When I was procrastinating today, I noticed that Facebook has introduced advertisements in videos uploaded by users and pages now.  I noticed this when I was watching a teaser for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere one of those “life hack” videos appeared. In this video, a bottle of Coca-Cola was being sawed into bits and glued onto a Coca-Cola can to create a rather pointless can with an unscrew-able lid. Beneath the video showed “Products shown in this video” and had a link to follow to go to Coca-Cola’s Facebook page, or another link to go to the Life Hack video page. I thought nothing of it, waited for it to finish and continued procrastinating and watched the rest of the teaser.

The Pirates of the Caribbean video I was watching was just the teaser for the movie, and had a link in the description to follow to see the full trailer on YouTube. I noticed at this point that I had been exposed to marketing for the movie, for the life hack website, Coca-Cola, and now YouTube, so out of curiosity this time (instead of procrastination), I followed the link to see how deep this string of advertisements will go.

Once on YouTube, before watching the trailer, there was a 5 minute trailer at the beginning of the video, for a completely unrelated short film/documentary about a man driving across the Antarctic. Within this ad was only on brand of car; Hyundai. On the video, it left links to click on to visit either the full video for the film/documentary, or Hyundai’s website. The video didn’t provide an option to skip the ad like YouTube usually does, and I found that quite odd, so I watched the rest of the video, still hoping to just watch the Pirates of the Caribbean trailer.

At the end of the ad, yet another ad shows up, this time as a pop-up beneath the video, asking if I want to skip remove ads by trying YouTube Red. I selected “No thanks”, and finally at this point, was I finally able to watch my trailer. After about 15 minutes trying to watch one trailer, I was interrupted by 7 different and unrelated videos and other digital marketing materials.

By the end of the trailer, I was exposed to marketing from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the Life Hack Facebook page, the Coca-Cola Facebook page, YouTube, that short film/documentary, Hyundai, and YouTube Red.

I feel like this is really effective marketing by each of these businesses, some marketing materials are more subtle than others, and without me scrutinising each and every detail for this blog, I probably would not have noticed.

After all that trouble to watch one video seeing ads within ads within ads, I have now installed an adblocker to my browser so that I can procrastinate in peace.