With my latest Kickstarter for “Out of the Woods” I’ve had to invest significant time, creativity, and money into a large-scale Facebook ad campaign. Kickstarter campaigns live and die by their ability to attract eyeballs.
We began pre-campaign marketing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram nearly two months before the Kickstarter launch. We grew the “Out of the Woods” Facebook page audience from 0 to 16,000 in that time, doubling our mailing list audience, and growing our other social channels similarly.
During the campaign, we’ve constantly run a series of Facebooks ads which feature artwork from the game and illustrated book. Among these images are illustrations from some of the most violent scenes in fairy tale lore – for example, the severed heads of the “the wives” from Bluebeard:
Facebook has accepted these advertisements and happily taken their fee for impressions and click-throughs. In the background, their advertising platform analyses ad performance and automatically promotes image/text/audience combinations which perform best.
Well-performing ads are good for everyone in the advertising equation – Facebook likes ads which engage and excite people while delivering a high CTR; advertisers like ads which maintain a high CTR and low CPI; while audiences like advertising which appeals to their interests and gives them an entertaining impression.
With all this going on I find it amusing when Facebook rejects an advertising image because a person (or automated review program) finds it offensive on the ground of being too sexually explicit. Even more amusing is when this happens in relation to an image which is relatively tame. This is a good case in point:
Game industry media have picked up on this story and found it similarly amusing. But there’s also a sad statement made when a platform like Facebook embraces violence and gore while rejecting the human form and any hint of sexuality. People often try to blame video game content for (mis)-shaping the minds of adolescents – but what of the near-constant barrage of messaging (or messaging by omission) presented in advertising?
I think Facebook has a fine system in place for automatically giving advertisers and audiences what they want. That system should be allowed to determine what works and what appeals. It’s not Facebook’s place to nanny us and filter the content we consume – any more than it’s their place to filter the news we read. Build a platform which caters to what people want to consume – and let the people decide!
Do you want to send a message to Facebook and tell them you’ll decide what sort of content you consume? Consider backing “Out of the Woods” and show your support for independent creativity and artistic expression of the human condition.
Hit this link to learn more —> “Out of the Woods” on Kickstarter