The Genius Genie and The Infinite Ad Budget

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Feb. 11 2016

Before you submit your next campaign budget proposal, I want you to consider this fairy tale:


“Once upon a time in a town along the Rubber River, there was a young, brilliant, aspiring child who invented a magnificent new toy. This toy was better than all of the toys in the world and she knew it. She wanted so badly to be able to make a million copies of her new toy and share them with every child in the world. The problem was that she only had five gold coins saved up and each toy cost one gold coin to make. The child was devastated. She was sure if she had more coins, she could spread her happiness around the entire world.


Then, walking home one day, she discovered a blue lamp with a weird f inscribed on the side. She picked it up and attempted to rub some of the dirt off.


Suddenly, “POOF!” Out popped a curly haired, slightly overweight, genie in a grey hoodie.


“Well, hello.” said the genie with an extremely confident awkwardness. Just enough weird for the girl to immediately know he was a genius. 


“Hu hu Hi” said the stunned girl.


“Thank you for opening and connecting with me. What’s on your mind?” replied the genie.




“Umm, nothing? Do i get three wishes or something?” asked the girl, still struggling to believe this was real life.

“Well I’m not a normal genie, my name is ROí. You see, I’m actually a special genie that can take anything you give me and give you back more.”


The girl looked at him skeptically.


“Anything?” she challenged.


He nodded.




Slowly, the girl reached down into her pocket and pulled out her gold coins. She clenched them tightly in her fist and thought of her toy. She then slowly handed the genie one coin.


The genie took the coin and instantly handed her back two coins. 


The girl was so excited she immediately handed the genie all six coins; just as quickly, he handed her back 12 coins! 


The girl looked at the 12 coins and exclaimed, “Thank you so much weird genie man!” 


Perplexed, the genie asked, “Is that all?”


The girl replied “I only have two pockets, no room for more.” She took the coins and skipped home.


Now there are 12 really happy kids in the girl’s town; but there are 999,988 sad kids around the world.


The End


Now, pull back up your budget sheet. In your digital ad budget column, put this symbol: ∞ and hit send.

When your boss asks you if you’re crazy, tell him the story of the little girl. Because when you find a genie willing to take your money and give you back more than you put in, keep giving him money until he curls back up in his cute little lamp.

In all seriousness though my hope is that this “fairytale” helps to shape the way you think about budgeting for digital advertising. The goal should not be to take a fixed amount of money and generate the largest possible return, instead the goal should be to use the smallest amount of money possible to find a profitable sales funnel (that meets your target CPA) and then scale up spending as long as you are able to maintain that return.




Have you created the world’s most amazing new “toy” and want to make sure millions of people can find it? Let us help build your very own genie. To learn more about Common Thread Collective, visit  

For more info on The Genius Genie and the Infinite Ad Budget, watch this video:

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