Social Media Targeted Advertising

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Advertisements displayed throughout social media serve as a way to target specific individuals to purchase a product or subscription relative to the potential customer’s interests. Typically, advertisements that are presented are based off of the user’s activity and/or search history to target the intended audience, and, therefore, the advertisements suggest a somewhat accurate depiction of the user’s ‘real identity’. Speaking from personal experience, I’d say that the advertisements displayed to social media users are pretty accurate in regard to their daily lives as well as their interests.

For example, two advertisements I’ve recently stumbled upon in my social media accounts were ShieldsofStrength and GymShark, which accurately depict my ‘real identity’. ShieldsofStrength is an online store that provides faith-inspired Christian fitness jewelry, as depicted in the advertisement. Similarly, in the following advertisement, GymShark promotes products consisting of workout attire and gym essentials, as opposed to the former. Conclusively, both advertisements are targeted to individuals such as myself, who are interested in both fitness and are devoted to living a christian lifestyle.

Both advertisements are complementary to each other in that they share a common purpose with a similar audience: to inspire Christians who take delight in fitness by using clothing and jewelry for motivation, ultimately leading them one step closer to achieving their personal goals. I believe both of these advertisements would appeal to users who have shown interest in fitness-related activities as well as living a Christian lifestyle, as stated previously. Based on my online search criteria and my interests, I can conclude that both advertisers view my advertising identity as an athletic, weight-lifting teenager, utilizing gym essentials and faith-inspired jewelry as effective tools in my workouts and activities.

There are, however, key differences in the targeted audience of the advertisements as well, which highlights a disconnect between the user’s ‘real identity’ and the ‘advertising identity’. For example, the ShieldsofStrength advertisement clearly states that it provides Christian fitness jewelry and related accessories. This ad appears to be targeted to individuals who are religious and call themselves a Christian. The advertisement may have been triggered by my searching for fitness jewelry, and does not entirely match my knowledge of Christianity, which shows the differerence between my ‘advertising’ and ‘real’ identities.

On the contrary, the GymShark advertisement doesn’t present any claims directly. Instead, the advertisement displays photos of various people wearing fitness attire, suggesting that any claims made by this ad are implied, and not directly stated. This advertisement appears to be targetting users who have an interest in fitness and athletics, which is much closer to my ‘real identity’. Although both of these advertisements are directed towards individuals who take delight in fitness and their overall well-being both physically and spiritually, it is not possible for every ad to be specifically targetted toward’s a person’s ‘real identity’.

Advertisements are present throughout social media platforms almost all the time, and I believe that it is important for all users to be informed consumers. That way, we can view these advertisements with some understanding of why advertisers are attempting to target us. For the most part, I believe the ‘advertising identity’ my social media accounts indicate for me is accurate. My lifestyle consists of being a fitness addict and concerned about my general well-being, both physically and spiritually. Advertisers were able to somewhat pinpoint what my general interests are. I find it interesting to know as I stumble upon future advertisements throughout social media.


Cite this paper

Social Media Targeted Advertising. (2021, Jun 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/social-media-targeted-advertising/

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