Social media has irrevocably transformed the manner in which society communicates and has altered perceptions and attitudes. The proliferation of Facebook usage has connected consumers to each other, to marketers and to brands in a manner that is as inventive, and has altered the world as we know it. However, research on Facebook is still in its infancy in an emerging country such as South Africa. Generation Y is a significant consumer group and, consequently, their attitudes towards social media advertising are of significant importance to marketers. This has triggered the question whether the largest social medium’s marketing communications effectively reaches young adults in South Africa, and what influence it has on their cognitive attitudes, which leads to their buying behavior. The results suggest that Facebook advertising has a favorable effect on the awareness and knowledge hierarchy-of-effects model levels amongst Generation Y in South Africa. The research is beneficial to marketers who intend to make use of this powerful conduit to target this vacillating cohort.