Let’s just jump right in, shall we? No need to beat around the bush. Facebook wants $710,000 a day for logout ads. Yep, more than half a million sweet hard-earned American dollars. For small businesses, that’s pretty much $709,800 dollars more than most people are probably willing to pay. But I guess if you’re Ford Motor Company, it’s no big thing.
To be honest, these logout ads kind of irk me. Yes, they are sleek, shiny, and beautiful, and yes, I have clicked “play” on this exact ad (Hi, my name is Jocelyn, and I’m an Internet ad clicker…”). And yes, the number of shares on this are astounding. And that’s exactly what irks me.
Facebook by and large leveled the playing field for businesses big and small. While Joe’s Dry Cleaners is never going to buy a Superbowl ad, or maybe any TV spot at all, social media has provided the opportunity to do the consumer engagement thing just as good as Ford, or maybe even better. When big businesses already have a huge leg up in pretty much every other form of media, it’s a sad day when they get it on the great equalizer – the social web – too. It’s like when you find out that the hot quarterback of the football team is nice, rich, and smart, too. Throw the dorky guy a bone, Zuck!
The web, unfortunately, doesn’t always level the playing field, though. Sometimes the highest bidder is the one who is seen. That’s proven in pretty much any ad platform in existence. Sometimes the more money you put into a Facebook ad, the more fans you’ll get. And for smaller businesses, sometimes this just ain’t fair because, after all, small business dollars are a bit more precious than Fortune 500 ones (am I allowed to say that?). And these new Facebook logout ads are kind of the icing on the cake. It might be blasphemous for me to say so, but do we really need more ads talking to us about how sexy the Ford Mustang is, especially after we’ve chosen to leave a site? I just want to logout of Facebook, for Zuck’s sake!
At the end of the day, all I can say is “Pshhht, whatever.” I can sit here and complain about how crap it is that Ford gets a leg up because they have more dinero to spend. Or I can sit here and come up with ways to make my clients’ networks better in different ways. Maybe it’s offering better, faster, smarter customer service to our fans. Maybe it’s building and encouraging a community of likeminded fans and rewarding them for just being awesome. Either way, it gives us smaller companies a chance to flex our muscles, be original, be authentic, and still be badass.