March 4, 2015 Garyeoghan

Facebook Ads: Not Those Ones…This one.

Today is a weird day in Glasgow; the sun is out after days of sleet. And even though parts of the ground are still icy, I saw two guys in t shirts on the way to the subway. That wasn’t what made my journey to work weird though. This ad did…

Facebook Friends Metro Ad

Now I was “reading” the Metro on the subway when I happened to see this. Reading the Metro for me is a bit like watching ITV or going to the cinema; I’m more interested in seeing all the big ads than focussing on the content. But when I saw this Facebook ad a few minutes ago my interest was piqued and not for the right reasons.

A million questions popped into my head such as:

  • Why is there an ad for Facebook in the paper?
  • What is the point of this ad?
  • Who is it encouraging and targeted at?
  • Are they changing what friends are or something?
  • Seriously, why is there an ad for Facebook in the paper?

Then it dawned on me. Every other week I see stories pop up of Facebook losing more and more of their younger audience. Google “facebook teenage audience” and this is what the SERP looks like.


So why should I be worried about seeing a Facebook ad in the newspaper? If Facebook is losing out on that audience to Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Tinder, then of course you’re going to branch out and advertise a little bit.

After a bit of perusing while walking from the subway to the office, I found this article on The Drum explaining this is the first time Facebook are carrying out a campaign in the UK and soon you’ll be seeing more of this video:

While the video is nice and I can see it popping up in between Kevin Bacon ads at the cinema, I’m still confused about my paper ad. As I sat on the subway and looked at everyone else holding up The Metro, no one was even looking at the back page with any semblance to how I was. Facebook is trying to attract small businesses in a larger effort than before to promote their targeted audience advertising, and localise business in a way that Google Adwords/MyBusiness/Plus can’t seem to get right (hello duplicate plus profiles)

If their efforts to attract back a younger audience who will use those businesses, investing in advertising on this platform involves an ad in a paper that only people going to work will really see, and not the audience they need back, they’ve taken quite a misstep in targeting an audience.

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