New Orleans Pizzeria Finds Facebook Ad Unappetizing

Thursday, 17 May 2012 11:23 AM

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New Orleans pizzeria Pizza Delicious tried to do what many big-time companies like GM couldn't — successfully run ads on the iconic Facebook social network.

Results came up a little cold.

Looking to make some money, pizzeria owners Michael Friedman and Greg Augarten figured they'd take out Facebook ads, National Public Radio reports, tracking their progress.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

They started by targeting friends who had already "liked" them on Facebook, which basically covered 74 percent of people in New Orleans on Facebook — 224,000 people, NPR reports.

Too broad.

The owners then narrowed their sights on people in the area who might like New York-style pizza, so they targeted fans of the Jets, the Knicks and even deceased New York rapper Notorious B.I.G.

The list fell to 15,000 people, so they went with the ad.

Too narrow, and no clicks, and no clicks means Facebook pulls the ad.

The owners then sought out people who were fans of Italian food in New Orleans, which garnished up a list of 30,000.

Just right: Lots of clicks and more Facebook friends, but no bump up in business.

The ad cost $240 — costing them a little less than a dollar for each new fan that came to the Pizza Delicious page via the ad — and it also reached someone who donated $10 to the new business.

"Is that feeling of exhilaration worth $240?" asks Pizza Delicious co-owner Michael Friedman on NPR. "I don't know — hopefully that translates into new business."

Like Pizza Delicious, many companies are finding the venue a great place to kill time at work, but not a hot place to drum up work.

General Motors has said it's pulling its ads on Facebook, whose initial public offering could fetch more than $18.4 billion.

Considering GM is one of the country's leading advertisers, doubts are arising as how Facebook will serve as a unique platform for advertisers.

"This does highlight what we are arguing is the riskiness of the overall Facebook business model," says Brian Wieser, Internet and media analyst at Pivotal Research Group, according to Reuters.

"It is not a sure thing. It sure looks likely that it will be one of the most important ad-supported media properties, but it's not certain because there will be marketers who are challenged to prove the effectiveness of the marketing vehicle."

Other advertising experts say it's too early to dismiss Facebook as a good advertising conduit to target customers.

"There's a lot of potential but it's not a slam-dunk," says Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Plc, the world's largest advertising agency, Reuters adds.

"Showing the impact of branding on Facebook is going to take a long time."
Ford Motors, meanwhile, will continue paying Facebook to run ads.

"You just can't buy your way into Facebook," Ford spokesman Scott Monty tells Reuters.

"You need to have a credible presence and be doing innovative things."

More than 20 percent of Ford's marketing budget is spent on digital and social media.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.



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