Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, ah! here we go. Hi there and welcome to another report. Today, we are looking at the bizarre world of Facebook advertising and how it can have horrible consequences if you aren’t careful. The subject of our report today is local woman and part-time plant killer Jill Stanwick, who has a story worth sharing. “It all started a few weeks ago when I made the mistake of looking at an ad on Facebook for just a few seconds too long,” she sighed before continuing. “I had no idea it would lead to this. Looking back, there’s no way I could have known the ramifications of something so small.”
What exactly is Jill talking about? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you. First, some background.
In the world of online advertising, secrecy is king. Not privacy, mind you, but secrecy, meaning that big advertisers like Facebook and Google are able to charge so much for people to run ads on their sites because the secret to being successful is something only they have access to. If everyone could be successful, no one could, right? That’s a hallmark of capitalism. But due to the secret nature of how their ads work, we have to clarify that the following theory is 100% conjecture and not based on verified facts.
OK, with that out of the way, here’s what we think happened. Jill, scrolling through her feed like we all find ourselves doing, came across an ad for a jet black obelisk. Now, having recently purchased one herself, Jill wasn’t in need of another, but she still took a few seconds to look at the ad and perform a quick comparison to the product she had already purchased. In these few seconds, Facebook’s ad system took her lack of scrolling as interest in the product, and the rest is history.
“Soon, more and more of my ads were for jet black obelisks. After awhile, I told Facebook I wasn’t interested in those types of ads, but nothing changed. In fact, I started getting even more until my entire feed was nothing but tailored ads saying stuff like ‘Try me out, Jill’ and ‘I’m so much better than that third-rate obelisk you bought last month.’ It was spooky, to say the least, but nothing compared to what came next.”
What Jill is referring to is that a few weeks after viewing the initial ad, Jill started to notice advertisements for jet black obelisks everywhere, not just on her phone or computer. “I was driving down the highway on my way to work and almost crashed my car when I saw a billboard with an ad that read ‘There’s no escaping, Jill.’ I should have thrown all of my electronics away right then.”
Over the last few weeks, Jill has gone from an average middle-aged woman to a woman on the edge, with every ad pushing her closer and closer to falling. Finally, after seeing an ad for a jet black obelisk in one of Jill’s recurring dreams she decided to finally make a purchase, even though she already had one.
“The only way to appease them is to buy the product. I wish there was another way, but that’s the only way to escape. Heed my warning – Don’t look too long at an ad. Facebook will know. The obelisk will know.”