The CONCRETE Times • MAY 2019
SOCIAL ADS - A PACT WITH THE DEVIL?
our resident busIness cartoonist, the brilliant tom fishburne, asks if we are
really aware of the price we are paying for so-called free services online?
As the old adage goes, if you’re not paying for the
product, you are the product.
This has long been true of our data.
CUSTOMERS “PAY” FOR FREE SERVICES
Consumers pay for “free” services like search engines
and social networks by letting companies collect and
package their data so that marketers can target them
Few of us are aware that when we click on a link to go
to a new site, this starts an incredibly high speed
auction where robots “duke it out”, with the winners ad
being the first thing that we see on the page on arrival.
BRINGING SOCIAL CONTEXT INTO THE AD’S
Nowhere is this more visible than the increasing trend
of bringing social context into the ads themselves —
pairing an individual’s social actions with social ads
shown to their friends.
MOVE LEAD BY FACEBOOK FOLLOWED BY GOOGLE
Facebook first lead this move with Sponsored Stories
and has since baked social context into many of their
ads. Google then announced Shared Endorsements last year,
where +1’s, reviews, and other social activities are integrated
VALUE IN A FRIENDS IMPLIED RECOMMENDATION
There’s increased value to an advertiser in an implied
reacommendation and social context helps make an ad more
If we think that friends we know recommend a certain brand,
we will be more likely to buy it.
Yet, is the implied endorsement always real, particularly if
it’s not freely given?
people know that a company will package social actions into
an ad, doesn’t mean that people intended their comments to
be taken in that light.
THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING
The future of advertising will likely include a greater level of
social context, yet today it feels like social context is
sometimes taken out of context.