How effective are all these ads on social media?

If you're like me, you are served more than 50 a day on average - each with a plea to swipe up, download, install app, learn more, or buy now. The vast majority (read: nearly all) of the ads I am served in my social feeds I don't even notice. I scroll right by without acknowledging their existence.

Sometimes though, it feels like Instagram is eavesdropping on your conversations. Everyone has had this experience, when you see an ad that is so timely and relevant that it cannot be a coincidence.

So which is it? Are mobile ads spot on or totally bunk?

I decided to run an experiment with a survey sample of one. The goal was to collect all the mobile ads that I was served over a long enough period of time that the results would be interesting.

The Rules

Results & Key Takeaways

Random Insights

<aside> <img src="" alt="" width="40px" /> Disclaimers: 1 - This is not a deep dive or teardown of each individual ad creative and strategy. Rather the goal was simple to collect all the mobile advertising that showed up in my feeds and to interact with ads as I would normally. 2 - TikTok and Facebook are underrepresented simply because I don't use those apps very often.


The Good

First off, let's discuss the winners. These were the ads that actually converted, for me. I realize that this is a survey sample of one, but that's what this experiment was all about so take it for what it's worth.

Forecast - A social prediction market

I am interested in the behavior of markets. I've recently become more active on PredictIt. PredictIt is a social predictions market focused on politics, global affairs, and current events. Right now I am placing bets on President Elect Joe Biden's cabinet picks and the voter turnout numbers for the Georgia runoff election.

All of this is a long way of saying that I was a prime candidate for an ad like this one. In retrospect, I think this is a strong ad for the simplicity of the messaging and simple - yet attractive - creative.

Vinovest & Jock Market

I am blown away by how many different apps and marketplaces there are for people to invest in and trade shares of physical goods. By now I am on every "Stock market for Y" app marketer's radar. With Vinovest, I clicked through to view this whitepaper on wine investing. I like this kind of call-to-action because it tells me more about their offering and why I should care.

In the case of Jockmarket, this is just a solid, simple statement of their value proposition as presented by a 3rd party validator (albeit one with questionable credibility...sorry Forbes). This is by no means the best looking ad creative, but they make up for the weak visuals with clarity and social proof.

** & Txtvideoteam**

Another solid, compelling value proposition presented in this Otis ad. This is a bold statement, assuming Otis can actually deliver on this promise. This is a bold statement, assuming Otis can actually deliver on this promise.