Are your facebook ads useful to you?

Yesterday I happened to glance to the right when I was on Facebook and noticed all the ads targeted directly to me. The ads were exactly what I had been thinking about that day… SEO, and CMS.  Wow.

It shouldn’t surprise me. I purchase Facebook ads, Google adwords and Yahoo BT banner ads on a regular basis. I know the targeting options and how to maximize clickthroughs to a custom landing page, but I am still surprise by how the ads were useful to me.

It reminds me how my grandmother used to read my hometown newspaper— First she looks through all the sales and any other shopping interests and then she would go back through the stories. She actually found the ads worth reading rather than something that got in the way of the information she was seeking.

It’s amazing how Internet advertising is coming back full circle where the ads are actually useful and make money just like the small-town newspaper. Unfortunately, this fledging form of useful advertising is now under attack with the Commerce Department proposing a new online privacy bill of rights for Internet users and the Federal Trade Commission proposing Do Not Track legislation.

Privacy online and Internet advertising has always been sort of trade off for me. I give up some information about me in return I receive something I want (information, news) from a web site with no direct out of pocket costs. The web site uses that information to target ads to me creating a better web experience and more value for their advertising.

Is geolocation the “holy grail” of mobile advertising?

Google and Apple are both racing to own the mobile advertising platform by adding the new “holy grail” of mobile advertising – geolocation.  The Wall Street Journal reports that both Google and Apple have bought mobile advertising companies and are attempting to leverage their mobile phones to let your local pizza parlor put an ad on your mobile when you start feeling hungry in the late afternoon.  They are reaching out to you and to your local business just like FourSquare to reach you where you are right at this moment.

Ugly ads easily ruin tabs like sync

Have you ever seen an ad on paper that you just go yuck, that ruins the page. How about a front page ad? I ran into one of those this week on the front of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette owned weekly entertainment tab called Sync.

Ugly Ad on Sync Weekly

Yuck!

I completely understand and support the need for front page ads, but front page ads on tabs take up significantly more room than a strip ad on the bottom of a broadsheet. Since the ad is ran as a vertical strip it completely dominates the page. On top of that the Democrat-Gazette recently shaved the width of their press down (like every other newspaper) leaving a tab to be rather square than rectangle making the ad more dominant.

I would think that even the advertiser, Landers, would prefer an ad the works with the content and design of the front page rather than against it.