What Muslim Brands Must Know About  Meta’s AI-driven Advertising

What Muslim Brands Must Know About  Meta’s AI-driven Advertising

When Meta decided to shut down the ability for Facebook advertisers to serve ads based on religion and ethnicity, Muslim brands struggled to find an alternative solution. At Muslim Ad Network, we were able to help you to a certain extent with our guide for serving ads to Muslims on Facebook.

But after more privacy-based restrictions forced Meta to trim down its ad-targeting capabilities even further, they have moved in another direction to make its advertising machine even stronger than it was before.

In this article, we take a look at what steps Meta has taken and what this means for you as a business that serves ads to Muslims.

A quick word of warning before we start though. Meta specifically decided to remove the ability to serve ads based on religious interest, ethnicity, and political affiliation. So, this article does not aim to show you a way around it.

Using AI-driven advertising to serve ads to Muslim audiences necessitates cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity. It is critical to avoid stereotyping and assumptions about any group, including Muslims, and to tailor advertising to each person's individual interests and needs, rather than solely based on their religious affiliation. Furthermore, it is critical to prioritize user privacy and ensure that any data collected is used ethically and transparently.

So What Has Meta Been Up To?

It all started with Apple’s iOS privacy changes in April 2021, which Meta predicted would cost the company $10 billion in revenue, in 2022. The privacy feature stops the behind-the-scenes mechanics of many mobile advertisements.

It’s on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business.

– Meta CFO, Dave Wehner, as reported on CNBC

In response to these developments, Meta launched Advantage+, which uses AI to automatically generate multiple advertisements based on the marketer’s specific objectives.

Advantage+ makes ad creation easier by handling audience selection and ad creative elements for you. Simply enter the campaign dates and budget, as well as your creative assets and Meta’s machine learning-powered processes will take care of the rest. That’s it!

According to Meta:

Rather than manually testing many campaigns and parsing through separate targeting, creative, placements, and budget setups, advertisers can now more quickly and efficiently create up to 150 creative combinations at once by setting up a single Advantage+ shopping campaign.

Why Advantage+ is Not Advantageous for Serving Ads to Muslims

Let us look at the three main features that Advantage+ offers as outlined by Insider Intelligence:

  1. A single shopping campaign allows you to create 150 creative combinations as an advertiser. Based on where customers are in their purchasing journey, machine learning models learn which creative resonates best with them.
  2. Advantage+ makes prospecting and retargeting customers easier by combining new and existing audiences into a single campaign as, according to Meta, 52% of surveyed consumers want to discover new brands and products that match their shopping preferences.
  3. Advantage+ serves the highest-performing ad variation to the highest-value shoppers, while automated optimization ensures campaigns continue to improve at matching individuals to the right advertisement at the ideal moment.

The three trillion dollar question is: how will you specifically target Muslim audiences while relying on Meta’s automated targeting? Instead of you selecting your own audience, the system uses the data that it has available. Furthermore, due to changes in data collection processes, Meta may not have enough data to reach those segments in the first place. 

Here is the entire Advantage+ catalog.
An article in the Financial Times, published in February 2023, highlights the differences in opinion between marketers who have used Advantage+. While people like Roberto Mendoza of iProspect mention that their clients earned $7 for every $1 spent on a website advertising campaign through Advantage+, one UK-based game company declared that

We have now made the active decision not to use the Advantage+ feature due to the amount of control that you have to give up as a marketer.

This quote should resonate with Muslim brands and marketers because relinquishing so much control can lead to forgoing Islamic Advertising Principles that do not only protect the Muslim consumer but also your brand’s reputation with Muslims.

Over time, Meta intends to use generative AI. Generative AI is an artificial intelligence technology that can generate various types of content such as text, imagery, audio, and synthetic data. 

Meta plans to use this in its ad systems to generate content such as graphics, allowing it to rapidly tweak text and images in campaigns based on user responses at a quicker pace than ever before.

In April 2023, Meta announced plans to release a generative AI product that can be utilized to build ads for its platforms by the end of the year.

It remains to be seen whether any of the AI advertising tools that Meta will continue to launch can aid in the specific ad targeting of Muslim consumers in any way. As always, Muslim Ad  Network will keep you updated with the latest relevant news for advertising to Muslims. Feel free to subscribe to the MAN newsletter to get all the news and trends about the Muslim consumer market.

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