It all started back in December 2017.
When I found myself dog-sitting for a friend at an empty house. An entire weekend all to myself.
As any and all good marketers know, having what's called a "swipe" file or a collection of ads, letters and other marketing collateral is a good thing. It helps you see what works out there, in the market.
With good intentions.
Where you take what works, and model it, not just straight up copy it all.
Up till that point I've been a student of deep human psychology, marketing and persuasion principles for a number of years, and I've gathered quite an extensive library of "swipe" files where I can look up what sort of marketing message would work for all sorts industries - local business, service based business, e-commerce, information marketing, you name it...
As such, every time I came across an interesting Facebook ad that caught my attention, I'd screenshot it and file it away in my handy "swipe" file.
It was on that weekend when I came up with the idea to write up a script that would save ad posts that showed up on my Facebook feed and file them away in a database, soon to be called AdSwiper.
When I'd mention this tool to people around marketing masterminds, everybody wanted to have it...
So we checked into the lay of the land.
It was about that time that many other big "ad spy" tools got shut down. BigBigAds, Adsviser, AdFox, and several others.
AdEspresso, a certified marketing partner with Facebook, had their ad examples database running without an issue.
So we looked into what was the difference. Most that were shut down were using fake accounts and spider scripts to automatically scroll through Facebook feed to load their database of ads.
Plus some were selling their data, which I also knew to be a big No-No.
Given that AdEspresso had theirs up and running without an issue, I thought, OK they must know what they're doing. So I modelled them.
Made AdSwiper free to use (because you can't sell Facebook data), and made the ad aggregation rely on a community of like-minded marketers who wanted to study the craft and make the world a better place for all involved.
A bit later on, Aug 17, 2018 to be exact (it took 6 months for the free app to catch on), I wanted to make sure that Facebook was indeed OK with what I was doing...
To which I was able to get AdSwiper reviewed and approved by Facebook: