Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bring On the Targeted Ads

I keep reading about website tracking and data gathering so that advertisers can target people more effectively. They make it sound as dire as an 9.0 earthquake followed by a 200' tsunami.

I don't get it. I'd prefer some targeted ads. From a list of recent advertising I've seen, I can tell you that I'm absolutely, unequivocably not the least bit interested in Budweiser, Jack Daniels whiskey, energy drinks, feminine hygene products of any sort, mini-blinds, double-pane windows, the AARP, right-wing political websites, left-wing political websites, foreign cars and trucks, domestic cars and trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, vacation getaways, forclosed homes, credit repair, reverse mortgages, network TV shows, cable TV shows, celebrity gossip, celebrity anything else, nor golf products. And no quicky oil-change companies, either.

Also anything that's in my spam folder, including discount prescription meds, hard-on pills, enlargement pills, diet pills, hair-loss pills, in fact any kind of pill at all; also counterfeit watches, online degrees (I can print my own diploma on my own color printer), ink and toner cartridges, nor the kind of porn that's still illegal.

I actually have a few hobbies and interests, yet I rarely ever see ads for those things. One day last week I was on a website and I nearly fell off my chair because I saw an ad for a company I recognized, liked, and it was actually relevant to my interests. I couldn't click on it fast enough. I wanted to give the site some kind of positive feedback.

I spent a fair amount of time weeding the ads on Facebook. If you look on the right-side pane, there are usually four ads. If you hover over one, there's a little X that shows up in the upper-right corner. If you click on that you can "hide this ad" or "hide all ads from the organization." It then asks you why you don't like it.

Presumably this is so they can figure out which ads you want to see, which would be mutually beneficial. So far it hasn't worked. I'm still inundated by crap. Even on the occasion when I see one ad that's connected to a hobby or interest of mine, it's still not something I'm interested in.

Supposedly, considering the nature of web-surfing, computer advertising should have it hands-down over TV broadcasting, which still has to aim their ads at broad-based demographics. Yet it still seems as if I'm in the broadest based demographic there is: someone who's loaded a webpage.

You'd be better off advertising in the Pennysaver.

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