Does AI Work in Advertising?

The Financial Times just published an article today about the success of Meta’s AI Assistant, Advantage+, in helping with AI targetting, to better increase the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for its advertisers.

The summary from the article above is essentially that since Apple’s recent privacy changes, advertisers no longer able to obtain the user tracking information they could have access to before. Of course, this sounds great for all of us as it appears to increase privacy.

Previously, a third-party “pixel” script on a website could track your browser across all the different websites you visited during an active session. This information would feedback into the Meta advertising platform, and it would use it to provide you with the ads of products or services that you were most likely to purchase.

With this detailed tracking no longer a possibility, Meta has thought really hard about other changes they could do to provide native and relevant ads to its platform users. What they came up with is something called “Advantage+”.

advantage + facebook ads screenshot
The Advantage+ tickbox appears on the final page of promoting a new ad and can be enabled or disabled as required.

Advantage+ is a tracking system that gives access to various data points about you, but not with the same level of granularity as before. For example, when you visit, Meta will be able to tell what kind of device you’re using and where it’s located, but it won’t keep track of your individual visits or search history.

Advantage+ also uses machine learning algorithms to better target ads at you, based on the topics you’re most likely interested in. These algorithms will analyse content such as articles, blog posts, and likes on pages from your account, or groups that you are part of, to serve you the best ads that are most likely to lead to conversion at any given time. It seems that they are also going to give more weight to recent activity on both the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Overall, it seems like a complex AI algorithm, but it seems to work, with ROAS reported almost as high as prior to the privacy changes last year, and individual campaign revenues up to 30% higher than other campaigns that don’t have the Advantage+ AI-enabled.

The Advantage+ system will also automatically test potential ads and select the most effective ones, whilst giving you the option to alter text and images.

However, as with anything in marketing, once too many people start doing it, the effectiveness will drop. At the moment, the Meta Advantage+ option is the best for both seasoned marketers, and also newcomers and it is certainly the way I would recommend for getting started with paid social marketing.

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