These Facebook ads aren’t very transparent. Ugh! What am I buying here?

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I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and as we all know it’s not uncommon to see advertisements – aka sponsored content.

Typically it’s pretty simple to see that a post is paid-either through the sponsored tag or a sponsored hashtag.

And then I ran across this post on Facebook in March 2019:

“Christoph, want to experience VR without cables or a PC… Learn more.”

Personalization ✅

Assuming that I know what it means to use VR with cables or a PC ❌

The next landing page was still somewhat ambiguous:

So now I can now add virtual reality items worth $200 or $250 to my cart. But what are those items? The suspense!!!

Also, do I still need a TV or another service or how does that work? That sounds like a landing page with all that information on it would be a good place to start. Or even something in the ad!

I clicked and added something to my cart. Still no idea what!

‼️ Buy VR gear on Amazon ‼️

Finally on the checkout page I was able to see the product that I was about to buy – a VR headset, I think!

But the whole experience left me wondering: why was the ad so subtle and why did the landing page not even tell me what I was buying?

And I’m all for trying new things but we do want to be transparent about what it is that people are about to buy. And I’m a big fan of online shopping and I probably buy way too much stuff online.

But I really like to know what I’m buying and I have blogged about the realistic depictions online of products before. Those are important!

The ad on Facebook kind of looked like one of their notification posts after you unfriended or blocked somebody.

Related: When you unfollow too many friends on Facebook here’s what happens

That is kind of why I clicked because I thought it was a new Facebook feature. New blog post inbound on virtual reality feature on Facebook. Oh never mind. It’s an ad.

Did I buy the virtual reality headset? No I didn’t. But I do have one at home already that hardly ever gets used.

So they get me to click but I had no intent of buying. In fact it made me wonder why everything was so subtle and non-transparent.

As you are creating ad campaigns it’s something to consider of how the content will be perceived by the audience. And if you have a super high number of clicks and a super low number of purchases maybe the campaign needs to be adjusted.