Example of a Promoted Tweet.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Advertising in a Digital World
Long-gone are the Don Draper-esque days of advertising as the World Wide Web has become the main form of marketing. It is an ever-changing beast, collecting all forms of advertising, sometimes negative, and snowballing into consumers’ homes.
Ads on Social Media
Advertisements are inescapable once logged into any social media platform. Native advertising is a form of social media advertising that is most distinctly noticed on Twitter. After a few moments of scrolling on your twitter timeline, you most likely stumble upon a tweet about some product, company, or political figure. It often catches the eye because it is different from the random thoughts of your friends, so you look to see what account it came from or who was responsible for the retweet, and, instead, you find small text that says “promoted tweet”. According to Twitter, “Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers.”These tweets are designed to look as authentic as every other Tweet on your feed.
Another specifically targeted approach to advertising on social media is Facebook’s self service advertising. This concept allows anyone to place an “Order” for the type of advertising they require and the audience they are seeking. After approval and payment, Facebook determines the qualities of the ad, such as size and placement, and determines if the ad complies with its advertising policies. Self service advertising is becoming increasingly popular due to its extremely specific targeting, simplicity in creation, and virtual goods through online social gaming.
As shocking as it may be, when it comes to money, it is easy to get greedy and everyone wants their share, leading to ad fraud. The media world fuels various types of ad fraud, but the most prevalent come in the form of bot traffic, ad insertion, robot retargeting, and CMS hacking.
Adweek reports, these ads make up $7 billion in fraud so the Association of National Advertisers is developing plans to stop the spread. Some of these theories include third-party verification, tracking and blocking, vigilance and leverage, and “commitment by advertisers to personally combat fraud.”
Still, preventing ad fraud takes money and there is little incentive for companies to personally take action. Instead, ads are slowly changing in form into earned media, through branded entertainment and product placement.
The Struggle with Ethical Advertising in the Media
Ethically, advertising can be a struggle in the current state of the media especially when it comes to truth. The main question of truth in advertising is whether not telling the whole truth is lying or not. This is evident in the way we advertise things like alcohol and tobacco where we don’t actually show people using the product or fully warn about its consequences.