Marketing manager with a passion for mobile games. Writer and lasagna lover.
It’s not a secret that Facebook policy for ads is rigid and anyone may experience the painful situation of disapproval. Someone gives up and go with another Ad Network, others decide to play nice and adjust the ad. But what to do if the application specifics have the upper hand? How to avoid “images that are scary, gory or sensational” if you’re promoting a new zombie shooter game? Or why you should not use "before-and-after" images while advertising a fitness app, you want to show all the pros of your app, don’t you? In this Facebook ads guide, we focus on 3 main app categories that may rather suffer from Facebook ads policy in 2019: games (especially shooters and racings), dating apps (with all that inability to show sexuality in the ad) and health & fitness.
I do not encourage you to violate Facebook rules. Instead, I give you examples of how your category-mates use clever tricks in order to promote the app best way possible and do not be rejected over and over again.
Facebook: Ads must not contain adult content. This includes nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative.
Facebook restricts advertisers from using images that show sexuality or nudity and here is where publishers may boil over “How can I advertise my dating app if I can’t show everyone all those beautiful single people that are waiting to go on date?” It’s all against you, uh? There is a solution that many publishers use already: instead of focusing on beautiful naked girls (or men), show the user what he finally gets from using the application - couples in love, happy honeymooners who met thanks to the dating app. This way you are replacing one concept with another - a more positive and “pleasant” to Facebook.
And if you are creating a dating app for one-night stand only, at least try to replace obviously sexual lines with euphemisms: “do you have any plans for tonight?” instead of “looking for quick f*ck right now?!”
Facebook: Ads must not contain shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content.
This rule can be a big problem for the creators of shooters and racings because advertising often reflects the gameplay, and Facebook does not accept the "cruel" ads. This means that you should refrain from shooting, killing people or animals, catastrophes, and so on. Looks like a challenge? Here is a trick: in the light of your ad, replace the violent elements with another familiar image. This task was brilliantly handled by the Sniper 3D Assassin: Gun Games. Just look how the image of the people seen through the gunsight turns into the people seen through the binocular!
This example shows that while a sniper shoots a man, on Facebook, a sniper shoots gas cans. This helps to avoid excessive cruelty in advertising and to make it more Facebook-friendly.
If you advertise a racing app and definitely want to use an image of crushed cars in your ad in order to create a dynamic and tense atmosphere, simply replace the car wreck with other elements that do not indicate a breakdown and a catastrophe: sparks, pieces of a fence or a pillar.
The gun image itself should not prevent the approval of the advertisement, but if you have already had a bad experience or “just in case” you can make this image less obvious. For example, like this.
Facebook: Ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes. This includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name.
Besides the above, Facebook interdicts using the word "other" to reference a personal characteristic, for example: “Meet other black singles near you!” but what if you turn it this way? ;)
Facebook: Ads must not contain "before-and-after" images or images that contain unexpected or unlikely results. Ad content must not imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health related products.
Returning to the category Health & Fitness that often suffer from this rule, we want to share a few nice examples with you. This smart advertiser does not use “before-and-after” images but still create some sense of comparison.
You don’t have to be pointing directly at the overweight if you can just highlight the belly zone with a different color.