I was going through my buzz feed a few months ago and came across an angry rant about targeted advertising from kent newsome. kent states:
I fricking hate targeted ads (actually I hate all ads, but I have to pick my battles). I wish that every business that thinks it needs to track my comings and goings in an effort to trick me into parting with some of my hard-earned money would go out of business this very second. This very second. I’d rather stare at a blank screen than think some online operator is secretly sizing me up, waiting to sell me the snake oil de jour….I sure as hell wouldn’t let some grocer peek in my window and then offer to sell me a root beer when I walk out the door because he saw me drinking my beloved Diet A&W’s.
I have written in the past that I don’t mind targeted advertising. I commented on the post:
let’s talk about root beer. I would rather see and most likely subsequently ignore an ad for root beer than an ad for a miracle root beer absorbing tampon. because I would never buy a tampon, no matter what it claimed to soak up.
on the other hand, I _might_ be interested in buying a new brand of root beer if the offer was right. because I do buy root beer. and unlike diet coke, my brand allegiance is not absolute.
advertising is not necessarily exclusively a sales pitch. sure, the end goal _is_ usually to increase the viewer’s inclination to act by delivering new information or a compelling promotion. because in many categories the innovation ceiling is very low, that “new” information is often crap, and the compelling promotion a race to the bottom with the low cost producer the victor. however, a good advertisement for a category in which the viewer is interested tells the viewer something they didn’t know.
how does targeted advertising makes sense for me? it reduces the number of white-garbed euphemizing tampon users I have to see, while increasing my exposure to product categories whose technological advances I actually care about.
how does targeted advertising make sense for the advertiser? it puts their ads in front of people who might use the information and reduces exposure to people who don’t care about their message.
how does targeted advertising make sense for the media? in the days of print, it was about the exposures. now, in most cases, the media get paid when the viewer clicks. if the root beer message gets to more people who buy root beer and fewer soda-hating menstruators, the cash register rings more often.
if someone wants my attention and is paying for a shot at it, targeted advertising makes sense for everyone involved.
- Marketers should get ahead of Do-Not-Track (customerthink.com)
- Why You Should Opt-Out of the Internet Do Not Track Bill (socialmediatoday.com)
- “Lindsay Lohan Stays Sober With Root Beer” and related posts (imnotobsessed.com)