Unpopular Opinion: Targeted Ads Are Awesome

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It’s no secret that ads on social media are a divisive topic. And I get it — in my time scrolling, I’ve come across some truly terrible targeting. But when an ad hits, it hits. So yeah, I’ll admit it: as a consumer, I LOVE my targeted ads. I’d even go as far to say that I look forward to seeing them. I’m here to say that, when done right, targeted ads can improve your experience on social by introducing you to new products you never would’ve stumbled upon — ones you actually want to see.

The 2021 iOS update made it much harder for advertisers to reach their intended target audience. Nowadays, the majority of apps ask users’ permission to track their activity in the app, and more than half of users opt out. However, I’m in the minority that wants apps to track me. Because why wouldn’t I use my data to get ads that I’ll actually enjoy versus getting, well, anything and everything? With ads that are relevant to my interests, I’m constantly discovering new and unique products that I would never have found in stores. I enjoy them so much that I wanted to share a few.

Solgaard Carry-on Bag


A post shared by Solgaard (@solgaard)

First on the list is this Solgaard carry-on bag. This isn’t your ordinary suitcase, but a suitcase with a built-in closet. As someone who loves both traveling and organization, this product simply amazed me. I’ve always joked about wishing I could pack up my entire closet in my bag, and this product is the closest I can get. I love that this suitcase allows you to organize your clothes in shelf-like pockets that easily fold down into a carry-on size. Thanks for the idea, Instagram!

easyplant Self-Watering Plants


A post shared by easyplant (@easyplant)

Next up is the easyplant self-watering indoor plant. Instagram knows I have a love for interior design, and of course, houseplants. I typically opt for the plastic variety, because I cannot keep a real plant alive to save my life. Luckily, I was served this ad for self-watering plants. Just open the lid, fill the pot with water once a month and their technology does the rest, distributing water evenly over time, no over- or underwatering. This was a completely new product to me, and this ad did a great job of building my awareness of the brand by demonstrating a problem and an easy way to fix it.

hampr Laundry Service


A post shared by hampr (@tryhampr)

Apparently, Instagram also knows that I despise laundry. I dread it every time. Enter hampr, a new laundry service that does your laundry for you, including washing AND folding, and is picked up and delivered back to you within 24 hours. Pretty neat, right? This ad was simple, yet effective in getting their message across to new users such as myself. Next time I’m feeling lazy when it comes to chores, I’ll be hitting up hampr to help me out.

Uproot Cleaner Pro


A post shared by Uproot Clean (@uprootclean)

I have a pet that sheds pounds of hair each day (thanks, Ruby!), so it’s no surprise that I was served an ad for this handy dandy hair remover. The Uproot Cleaner Pro tackles the pet hair issue that most dog and cat owners are all too familiar with. This was love at first impression — I bought the brush right away, and it has proved to be an easy (and quite satisfying) way to remove pesky pet hair from pillows, clothes and more. Once again, Instagram knew what I needed before I even knew myself.

Hotel Collection Studio Scent Diffuser

At home, I’m constantly using wall plug-ins, candles, room sprays — anything I can do to keep my house smelling fresh. I’m always amazed when I walk into a hotel lobby and they somehow manage to keep the entire floor smelling perfect. And I’ve always wondered how I can get my house to have that same strong scent you experience in hotels. 

Instagram read my mind with this ad when they introduced to me the Hotel Collection Studio Scent Diffuser. This high-quality, remote-controlled scent diffuser allows you to control the strength of the scent being diffused, and comes with a collection of scented oils inspired by real hotels. Thanks to Instagram, this product is now at the top of my wishlist.

As you can tell, I’ve had some great ad experiences while scrolling my newsfeed. When ad targeting is done the right way, it can be incredibly valuable to the consumer on the other end. And that’s what I love about working at a human-centered agency. At Nebo, we truly do consider what potential customers will experience when one of our ads shows up in their feed, and we make it our mission to provide an experience that is both helpful and meaningful.

Written by Ashley Moskowitz on July 19, 2023


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Written by
Ashley Moskowitz
Marketing Project Manager