Artificial Intelligence in Advertising: Smart or Scary?

Ever since the Terminator movies of the 80’s, people have been pretty cautious of technology, to say the least.

Technology can be both exciting and terrifying, depending on your perspective. The impressive leaps and bounds that modern technology is able to make today has paved the way for advancements in nearly every facet of the business world, and the field of advertising is no exception.

AI and automation have allowed professionals in advertising to reach their target audiences much more quickly and accurately through advanced algorithms that can memorize and predict what exactly a certain customer has searched for and is looking for. This makes an advertiser’s job much easier, as well as much more effective.

Technology has reached a point where it knows us better than we know ourselves. It’s something that sounds more like a sci-fi plot than reality, but it’s true. Because of AI’s ability to take note of the things we search for and the pages we spend the most time on, many platforms are able to predict what we intend to purchase or search for next. Strategically placed ads can then be seen throughout the internet, most prominently on social media. Think of how many times you’ve looked up product on Amazon only to find an advertisement for something similar on Facebook.

A good way to look at this (no pun intended) is to consider the way the human eye operates. We are only able to clearly see what our pupils are looking at while the rest of our field of vision is blurred. We also have trouble deciphering complex visual stimulants. In other words, an ad that is too “busy” with too much text, too many images, or varying colors. Intelligent advertisements take this into consideration when placing their ads.

When applied to advertising, artificial intelligence aims to mimic the human eye. Many forms of technology today have allowed advertisers to study where exactly a person’s eyes are drawn on a certain website or landing page through heat maps. These give professionals an idea of what attracts readers or buyers, which they can then use to adjust their advertising efforts accordingly. The goal is to increase interaction between the ad and the customer. A more engaging experience is one that is more likely to end in a sale.

Artificial intelligence is powerful, and it’s important we consider how we can use it for a greater cause. It allows people to connect with others on a much more human level, as ironic as that is. Advertising has benefitted greatly from these technological breakthroughs. With more precision in their strategies implemented, advertisers can harness the power of AI to reach further and wider than they may have ever thought imaginable.

And hopefully, it never turns around on us like it always inevitably does in the movies.


Stop Advertising and Start Captivating: How to Better Target Your Audience

Now that 2018 is right around the corner, we are in a new age of digital advertising. Even the word ‘advertising’ sends a cringe-worthy chill up most people’s spines. A good example that comes to mind is that 30 second, unskippable video popping up telling you to buy car insurance when all you are trying to do is watch that new Kendrick Lamar video that’s setting Twitter ablaze. It seems like more and more websites contain pop-up ads that dominate an entire screen, which is even worse on mobile devices. This is what advertising looks like in modern times, especially for those in the millennial generation.

Is it just me, or do these new ads scream desperation? The unskippable ads and and online pop-ups only cause frustration for those of us trying to consume content faster and easier than ever before. One could argue that failed attempts at creating effective online ads are actually hurting a company’s brand.

So the questions remains- how do advertisers survive now that old age tactics are dying?


No one likes the car salesmen “in your face” approach, and advertisers that do so are likely to be met with less website traffic and fewer sales. Creating engaging content is what advertisers and businesses need to do in order to stay afloat in the world of digital communications.

Take one of my favorites, The Most Interesting Man in the World for example. The beer company Dos Equis developed a clever commercial that took the advertising world by storm with a rugged older gentleman simply known as ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World.’ He was said to have achieved incredible things in his lifetime (if you’re familiar with the Chuck Norris jokes that preceded him, you’ll know where the inspiration came from) , with some hilarious one-liners being created in every commercial such as, “mosquitos refuse to bit him purely out of respect,” “his two cents is worth $37 in change,” and “if he were to pat you on the back, you would list it on your resume.” He would then end each commercial endorsing Dos Equis beer, which is a genius and highly effective marketing tactic, because it held people’s attention.

The internet immediately fell in love with this advertising campaign. He quickly became a meme, which is the holy grail for advertisers, and the company saw an increase in sales soon after the commercials were first aired. The key to this campaign’s success was its engagement to its audience. Customers enjoyed the commercial’s quirkiness. It was entertaining. Its humor related to a younger crowd, and many people within that demographic shared it across social media, increasing its reach even more. Perhaps the most impressive thing for me, was how it connected the humorous juxtaposition with the brand itself, without coming across as too sales focused.
Now that Generation Z is beginning to make a larger online presence, advertisers must take into consideration that this means more people who simply despise ads. Though it will always change throughout time, effective advertising campaigns must look at the bigger picture and try and get their audience to want to buy their products rather than just hit the skip button as soon as it comes up. Stay on top of the demographic shifts your target audience is into, and think about making something you would engage with yourself, if you came across it. A great ad is one that sticks with the customer, making them not only a viewer, but a fan.

3 of the Most Unique yet Successful Marketing Tactics

Cards Against Humanity

By now, most people have experienced the vulgarity and outrageously humorous card game Cards Against Humanity. The premise is to match one of your white cards with the given black card to create the funniest possible phrase or sentence. The ensuing results are a mix of hilarity and awkwardness. This game alone is enough to attract quite a wide audience, but the marketing team at Cards Against Humanity didn’t want to stop there. One of their more unique tactics employed involved actually increasing their prices on Black Friday. CAH went against the traditional decrease in price like every other business, and managed to earn just as much, if not more sales than the Black Friday prior to that year’s. The company has sort of prided itself on going against the norm in terms of advertising, and it seems to pay off nearly every time.


Car companies in the early 20th century advertised their automobiles with a typical standard that can be seen all over the world: better performing than the rest. However, Volkswagen took a different approach in 1960. The “Think Small” campaign was arguably one of the most successful and controversial car advertisements during that time, and is still seen as a standard in the history of marketing. During this time, many Americans avoided the small, German-made cars following the United States’ issues with the country, so Volkswagen played off of just that. This was a perfect example of selling your product for exactly what it is, and not pretending to be anything else.


One of the most satisfying candy bars out there, Snickers targeted their slogan after exactly that. “Snickers Satisfies” was the company’s slogan up until 2010, when they launched one of the most successful rebranding campaigns in candy bar history. As the first commercial aired during the first break of Super Bowl XLV, Snickers took advantage of this spotlight to launch their new slogan “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” The commercial featured senior stars Betty White and Abe Vigoda as two representations of fatigued football players, taking hard tackles throughout the game. Upon eating Snickers bars, they effectively become “themselves” again. The humor incorporated greatly benefitted the company, as global sales following the ad campaign increased by 15.9%.

Expanding Your Social Media Reach (Part 1)

Social media can be a gift and a curse. From a branding perspective, certain things such as effective advertising, can be enhanced through social media.  Social media marketing, on the other hand, may be more difficult , as your targeted audience is not guaranteed to be reached. For those in charge of marketing, it’s easy to miss opportunities that may increase the number of people who see your product or service. Effective tactics can be frequently overlooked, and in turn, disregarded, while you could end up spending a great deal of time on something that has virtually no impact on your social media reach, and thus harm business.

In the United States alone, 1.96 billion people use social media to some extent, and that number is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018. Tapping into this market is crucial for a successful business, with the largest platforms to do so being Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, just to name a few. On these sites, you can build a proficient social media following through many different ways.


Having your business’s page, or even individual posts shared is an extremely effective way to increase your following. In order to get shares, you must motivate and engage people. Running a contest is a powerful way to brand your product or service. Rather than simply saying “Share our page,” offer a giveaway for anyone who does share a specific post. Seeing “share to win” on one’s news feed will immediately grab the attention of the person seeing the post. Not only does this engage and reward those who have already been following you, but it increases the potential for others to see your page who may not have before.

Call to actions in general are great tools in reaching your targeted audience through Facebook. “Like our page for more!” or “Comment below if you agree!” are tactics that can engage those who truly wish to learn more and share their opinions. But, this is something that should not be overdone. A page that posts nothing but pleas for attention will be continuously ignored.

Use images as well. Photos make up 75% of the content shared on Facebook since 2014, and have an 87% interaction rate among users. It’s pretty simple. Visuals are much easier to process than text.


As the third largest social media site in the world behind Facebook and YouTube, Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses if used correctly. First, you’ll need followers. Otherwise, who is going to see what you post? One thing you can do is run a Twitter campaign. Here, you can send out promoted tweets that will reach a specified audience based on geographical location, interests, and language. While this is a great way to grow your followers, it can be expensive.

Short on cash? Don’t worry, there are some free strategies to increase your followers including following others yourself, using hashtags relevant to your target audience, and scheduling tweets to be posted at times when most people are using the site. Adding links to tweets is a proven way to engage more people as well. Posts that provide the convenience of information without asking readers to look it up themselves are much more appreciated.

And don’t forget to establish your brand through Twitter. Update your bio with relevant information about you or your business, and make sure people know what they can expect by following you.