Propaganda dictionary – dark ad


Cambridge Analytica, a micro-targeted and 2016 US presidential campaign, introduced another concept to the public – the dark ad.

The dark ad is an online ad that only its target advertiser can see.

Dark advertising reaches recipients very precisely with micro targeting, and is designed to take into account all the weaknesses of the recipient to increase the impact of the ad. Since no one else can see the ad, its creator does not have to consider the negative effects of the message on other audiences.

Figuratively speaking, a politician can increase the rights of minorities while at the same time allowing conservatives a more radical restriction of minority rights. Since the recipient does not see the other recipient’s ad, there is no problem with separate mixed messages.

During the 2016 USA Presidential Election Campaign, Donald Trump’s Facebook campaign created and used approximately 175,000 different, planned targeted and detailed ads.

Additionally, A / B testing, known in Internet marketing, is an option for dark advertising, which allows you to test different messages on the same type of target audience members to select the most effective one, which is then used to influence the entire target audience.

In Estonia, dark advertising logic has been used during the election campaign to speak to both the Estonian and Russian-speaking populations, where differences in messages were often overlooked due to language barriers and differences in information space.

Photo. Screenshot from Facebook