The Power of a Sponsored Instagram Ad


Being a millennial who is studying and has interned in the advertising industry, the conversation of sponsored Instagram advertisements is nothing new. Some people hate them, some people love them, but with anything in life, you can’t please everyone, right?

Personally, I really hated them at first. They weren’t geared towards my interests, so they just became a nuisance to my feed.

But after Instagram finally settled on a working algorithm for the ads, I actually found myself accidentally liking the pictures and even going to the brand’s page and following them.

The sponsored advertisement pictured above was mixed in with my feed earlier today. And like a majority of the other sponsored ads in my feed, it made sense.

If I had to guess the primary objective of this ad was, I think it’s pretty obvious. The Silk brand came out with a new product, targeted towards a specific demographic, and through a simple picture and caption, they’re encouraging Silk consumers to buy and try it.

In regards to the specific demographic, they’re targeting women who live a healthy life-style, and even more specific, a dairy free lifestyle. They’re also targeting individuals who are already Silk consumers.

As Facebook Ads Guide explains, the second most important piece of an ad is that your business name is the most prominent aspect of the picture, and that is very much the case with the above ad. The Silk name is the first thing you see, no matter how fast or slow you’re scrolling through your feed, Silk made the wise decision of making their name the most important part of the picture because even if you saw the Silk name for half a second, and you’re a Silk consumer, you’re going to stop scrolling to focus on the product.

Silk continued with their strong decision making and created a simple caption, with a simple image. It’s simple, but the brightness and the colors used in the image aren’t overwhelming, but they are very attractive to a consumers eye.

Truthfully, I think Silk nailed it on the head with this ad. Because I’m a consumer who is a woman who lives a healthy lifestyle (well, as healthy as you can be in college…), this ad jumped right out at me. Due to the copious amounts of healthy food accounts that I follow, this ad blended right into my feed, and I would absolutely be willing to try this product.

Fake News: The Greatest Oxymoron

“I find it ironic that I have to talk about journalism, because I don’t know jack shit about journalism…never studied it”


This is the first thing that Scott Dikkers said to his audience of 100+ at the Burleigh Media Lecture, and to be honest, it perfectly encapsulates his entire story of becoming the founder of The Onion, a newspaper that delivers fake news.

When Dikkers bought The Onion for a whopping $3,000, he became the sole responsibility for filling 8-12 pages of news a week, which, for anyone, is an extremely challenging task to take on. Luckily, Dikkers had plenty of people volunteering to work for Dikkers for free, and eventually, they started getting paid $5/week to create one article each week.

Dikkers didn’t really have much of a strategy when it came to hiring writers. As he explained, “we didn’t search high and low, we just searched low,” and low is exactly what he got. Majority of his staff came in high, drunk, on anti-depressants, or all of the above. Little did he know that over time, these fake news writers would become some of the best writers in the country. The Onion writers have won more awards than the New York Times, and eventually went on to win a plethora of Emmy’s.

As one could only imagine, Dikkers ran into a variety of ethical dilemmas; the phrase “I’m going to sue you out of existence” became a dear friend to Dikkers. That phrase and the variety of other threats that he received never scared him, though.

As time went on, Dikkers became more confident in his writers, and The Onion really began settling into its own voice. Because the writers were always striving to make one issue better than the next, they settled on the fact that they wanted The Onion to be a serious, yet funny AP parody style newspaper with a satirical voice. After The Onion settled into its own identity as a “news source,” the fake news world really took off.

With the rise of fake news sources, comes the rise of social media presence. Because more and more people depending on the Internet and social media to gather their news, our society becomes very easily overwhelmed and convinced by what we read.

Dikker explains that we are easily convinced to believe everything that we hear because “we all agree with information that is agreeing with our own bias…we like things that aren’t true, we almost prefer them.” Now, who can’t agree with that?

How much politics is “too much” politics?

Where to begin with the Super Bowl advertisements?

I will admit that trying to watch the Super Bowl, while also monitoring Twitter wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but was well worth it.

I don’t think it’s any secret that everything from Lady Gaga’s halftime performance to a handful of the commercial advertisements were criticized for being “too political,” but considering the unfortunate divided nation that we’re currently living in, I think it’s going to be pretty impossible to not incorporate politics into almost everything, especially when it comes to business.

However, I do think it’s important to recognize the fact that FOX was very particular on their political limits when it came to accepting or turning away submitted commercials.

84 Lumber, the brand that received the most commentary, especially on Twitter, was transparent with their followers and respectfully answered the million dollar question that every Super Bowl viewer had, explaining why they cut their commercial off:


After following 84 Lumber closely on Twitter during the remainder of the Super Bowl and for 24 hours after,  I believe that 84 Lumber did an incredible job responding to both the positive and negative tweets.

Not only did 84 Lumber take the time to respond to hundreds of tweets, the company had transparent and consistent messages, they didn’t pick and choose to respond to only the positive tweets, and what most stood out to me, they responded to tweets in the same language that was tweeted to them. For example:



In regards to their consistent messages to followers tweets, 84 Lumber killed the game. To the people who complimented their work and thanked and praised them, 84 Lumber kindly thanked each and every one of them. To those that didn’t agree with the commercial’s message, 84 Lumber replied back with the same exact message (below). Through this subtle but effect, consistent and simple messaging and branding, I have gained a whole new respect for a company that I had never even heard of before the Super Bowl.


I gotta hand it to a variety of other brands like T-Mobile, who also did a great job responding to their followers on Twitter, but I think 84 Lumber takes the cake this Super Bowl.

Only 362 more days till the next Super Bowl, but who’s counting, right?