I’m sure you’ve seen the Capital One ad with Alec Baldwin, right? The one that has Alec walking through an airport, mugging for the camera and plugging Capital One’s new Venture Miles?


Well, it’s not an OK TV ad, actually. Alec’s celebrity status gets your attention, and the ad actually capitalizes on that attention by making a decent offer: earn airline miles that actually work, with no restrictions and the flexibility to fly any airline.


Except, it’s not such a hot offer that I’m likely to stop watching TV and run to my computer or learn more online through my smart phone. It sort of just stays there in the back of one’s mind.


And that’s where a good online ad can leverage the TV Campaigns success to actually bring in the sale. So I was hardly surprised to find the following Capital One Facebook Ad:




Smart move, Capital One. But how well does your Facebook Ad work, and could it be made even better? Let’s take it apart to find out:

The Picture: Celebrity Ads Do Get (At Least Some) Attention


Just like with the TV Ads, the Facebook Ad benefits from Alec Baldwin’s presence. If the ad’s picture was just of an average joe, it’d never grab the eye. But because it’s of Alec’s face, mugging for the camera, the ad does indeed get your attention.


And because the picture shows him holding the card and is headlined by a “Venture Miles Are Better” callout, the reader is quickly abled to link the Facebook ad to the TV ad. Viewers who were interested from the TV Campaign realize they now have a convenient chance to learn more.

The Body Copy


The first sentence of the body copy is brilliant. It reiterates the Venture Miles offer and does so in Alec’s “voice,” using the first person “I get Double Miles” to kick things off. Great job.


And then things fall apart…

The Call to Action


The tail end of that first sentence forms an implied call to action; the “shouldn’t you” implies that if you’re not, you should do something about it, supposedly by applying for a Capital One card.


But then, instead of further motivating the Facebook browser to actually, stop their Facebooking and click through, the ad goes right back into “imitating Alec’s TV AD Persona” mode. The smug “I wouldn’t settle for anything else” synchs up with the TV ad rather nicely, but does little esle besides, and in fact drops the ball for the entire ad, in my opinion.


What’s needed at that point is not to further tie the Facebook Ad to the TV campaign (it’s already achieved that), but to inspire the click-through with some incentive/time deadline/sense of urgency/etc


Facebook advertising isn’t PPC advertising: you aren’t aiding an already-initiated search for the product or information, but interrupting a pleasant leisure-time task. That you’re facing people who might be interested in your product, but who are uninterested in pursuing it right now because they dont want to stop what they’re already doing.


So you gotta give ‘em a reason. What’s so important you gotta do it now?


For this ad, that final statement might sound something like: “Transfer your current card’s balance and get up to 1500 bonus airline miles – all in 10 minutes or less.”


That’s a statement that gives people the incentive to get off their butts now and reassures them how fast they’ll be able to return to their Facebooking fun.