Pay attention to a Facebook ad? Ugh, as if!

This one’s for all you ladies out there,

You find yourself in the most awkward situation possible, and so whip out your smart phone in an attempt to ‘look busy’.

You scroll through the newsfeed you literally checked three minutes ago, and come across a page your friend has ‘liked’ from October 2010.

Do you:

A) Think nothing of it and keep on scrolling’.


B) Remember 2010 as the year ‘The Biebs’ was introduced in our lives.


C) Curiously click on the page to see what it’s all about.


For the sake of a marketing practitioner, I hope your answer was C. For the sake of Logan, Bright and Gangadharbatla and their text, Facebook versus television: advertising value perceptions among females, (2012) it really doesn’t matter.

Why? Because these three academics wanted to know the truth, what the real response to Facebook advertising was.

With a background in Journalism and Communications, Logan, Bright and Gangadharbatla (2012) set out to compare female student perceptions of advertising. In particular, what female students thought of as advertising value within social network sites compared to the good ol’ square box (i.e. the television).

The research paper was published in the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing (2012), based on the hypothesis that, in relation to female students, the ‘informativeness’ of advertising will correlate positively to the perception of value. Likewise was said about perceived entertainment.

The authors used previous research on online advertising effectiveness to provide context, as well a framework to which they could compare their findings.

Such context includes the “inherently different experience” to technical advertising. In other words, you don’t see a TV ad because your friend thought it was cool.


Research dealing with general responses to online advertising received the most discussion. It’s been suggested that the overall response is increasingly negative as students become “more savvy and sceptical” about the values of such advertising.

Newsflash: consumers find advertising irritating!

 So how did they go about their research?

More than 250 female students from three major universities across the USA filled out an online questionnaire relating to ads on social media and TV.

Why women? They claim that women represent an ever-growing portion of the social network user population. In fact, 58 per cent of Facebook users are female!

Evidence was also sought through empirical research, taking into account user personalities and motivations for use, and they found that current models of value assessment (Informativeness and Entertainment) were not even reliable!

Overall, the text was well structured with a clear introduction, methodology and detailed analysis. The literature review defined not only the use of social media advertising today, but also the context in which ‘advertising effectiveness’ and ‘involvement’ was used, and the measures that would take place.

The findings provide practical implications for communication practitioners, as seen through the constant links to brand engagement strategies.

Through the text’s originality and value, it’s clear future research is intended. As a student who wishes to explore responses to Facebook advertising among my peers, the text provides a foundation for just that.

2 responses to “Pay attention to a Facebook ad? Ugh, as if!

  1. It’s interesting, I was just discussing a topic similar to this with a friend in regards to social media and advertising, and the change in power play between user and advertiser. With the rise of Instagram, Facebook, review blogs and the likes it would seem that consumers are more and more sceptical of traditional advertising. Instead companies are enlisting the branding power of the Instagram famous and their 1000+ followers.
    With this in mind I’d be interested to know your views of the ‘subtle’ advertising through other means (Instagram) as you’ve stated “Consumers find advertising irritating”. Particularly since so many people/consumers are happily jumping on board with advertising products to actively promote them to their ‘dedicated’ following.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is exactly what we were discussing in class! I couldn’t even count the number of posts in my Instagram that feature some form of product placement or brand promotion – there are just too many and others, like you said, are really subtle. The ability to identify advertising content from regular content is definitely something we want to explore in our research project. Thanks for the feedback 🙂


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