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By John Glenday | Reporter

February 26, 2021 | 4 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight creative that should be on your radar. Today, we look at Facebook’s very public defense of personalized advertising ahead of a privacy update from Apple, in which the social media giant says ‘Good Ideas Deserve to be Found’.

Facebook is injecting some pizazz into its online marketing business by launching a glossy, upbeat campaign designed to illustrate how it can ‘bring to life how personalized ads level the playing field’ for small businesses during a time of hardship.

Andrew Stirk, Facebook’s head of brand marketing, concedes that online advertising can be a ”pretty dry topic” at the best of times, prompting the social network to dive off-piste with ’Good Ideas Deserve to be Found’.

Featuring exotic locales and glamorous people, all set to a catchy beat, the spot documents thriving small businesses that have embraced digital advertising, with an expansive TV, radio and digital campaign encouraging participation through a custom Instagram sticker and use of the #DeserveToBeFound hashtag on Facebook.

Inspired by a desire to support small businesses in a time of need during the pandemic, the campaign is described as a means to ”help people understand how the personalized ads they see help them discover new things they love and support businesses in their community”.

Specific case studies include handbag and luggage specialist House of Takura, with its founder Annette Njau waxing lyrical about the benefits of digital advertising.

Scratching beneath this glossy veneer however, it has been suggested Facebook may have an ulterior motive behind this flurry of activity – namely to draw attention to Apple’s planned iPhone update, which threatens to upend the entire mobile advertising sector as advertisers lose the ability to track and gauge the performance of their ads.

Central to this change will be the surfacing of an advertising ID privacy tool to the front and center of users’ phones, allowing individuals to easily opt-out of the data-sharing system and taking their advertising potential with them.

Facebook has been up in arms about these changes for months, decrying Apple’s move to anyone who will listen in the fear that a seemingly inexhaustible well of ad revenues may be about to dry up.

Harnessing all channels available to it, Facebook launched a print ad campaign towards the end of last year in which it put in black and white arguments suggesting small businesses and content creators will also lose out.

Apple’s nuclear bomb is scheduled to detonate in early spring, after which Facebook will be forced to resort to a prompt pleading with users to share their information to access a ’better ads experience’.

Mindful that this alone is unlikely to inspire many, today’s big budget ad extravaganza could be interpreted as a timely spur for users to respond positively to the pending prompt.

Dismissing such suggestions, Stirk insists that Facebook’s actions are entirely altruistic, urging skeptics to please think of struggling small businesses. He said: ”There is a degree of urgency in the fact that... small businesses are hurting right now.”

In tandem with the creative campaign, Facebook has also simplified its Ads Manager dashboard, enabled restaurants to provide more information about their dining experiences and introduced more information about personalized ads in Facebook’s Business Resource hub and Instagram’s Professional Dashboard.

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