Advertising on Facebook can be a very effective branding strategy for a wide variety of organizations. The amount of targeting possible makes reaching a very small niche segment of the Facebook population possible. This allows advertisers to get more ROI than a generic banner ad that displays to all.
This article is not about how great Facebook advertising can be, however. This article is about terrible, terrible Facebook ads.
Many have seen them. The Facebook ads that are so horrible that you take notice. Some companies will do this on purpose, in fact. “No such thing as bad press” is still something that some people believe.
Here at KK BOLD we don’t really agree with that sentiment. We believe in delivering targeted, well-done, and appropriate ads to the exact right people at the exact right time.
Before we get started, a couple of examples. First, here’s an example of a very well done ad on Facebook.
A few things to like about this ad. First, they name themselves right in the top ad copy. They provide a website URL. They show an appropriate (and well-done) photo. Those are the general things.
But let’s go further. These are men’s business dress shoes. This ad is clearly targeted to men, with a desk job, at a certain age range. They hit the mark. I didn’t buy any shoes from them, but that’s simply because I don’t need any right now. It was enough to catch my eye, though, and Zappos is a brand that I will check on when next I am in the market for some dress shoes.
Next, we have a terrible example.
This ad is actually taken from a Buzzfeed article from 2009. It gives a great example of an ad that is just bad for very obvious reasons.
And so, without further ado, here are some more really horrible Facebook ads. We’ve blocked the website addresses to protect the guilty.
We’re starting with the Social Worker Series, for which one of our staffers actually keeps a Facebook album. Preserving them for posterity reasons, of course. Apparently, to the company doing the marketing here, social workers deal not only with demon children, morbidly obese babies, and monkey babies that eat people, but also learn how to freeze children in carbonite for safekeeping until they reach Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tattooine.
Further photo-choice problems. This ad isn’t intentionally bad, like the social worker ones seem to be. The problem here is a bit more subtle. They chose a stock photo with almost all white (other than a pink face, brown hair, and yellow manila envelope) to go on a website with a white background.
The hard-to-read-screenshot-of-a-website photo notwithstanding, you’ve got a grammatical error in your text. And I’m not sure about the actual marketing ploy here – drive up the LIKEs on something by paying $1 for each LIKE to a charity? Sounds legit.
So…my theoretical problem is not enough time, and overwhelmed with work. So I should spend time watching a webinar…?
Nothing helps you get through a cold winter better than the warm glow of arson.
Much like being a social worker means dealing with demon children, apparently counseling = tattoos.
This is a special favorite of mine – the same bad photo (of a tattoo) that displayed twice for me, one right on top of the other. Money well spent on that advertising, right?
So, counseling = tattoos EXCEPT…
…when counseling means working with demon children.
These ads served as the inspiration for this article. The Game Tester genre of Facebook ad. Why does game testing equate to body mutilation (in the arm/shoulder region specifically?)
My profile clearly shows married status, so the placement of this ad is pretty poorly done. Also it clearly shows that I’m 40, so a pic of a 20something might not be the right choice either. But I know some will say that all of this is done on purpose due to the”Cheating scumbag” factor. For those people, I will also point out the horrible grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
It’s January in North Dakota. A time known for sub-zero temps and ruthless windchill. And I get served up an ad about air conditioning.
Need help with your own Facebook advertising? Want to avoid ending up on someone’s top-10 worst Facebook ads? Let us know!
Or, let us hear about your favorite horrible Facebook ads!
Kalvin Kingsley is the operations director for KK BOLD. He has no tattoos, is drug free, and no current plans to replace his arm with an implant for video game testing.