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Published April 14, 2020


I fell again for a Facebook ad

By John Toth / The Bulletin

We’ll return to the virus wall-to-wall coverage after this well-deserved break, so that we can bring you a story about something other than virus.

I usually am not much of a sucker for ads on Facebook, but this one caught my eye, and I clicked on it - a pair of deeply discounted “Touch Control Wireless Earbuds.”

I realized that the discount was probably exaggerated, but I got it anyway for what I deemed was a good price. I read the reviews. We’ll see when they get here if they are as good as the ad said.

I shop locally whenever possible and only buy things online that I cannot find in nearby stores. These earbuds are a China knockoff specialty item that I’m sure nobody around here carries.

Two Christmases ago I bought from a Facebook ad two stuffed animals (I think they are chipmunks) that repeat in a squeaky voice what you say. They were hilarious when they got here - three weeks after Christmas.

Since then, I have refrained from buying from these ads, no matter how incredible of a deal they claim to be.

They said you can wear these earbuds while swimming underwater, which I seldom do because I like to keep my head above water. They claim that it matches the sound quality of much more expensive earbuds. I hope they are right. If not, I can return them within 30 days, but we all know how that goes. They claim that the charging time is super fast. The charger even has colorful lights on it to let you know that it is working.

These Facebook commercials always look great, but oftentimes the comments will give a more accurate picture. I go for the worst ones. If they are not all that bad, the warning bell turns down a notch.

Before baseball season was canceled, I saw an ad for black Astros T-shirts for $28 that just have the logo and the words “Hate Us.”

That’s a lot more than what I would spend on a T-shirt, anyway, but I went to the comments section and saw that most people were not that impressed.
“I would never buy this T-Shirt,” said one contributor.

“I don’t hate the Astros, nor any other baseball team that cheats,” wrote another.

Whoever came up with this bright idea doesn’t know H-Town. A day later, the same ad popped up, but this time the comments were erased. Good move.

Because I clicked on the ads, the Big Brother Facebook computers decided that I should see more ads just like it. There were several “Hate Us” shirt peddlers out there. I usually support free enterprise, but I hope Astros fans are better than this when the season starts - whenever that may be.

As soon as I paid for the earbuds - which became more expensive at checkout because of an $8 shipping charge - Big Brother Facebook decided that I should be subjected to many other earbud ads very similar to the one I bought. I mean, every second post on my thread wanted me to buy another earbud.

Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of targeted advertising? After buying a set, I would not be in the mood to buy another one, or a third, or a sixth.

I know that ads pay the bills. I’m in the business. I enjoy seeing them. They break up the flow of funny cartoons, jokes, pet and vacation photos and political self-righteousness.

Look, there’s a gadget that makes dumplings. And waterproof slacks that you can’t even cut with a sharp knife. What’s this? A way to fix windshield cracks?
What deals. I think it’s time to shut this thing off.

(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)