How the HELL are these guys targeting me on Facebook? This is crazy!

RightInTwo

Power Member
Feb 23, 2010
744
388
I'm sure I'm not the first person who has seen this before, but this is driving me nuts. For the second time recently, I have seen a t-shirt company target my Facebook account that inserts my last name on the shirt in the Ad. I've covered up my name of course, but here is the ad:

25ziADw.jpg

This is very powerful messaging and I'm sure that they have a very very high CTR. Does anyone know how the hell they run these ads?

I am assuming that some how they have generated a script that takes a list of people and cross checks their Facebook ID. From there, it can pull the last name of the user and then uses an image script to create images that are then adjusted with the name on the sweat shirt. Anyone have any ideas?
 
In the past, there was the possibility to target names. But I thought FB disabled this feature...
 
It's not that hard to scrape by last name on FB then create a custom audience. They make lots of tshirts each with a different last name and do this. I thought FB stopped allowing these campaigns but maybe something has changed.

Edit: Didn't see that was actually Teespring doing the advertising so this is probably not the case.
 
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A url generates the image with the name on it, like http://whateversomewhere.com/image.php?name=Smith

The ad is loaded with that url as image and it uses the dynamic parameters that some premium accounts are allowed to, kinda like how Ebay and others spam Adwords with custom keywords. Remember, big spenders are allowed to spam.

So basically the ad loads like http://whateversomewhere.com/image.php?name={user.lastname}

A while ago there was a viral that went like "Check whether {name} is a psychopath." and it listed your name there....probably got 99% CTR from the kinds of idiots that believe in social media as a lifestyle.
 
This is not surprising at all. With scripts these days, you could easily mine a Facebook page to target an ad.

With their sophisticated technology, this is pretty easy.

Edit: @bart, that is called string interpolation

You write a string and store the value of a variable in a string. For example,

suppose the price of a beer is $4, you could declare a variable like such

price_of_beer = 4

You could write

"The price of beer is $#{price_of_beer}"

The #{} characters are the interpolation characters, and means that price_of_beer literally isn't rendered, but rather the value of the variable.
 
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The only part I am not understanding is how in the world they are getting these campaigns approved on FB.

From what I understand FB has long since cracked down on UID targeting methods, which before were amazingly effective. It's a clear breach of TOS.

Like the OP I am also regularly targeted for these ads and I don't have a common last name. Generating the UID's isn't the hard part in my eyes it's getting the list approved by FB.

From what I understand the reviewers of lists aren't your account manager, so how are they able to get these lists approved and their accounts staying alive?
 
I completely forgot what Facebook ads look like. Why are you not running AdBlock?
 
I pity the fool who's on BHW and running Adblock. That's like running a race with blinders on. Good luck winning.

It's a different concept for different people. Advertisers like me tend to watch out for ads which we might find convertible, so we don't use adblocker. Others who are in different fields of IM will instead find these ads annoying.

I might sound stupid, but I have a special folder filled with hundreds of capture of ads that I have collected in past few months.
 
It's a different concept for different people. Advertisers like me tend to watch out for ads which we might find convertible, so we don't use adblocker. Others who are in different fields of IM will instead find these ads annoying.

I might sound stupid, but I have a special folder filled with hundreds of capture of ads that I have collected in past few months.

yeah I never run advertising campaigns except for AdWords and I don't block them.
 
I completely forgot what Facebook ads look like. Why are you not running AdBlock?

I love viewing ads on FB actually. It helps me see what is out there. In fact, I fill in some of my interests with extra stuff just so that I get ads for those topics so I can keep a pulse on what people are advertising.
 
Dawg I've been seeing this for a long time too WTF mates! I thought they kill this method after Facbeook sniped Fb sniper or whatever. Any body know how to do this on FB right now? How can I scrape facebook user ids easily?
 
What are you talking about? You can do the same thing on a personal ad account.

I think he is talking about how premium advertisers or people that spend tremendous amounts of cash are able to bend the rules a bit more compared to your average person.
 
Damn. I thought Facebook completely cracked and cancelled the UID targetting method?

Or is teespring somehow affiliated with them? Because most of these ads are disabled for having too much text.
 
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