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Finding Dax: An Experiment in Super Targeted Facebook Ads

Open Oceans recently hired our first Senior Account Manager, Zack. A smart, funny, hard working guy, who is also my younger brother, Zack is a perfect fit for our team, but he doesn’t have quite the same background in ad tech that Trent and I do. So, Trent and I have been putting together a set of tests to help Zack get up to speed in fun, efficient ways. Our first mission for Zack: Reach our Mom, Erin Gaston, with a Facebook ad that would motivate her to call me (it’s always nice to talk to Mom). Facebook targeting is very powerful, combining a robust demographic, behavioral and interest targeting to allow advertisers to hit very specific audience segments. However, Facebook’s defaults are built to light money on fire by serving impressions to broad audiences in ineffective auctions. For this reason, it is very important that Facebook advertisers have a solid understanding of how they can define their targets to only reach the people with whom they want to communicate. What better way to build this understanding than to focus on targeting one specific person. Zack dug in quickly, using all of his knowledge from Facebook Blueprint to develop a targeting set that would get impressions in front of our Mom. Zack used geotargeting, based off of her home address, as well as age, gender and interest targeting (Mom likes travel, politics and fine wine).

He then created an ad custom built to catch our Mom’s eye using her favorite thing in the world, her adorable dog Dax. Zack created a carousel ad with a clear message (Call Ben) and a creative set that he knew would work.

Zack launched the ad at noon on a Thursday. Later that night I got a call from my mom. Nice work, Zack. This test really reminded us of how powerful Facebook can be. We wanted a particular person to not only see our ads, but to notice them, engage and follow a call to action. We were able to do that very quickly, with relatively low spend. This type of targeted, outcome focused customer engagement is vital to growing a business, and Facebook makes it scalable. If you are interested in learning more about how thoughtful, well targeted advertising can help you grow your business, drop me an email at


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