Three Reasons Facebook Doesn't Work for Brands


If I was unsurprised that P&G was struggling to advertise on Facebook, 247WallStreet was convinced. Their reaction to the New York Times piece illustrating the struggles of Facebook-based brand campaigns was... And?! And they provide three completely logical explanations as to why Facebook campaigns aren't working:

1. Intent. 'The Google advertising model works because the user is "in on it".'

2. Socializing isn't bred for advertising. "The dirty little secret is that social networks are the playgrounds of people who do not want to be disturbed as they wander a self-centered universe."

3. Relevance. The Facebook ad system is neither relevant nor meaningful:

Anyone coming to Facebook and putting Obama's name in gets a list of sites, with his campaign's being at the top of the list. Off to the right is a text ad which is supposed to be appropriately placed to get maximum exposure. It reads "Barack Obama's IQ = 136, Can you Beat his Score? Take our 2 minute IQ test." In other words, there is nothing appropriate or relevant about the ad. It is a come on to sell a $9.99 subscription to a service called ":Amazing Facts", which sends information to the customer's cell phone.

Any real national advertiser would look at the way the Obama search data is being used and take the Facebook ad salesman's phone number off of his speed dial. Procter & Gamble (PG) has been testing Facebook to see if it is a good medium for brand advertising. No one ever talks about results. The typical Facebook member either can't afford an expensive P&G Gillette razor or finds the ad so annoying that he will shoplift one the next time he is out to get back at P&G for disturbing his tranquility the last time he went online to visit one of his pathetic Facebook "friends."

Looking at Facebook through its dark side shows how inappropriate the site is for any real advertising. Search for the homepage of former genocidal dictator Idi Amin Dadi and the adjacent ads include one of a Gifts.com holiday gift card. It can be used at Gap (GPS), Barnes & Noble (BKS), or H&M. That certainly burnishes the gifts.com image.