
fb_ad_pref_alabamaIt’s the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University! I have no idea what’s the related page. Remains a mystery – don’t want to dig further;)

Ahem, let’s leave the list in peace now, shall we? Still a tad obscure, but better than used to be.


Facebook Ads is¬†a big business for Facebook nowadays and generates a lot of traffic. (More on the ads on Facebook’s own pages.)
Targeting is hard and sometimes not (do read this old article on hypertargeting ads on a roommate)
Doing ads is hard, also for Facebook. (Some bad, bad examples).
Revisiting old blog articles is fun. This I’ll continue doing;)


Whiteflash and Google keywords

I saved a link to my delicious -account about the latest Facebook phishing scam, “wwww whiteflash be” a few days ago.


I got a message from an old buddy of mine who hasn’t done any activity at Facebook for the last 4 months or so (that’s what kids do, mind you).
It naturally raised my suspicions and yes, it’s a phishing site designed to look like Facebook’s login page.

Don’t go there.

Anyway, being a little snot for statistics I went through my user stats today and found out that most people during last days came here looking for above mentioned scam.  Nice SEO, not nice for Facebook users to always try these things.

(My original Google result was this blog.)

Be Your Own Annoyance (on Facebook Quizzes)

Facebook has it’s own ups and downs, including sometimes funny and (most of the time)¬† really annoying quizzes.

I don’t know if the quizzes in Finnish are more annoying than the ones in English, still annoying.

And know what?

I take those quizzes. I don’t know why. I hate them.

The Finnish ones are full of spelling mistakes (yhdys sana for example).
Results all either fucked up or just plain stupid.

And know what?

I still take them.

Because it’s so thrilling to see if I’m “a True Finn” or wheter my co-worker does the same things I do this summer. Or is my political view what I believe it to be?

Or the quizz about my military rank? What’s with it? My rank is what my rank is – and I certainly know what it is.

Be Your Own Annoyance

And you know what? I won’t complain more, I’ll just do a quiz of my own.

It seems, according to small empirical test, that the hip app for quizz -making is “Make Your Own Quizz” (link leads to Inside Facebook’s app-page). According to app itself:

“Making a Quiz has never been easier! Making a Facebook app has never been so fast! Make your own quizzes and turn them into your own real Facebook applications!”

Jolly good.

Ok, Iäll just go to app  at FB and make a quiz.

make a quiz-application on facebook

Above is a screenshot about the first page, fugly highlights by me. First highlight is the language – I want my quizz to be in Finnish. Second one is picture, it actually says “This is very important! It will make your quiz more popular!“.

So, I have to have a picture.

I chose one about stairs at Pispala and named my quiz to “Kuinka korkealle p√§√§set Pispalan portaissa” (how high can you reach?).

Next page was about the results, screen grab below:

Make A Quiz on Facebook, results page.

Make A Quiz on Facebook, results page.

Typed some results, put on some images.

My images, however, were too big. The “useful” error message stated “2MThe uploaded file exceeds the maximum file size of %1 bytes.“. Perhaps someone should’ve told about the file size limit earlier?

Anyhoo, downsized the pics manually, tried to upload them.


Everything gone.

Oh well, another try, luckily not from scratch.

Then the actual questions!

I just basically make something up as everyone does.

Make A Quiz On Facebook - questions page

Make A Quiz On Facebook - questions page

After setting up the questions, a new app for the quiz:

Setting up the application for my Quiz

Setting up the application for my Quiz

And voila, there it is (after just one step – I won’t paste that here).

My own little quiz, whee. (Find it out for yourselves if you fancy).

Conclusions and pondering

  • Making ones own quiz isn’t that hard. That’s certainly the reason for all the annoying quizzes!
  • Result (of the quiz) can be something totally different than the maker intended as the answers and outcomes are connected in my opinion in somehow awkward way.
  • Quizzes can be used to influence people and their opinions
  • Quizzes can be used as part of marketing

All in all, quizzes are here to stay (although really, really annoying), so why not use them?

On Google AdSense Ads on GMail

I’m a regular user of Google’s Gmail. Like it quite a lot in spite of the criticism and obvious issues.

One feature, however, is annoying, funny and useful at the same time. I mean the Google AdSense ads in e-mails.

This one chain of e-mails was about a meeting at Helsinki, between me and four other people (all part of a marketing group for a nonprofit). We discussed possible meeting times and places.
Which ads were relevant, according to Google?

Following text ads were presented (in finnish, english translations for titles follow):

Oletko raskaana?
Raskauskalenterimme ilmoittaa mitä tapahtuu sinulle raskauden aikana.
(Are you pregnant?)

Freelance graafikko
Ammattitaitoa kuin
pienessä kylässä.
(Freelance graphic designer.¬† Editor’s comment: Typo at finnish title)

Kaikki odotuksesta
Tietoa, vertaistukea ja arjen komiikkaa.
(Everything about expecting a baby)

Vihaatko tyrkyttämistä?
Lue B2B-markkinoijan pikaoppaasta mikä on markkinoinnin hunajapurkki.
(Do you hate pressing (your customer)). Editor’s comment:¬† hard to translate.)

Mallisto, jälleenmyyjät, verkkokauppa. Tervetuloa!
(****** -maternity clothing)

Ei krapulalle
Juhli ilman krapulaa
Kokeile hintaan 0,20 ‚ā¨
(No to hangover)

Vauvan nahkatossut
Käsinvalmistetut vauvan nahkatossut -Yli 40 hurmaavaa mallia!
(Leather slippers for babies)

Miltä vanhempien juominen
näyttää metrin korkeudelta? Muodosta mielipiteesi täällä!
(How does it look from height of 1 m when parents drink?)


Yeah. Right.

I do have two children.
I drink occasionally and yes, who likes hangover anyway?
Yes, I’m interested in B2B marketing.

Was the marketing then targeted right?

Yes and no.

I still wonder if it should have been different. Topic of e-mails was something completely different, nothing about children, drinking or pregnancy. Marketing, yeah. Nothing else. The freelance designer was a good one.

All in all, not that good results.

On Posting Photos

Photography is nice, even nicer when one manages to take photos to die for, so to say. (Like these)

Personally I like photography, like taking pictures, love the feeling when some of my shots turns out to be exactly as I wanted it to be.

And yes, I’d also like someone else than yours truly to see my best photos.

And as I’m all for Web and digital solutions, I’d like to share my photos online.

Simple google search with “share photos online” returns over 31 million results. Obviously no good for me, eh? Just simple clicking on first 20 results would take days if I really wanted to get to know the services offered. Not my way.

Then there’s this blog. WordPress offers some decent tools for image uploading and galleries. Well, why not?

  • First: they’d be at my own server taking up my space and my bandwidth.
  • Second: as the space and bandwidth are not free, I’d be the guy doing the paying part
  • Third: This blog is located at joint server at a finnish ISP. I strongly doubt if it’ll take any serious amounts of load (which I don’t think my “fancy photos” would create, but anyway).
  • Fourth: Licenses. Should perhaps get a CC-license or something as some persons roaming the internet tend to think anything without a clear license is free to take and use (which is not the case). Well yes, I think I have to do this, sometime. Not now.

In stead of those first two alternatives I’ve tried Flickr, Picasa (Google Photos?) and lately Facebook for sharing my photos. My impressions?

Flickr (wikipedia article):

  • owned by Yahoo, perhaps the biggest web2.0 photo sharing tool on web.
  • free account with 100 MB monthly limit (which is really decent)
  • up-to-date licensing systems (cc, mainly)
  • Somehow this just isn’t my cup of tea, don’t know why.

Picasa (wikipedia article)

  • owned by Google, perhaps more for private photo galleries than Flickr (imho).
  • free account with 1024 MB limit
  • TOS permits Google to “to use the uploaded photos to display on the website or via RSS feeds, and also for promoting Google services royalty-free”
  • I’ve used Picasa for years. For some reason don’t like it.

Facebook (wikipedia article)

  • well. not exactly a photosharing tool but a social networking website. Has some sharing tools and your buddies are already there, aren’t they?
  • free account, “unlimited amount of albums” – though in each album can only be certain amount of photos
  • TOS permits Facebook to do just about anything with your photos (highlights by yours truly):
    “By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide licence (with the right to sublicence) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorise sublicences of the foregoing”
  • Used this one, too. Somehow the abovementioned gives me the shivers, though.

So, no decent shots to Facebook. Picasa web is not for me. Perhaps should (again!) try to use Flickr and then use some plugin with my blog.

Or then I’ll just post the photos here.

Any suggestions?

On Viral Marketing (and Finnish Air Force)

Viral marketing is defined at Wikipedia (23.7.2008) as:

“Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.”

Now, the Finnish Air Force has been quite active a marketer in the past.

Some of you may remember the FAF’s pilot recruite campaign at Irc-galleria. They created a community page for recruiting (fighter) pilots, pr and so on. Nowadays the community page is not as glittery as it used to be

Finnish Air Forces at Facebook - targeted ad.

Viral marketing – or using the so called new media (web 2.0?).

Anyway, reason for this posting can yet again be found from Facebook.

As you can (might?) see to right, there’s a targeted Facebook ad from the so called “New Facebook” – or Facebook after the recent facelift.

It says “The Finnish Air Force needs your help now!” in the text. Title is “Finnish Air Force”, picture somehow makes one wonder, ’cause we don’t have planes like that here…

What is it then? I thought, at first, that FAF advertises now at Facebook. Curious as I am, clicked the link.

No, they’re not advertising at Facebook – or at least this is not FAF’s ad. It’s an ad for application, a game at FB.

Pretty good ad, in my opinion.

Now, if I worked at FAF atm, I’d do pretty much the same thing as the application developers did. I’d set up a page at FB and buy some targeted ads. Target group: all members of the Finland-network between, let’s say, 18-29. Both men and women. Replace the plane pictured with a classy pic of Hornet flying high and there we (would) go!.

Now, the interaction. I’d probably contact the developers of that particular appilication and try to work something out with them… As the game should be quite good;)

Well, as I don’t work at FAF, I don’t do any of these things.

Just thinking aloud.

Facebook ads, part n.

Some company apparently needs skilled professionals, as you can see on the right.

Ota paikkasi, screenshot of a targeted Facebook ad.

So, should I find my position?

This targeted ad at Facebook tells all the ICT-professionals (Information & Communication Technology) to find their positions at the field.

Surprisingly this ad is perhaps the most relevant Facebook ad to me I’ve seen. I think I won’t act on it, though.