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.)

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

Ei krapulalle
Juhli ilman krapulaa
Kokeile hintaan 0,20 €
(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?)

Conclusions?

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 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.

My Comparative Study about Facebook Ads (weeklies, part 2)

Phew, time for facebook ads, again (weekly #1).

Ten random clicks at Facebook and ten times Facebook “contextual ads”, here we go!

  1. Title:
    Voita XXXX-lahjakortti (win a gift certificate to XXXX ) (Name of a swedish furniture company censored)
    Content:
    Company’s logo, background is a cloudy sky. Text tells that one can win a gift certificate byt the sum of 2000 e to this particular company. (Click here!)
    Relevance (to me):
    Well, everyone needs furniture sometimes. Quite relevant.
    Origin:
    Finnish (Swedish?)
  2. Title:
    Omega Seamaster (Same ad as last week.)
    Content:
    Picture of a watch. Ad for 1 cent auction.
    Relevance (to me):
    Watch looks ok. Don’t do auctions online (or otherwise)
    Origin:
    Have no idea. Probably translated.
  3. Title:
    Linssejä halvalla hinnalla … (Lenses at low prices …)
    Content:
    Animated gif. Apparently sells glasses (or lenses for glasses). Annoying animated gif.
    Relevance (to me):
    Relevant, as I wear glasses (while working). Just bought a new pair, actually.
    Origin:
    Finnish.
  4. Title:
    World Vision -kummiksi (Sponsor a child)
    Content:
    Picture of a young boy’s face. Text urges you to sponsor a child with under 1 eur/day.
    Relevance (to me):
    Hmm. Don’t know. Relevantish.
    Origin:
    Finnish. (Or international, but the given web address points to finnish partner).
  5. Title:
    Lainaa 1000 – 4000e (Get a loan of 1000-4000e)
    Content:
    Company’s logo. Loan ad.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. Don’t do online loans.
    Origin:
    Finnish.
  6. (Facebook crashed)
  7. Title:
    Upea rusketus (Great tan)
    Content:
    Picture of naked (man’s) chest. No bodily hair. Has a hand over left nipple. Text says something about a perfect tan.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I get my tan outdoors, plus that pictures of naked men aren’t just my cup of tea.
    Origin:
    Probably Finnish.
  8. Title:
    Subway xxxxxxxxkatu
    Content:
    Some daily discount prices at Subway (just opened a new outlet quite near me).
    Relevance (to me):
    Quite relevant. The outlet in question is neareast to me and on my way to work. Go to Subway sometimes.
    Origin:
    Finnish.
  9. Title:
    KUN ARKI ON JUHLAA – et elämääsi tuhlaa (When every day is a party – you won’t waste your life. Actually sorft of a word play, can be translated but just don’t feel like it.)
    Content:
    Huge animated gif stating that one’s life can be a party/celebration/whatever every day. Quick online loan.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. Annoying picture, don’t do online loans.
    Origin:
    Finnish.
  10. Title:
    Voita luksusmatka (Win a luxury trip)
    Content:
    Pic of a girl sipping some beverage from a huge glass. Arrow pointing to her head. Minuscle text about location (St. Tropez). Text says that you can win a luxury trip to St. Tropez for two!
    Relevance (to me):
    Not that relevant.
    Origin:
    International? (translated).

Not that funny results this time.

Some random remarks:

  • same ads keep repeating most of the time (tried to spot different ones)
  • most of the ads are about 1 cent auctions, loans or stuff like that (which is not suprising)
  • quality of translation depends, a lot. Some are better than others.
  • some of the ads were perhaps more relevant this week?

Till next week!

My Comparative Study about Facebook Ads (weeklies, part 1)

This may just be the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship!

Erm, what?

Facebook is a well-known social platform. Or as they put it: “(Facebook) is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.” I’ve been playing with FB last few years, not that early adopter world wide but quite early here in Finland (as it has gained popularity during past year).

Anyway, Facebook’s business model is quite interesting, altogether. Ads, targeted marketing, applications etc! (If you’re interested: Facebook Case Study: Offline behavior drives online usage, Facebook’s uncertain Business Model, Facebook Platform Developers’ Guide (with business model warnings) and so on).

Business model is a whole different matter – perhaps I’ll post something about that later. This posting will focus on Facebook’s (targeted small) ads. FB promises “advanced targeting“, where ads can be targeted by “age, gender, location, interests and more”.

As a Finn living in Finland this is quite interesting as Finland is a small country with a low populage, only 5,1 million or so. Language spoken is finnish – not that common elsewhere;) Now, why is it interesting?

First things first, finns in Facebook are quite neat a target group. The Finland Network at Facebook has at the moment (25th June) about 410 000 members. Supposing these are mainly Finns we can say that 10 % of Finns is moderatly active at FB. Now, if you want to target all Finns you can pick that group as target or all the members who give their location as Finland (this probably would include all the foreigners in Finland, too, excluding Finns abroad).

Anyway, the ads. I actually wanted to write about the targeted and localized ads as they become more common sighting at FB. I’ll do this by listing here 10 ads I see during this afternoon (perhaps later, too) and commenting on them. (Most of the translations (from english) to finnish are quite hilarious. Too bad they don’t translate that well back to english.)

Here we go!

  1. Title:
    Laihduta kuten Hollywood  (In english something like “lose weight like Hollywood”)
    Content:
    Picture of a young (skinny) lady in a smallish swimsuit on a beach. Some kind of weight loss dingy.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant at all. I don’t a) need to lose weight b) want to lose weight.
    Origin:
    Translated from some other language.
  2. Title:
    Uudet Arabian Muumi-mukit (new Moomin cups by Arabia)
    Content:
    Picture of cups with Moomins. Web address with a promise of quick shipping.
    Relevance (to me):
    Well, I have two of those cups, so quite relevant.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  3. Title:
    Mitä tekisit 60 tonnilla? (What would you do with 60 grand?)
    Content:
    Picture of some guy with huge glasses wearing a lot of bling. Some half-naked ladies behind him. Text tells me to pimp my life (“tuunaa elämäsi”) and a web address.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant at all. I don’t want to pimp my life.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  4. Title:
    Omega Seamaster
    Content:
    Picture of a watch. Ad for 1 cent auction.
    Relevance (to me):
    Watch looks ok. Don’t do auctions online (or otherwise)
    Origin:
    Have no idea. Probably translated.
  5. Title:
    Voita uusi MacBook Air (Win a new MacBook Air)
    Content:
    Picture of a MacBook Air.  Ad for some online auction.
    Relevance (to me):
    MacBook Air is always ok (would like to have one if I just had too much money). Don’t do auctions online (or otherwise)
    Origin:
    Finnish?
  6. Title:
    (network addess for a “finnish online pharmacy” – censored)
    Content:
    No pictures. Some generic ad fro health products online.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. Side note: selling pharmacy related stuff online is illegal in Finland. This ad is actually for natural remedies.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  7. Title:
    Kämppiksen kanssa menoja? (Going out with your room mate? — or something. Very bad translation to finnish)
    Content:
    Logo of a web site. Text tells us about this wonderful service which you can use online or with a Handy.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I have no “room mates”
    Origin:
    Translated
  8. Title:
    1 year MBA in Boston.
    Content:
    Picture is obscure – don’t actually know what the hell is in it. Golf clubs? Ad for some MBA in Boston.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I think my M.Sc (tech) is enough.
    Origin:
    US. Not translated (in english)
  9. Title:
    Lainaa rahaa – (name censored) (Loan money – (name of the company))
    Content:
    Logo of the company. Text says that they’ll help me to get a loan online.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I don’t want a loan (from Internet)
    Origin:
    Finnish
  10. Title:
    Lemmenlaiva (Love Boat)
    Content:
    Logo of the company. Text tells us that there’s a high quality online shop for couples (you get the point?)
    Relevance (to me):
    Hmm. Hard to say, perhaps relevant.
    Origin:
    Finnish

Bonus:

  1. Title:
    Says my cousin added this one particular Facebook application.
    Content:
    Logo of the application. says the above plus that I can use this application for what it was meant.
    Relevance (to me):
    Hmm. I actually do have this application installed. Don’t like it (nor use it), though.
    Origin:
    Not translated. International.

Well, not that many hilarious results this time. Conclusions? Those ads weren’t very relevant for me. Online auctions are not my thing, nor is weight loss or diets. I have plenty of applications installed (too many!), but I don’t add them usually from an ad. At my case the targeting was quite bad. Some other time perhaps better!

(Perhaps I’ll do this weekly. Could be nice – yeah, I’ll do that if I have the time and energy)