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The Concrete Times February - Digital

The CONCRETE Times • FEB 2015 TOM FISHBURNE 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? 32 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 more effectively. 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 with ads. 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 relevant - 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? THE TERMS OF USE THAT NO ONE REALLY READS Just because the terms of use (that no one really reads) let 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.


The Concrete Times February - Digital
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