10 Apr

It’s not every day I get to slag off one of my own ads but I’m always up for doing something new, so here goes. Recently, I created a TV commercial for the Suzuki Vitara. It looks like this:

Cantata Vitara

As with all advertising, any ad good enough to make it on TV needs to have a life online. Naturally, we have placed it on YouTube and, as you would expect, the Suzuki Facebook page directs visitors to Youtube to watch the ad. So far, all so very good. However, let’s look a little closer at what is going on on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.13.32

It looks great. Getting on for two million views and 1500 likes, less than a week after the ad first went on air. Now, I fully appreciate that if an ad appears on TV in a half decent show on a terrestrial channel (which, thankfully, ours does), around 2 million people will see it every time it airs. Hopefully, at least 1500 of them will like what they see. But these Facebook stats are special, aren’t they? Surely these 1.7million viewers are people who have GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY to watch our ad. Surely that must mean something very positive for Suzuki?

Well, let’s see what is really going on. The Suzuki Cars UK Facebook page currently has around 34,000 fans.It could be that each of these die-hards has watched watched the advert over 50 times. But when I visit YouTube, where the film is hosted, I see that it has received just over 1000 views. So what does 1,747,560 views mean? Views to the Suzuki Facebook page? That seems unlikely, and it certainly looks as if this is the tally of viewers of the ad. But we know that it cat be viewers of the ad. So what can it be? A lie? Surely not!

One thing is certain: someone somewhere is being a little free and easy with their numbers. Is it Suzuki? Is it Facebook? My gut feeling is the latter. By amplifying its viewer figures, Facebook is better able to equip media sales teams with sexy stats that make brands like Suzuki want to spend money with them. And why would Suzuki exaggerate the number of people who have watched their ad, yet not multiply the number of people who like their page? (At least not to the same exaggerated extent.)

All in all, I am left with the firm belief that Facebook stats are at best, misleading and at worst, blatant lies. The maths doesn’t add up and actually works towards damaging Facebook’s already tarnished reputation.

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