I’m pretty fascinated by the move into social media advertising by brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes. As social media morphs into a fully ‘pay to play’ channel, I’m seeing the various ad units across the key platforms more-often-than-not being used in a rubbish fashion. I’m going to start highlighting this in regular posts right here on this very blog. A couple of disclaimers, firstly – I’m not attacking the brands in question here, merely using their ads as a basis for hopefully educating my readers and secondly, I apologise in advance if any of the brands are indeed offended. You’ll survive. So, here we go…

Tesco’s Kebab Instagram Ad


What’s wrong with this?


This ad is aimed at parents as a way of helping them to add a bit of fun to their kid’s mealtimes – a nice idea. However, the wider comments allude to the fact that the ad was served to a number of users who are not parents. Instagram ad targeting is very loose as it stands – we don’t give them a lot of data as a user (Some Facebook data is used) so they don’t have a lot to go on. To me, that means that if you’re looking to target a very specific group of people like parents, then Instagram perhaps isn’t the best option.


The images of the food are rather ropey. In fact, the term a ‘dog’s dinner’ springs to mind! People in the comments were far impressed. I’m not sure what ‘looks so bun’ (see image above) means though. When you’re dealing with such a visual platform, you need to make sure your imagery is on the money every time.

The forward path



The link in the ad leads to the above – a collection of recipes etc with a summer theme. From a content perspective, it’s pretty good, topical and practical. The problem is that the content the ad leads to isn’t directly related to the ad – it really should be an article with a further explanation of the abacus idea from the ad and perhaps some recipes tied-in with products. If this does exist, I couldn’t find it, and the average user isn’t going to take the time to seek it out, especially in a mobile context like Instagram.

Key take-aways 

  • Think about your targeting – you’re wastage and negativity is going to be much higher if you don’t
  • Make sure your imagery doesn’t let you down and make sure it suits the platform
  • Really think about the forward path from your ad!

Seen an ad that could qualify as bad? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.

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Header image via Shutterstock.

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