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Lara’s Purple Butt Pillow

by | Oct 6, 2017 | Posts

My friend Lara provides a “facebook ads done for you” service. She’s what I consider a real expert. Recently, she published a really insightful article about an age-old problem: how do you know if the marketing works?

You’ve seen the Facebook ads for the purple butt pillow. Lara uses her own customer journey to illustrate how marketing or advertising can be effective, yet still difficult to assign attribution.

Here’s her article re-published with permission.
Original source:



/\ See that picture right there? I bought that piece of genius for $80 after seeing a Facebook Ad. 2 full months after seeing the ad.I want to tell you why I bought it. Why it took 2 months. Why I’m happy about the product. Why the ad worked (eventually). And why the advertiser will never get credit for that sale.

It was a damn fine ad. Funny, inventive, feed-disrupting. I saved the ad to “study,” yes.
I thought it was rather clever and might inspire some of my clients.
I also saved it because it spoke to me.

YES, I DO sit on my butt quite a lot.
NO, I had not heretofore thought of sitting on an egg, but now it’s entered my mind, thank you.
YES, my butt COULD be more comfortable. You’re quite right. I spend a lot of my time sitting on my butt, in front of my computer.

​But $80? That seems a bit steep for a butt pillow, doesn’t it?

And what follows  is really, truly, the conversation my consumer mind had with my, um Other (I guess) mind. Of which we should we all take note. Not because I’m the average consumer.

I am clearly very, very, weird. But because the average consumer is probably equally weird in their own way. And this is the shit that goes on in our heads before we buy something that we need/want.

Really, Lara, is $80 so insane? I mean, you literally sit on your butt 8-15 hours a day. In the grand scheme of things, not so expensive.

Hmmmm. Perhaps you’re right. I’ll read some testimonials. I mean, it can’t really be that incredible.

These testimonials are incredibly good.

Well, sure, everybody on their site LOVES it. I’ll go see what they have to say on Amazon.

BAM! Amazon loves it, too. Why not get it?

There are people suffering in the world and I’m going to buy an $80 butt pillow? I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right.

Ask the kids what they think.

Kids what do you think about a purple butt pillow?

OMG, PURPLE! They’re the best! Have you seen this one? (Whips out phone, pulls up yet another cool ad).

((Look again at site.))
Figure I can save $2.32 on shipping by buying through Amazon AND get it faster.

Buys Purple Butt Pillow.

Realizes Purple Butt Pillow is a teaching moment. ​


Technically, I bought this butt pillow after seeing an ad. But whoever is watching the ad reports will never know it and never get credit for it.

Conversions are only counted when they happen 1 day after viewing an ad OR 7 days after clicking on it.

What’s worse, I didn’t even buy it from the website. I bought it from Amazon.

THIS, man. This is why it drives us marketers NUTS when you ask us about ROI.  Purple probably had plenty of sales to show on their website and in that window.

But mine wasn’t one of them.
 I bought their butt pillow a FULL two months after seeing that ad. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I thought about that butt pillow every day for 10 hours sitting on the cold, hard, bench that (was) my workspace.

I got weird about spending money on a “luxury” item – it’s a BUTT PILLOW! I read reviews on several sites.

But the Butt Pillow WON. And I won. It’s truly a fantastic butt pillow.


Hearts are NOT won in the 7 day click window.

That’s NOT where the ROI is. 

My purchase and brand loyalty came from relentless (but also joyous, fun ad) repetition and an indelible mark on my psyche’s concern for my derriere.  That, ahem, I apparently did not even know existed.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  That’s something I like to say a lot with new clients. It helps me manage the expectations of those who think FB ads will be a silver bullet.

But now, I think I’ll just say “Butt Pillow.”

When the Marathon becomes a Marathon.

I like this brand, I really do. But now that I’m in their “Remarketing” Audience, I see Purple ads in my feed 6 times a day.

Yeah, it’s probably too much. At some point, as much as I like them, I’m going to start clicking the carrot that signals to FB that ‘I don’t want to see these ads anymore.’ 

You can totally do that anytime, by the way. And do – it helps you, the advertiser, everybody.

I haven’t yet, because I really dig Purple ads. And if I click that button, I won’t see Purple ads anymore. But that day is coming soon. Like maybe tomorrow.

Because, I have to assume, nobody is watching those insanely valuable Remarketing audiences. I have to assume that if Purple knew they were PUMMELING customers this way, they wouldn’t.

The Moral Of The Story

The moral of this story is an example of both the POWER and Abuse of ads.

This is a story about how long it can take a “normal” human to come to trust a brand new-to-her. Even when the ad and targeting is insanely good.

​It’s a story I tell go to and understand why it’s important to start now.

And it’s a story about how quickly that hard-won trust can be tried when taken for granted.