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)