Ads, if I ignore you will you go away?
Remember how easy it used to be to ignore ads? I mean not just on the web, but everywhere. We’re inundated, everywhere we go, with ads. With websites, billboards, and in stores, it can be very easy to avert your glance. I even feel superior about how good at it I’ve become. “Ha HA! Nice try, advertisers!! I totally did NOT even look at that McDonald’s ad.”
(The exception to this being when you’re on the toilet in a bar and you forgot your phone at the table so instead of playing Angry Birds you have to read the ad for that limo company)
Nowadays though, if you’re on Facebook or Google+, ads are just too perfectly aligned with your needs or values. You can’t help but see what it’s all about.
Therein lies the problem. A lot of people don’t mind that Facebook mines your personal data. After all, they’re still interacting with the social network and using the integrated apps. What bothers me is that it has become a lot harder to gloss over advertisements. They call out something very specific that you would enjoy purchasing. How can I resist a quick glance?
How’d we get here? Ads in general used to be targeted for a market demographic, so they were widespread and not necessarily targeted to you. They weren’t specific to either the content surrounding it or you as an individual. They were easy to ignore, like the voices in my head.
Remember when web ads started to get more interesting? They had to grab your attention.
Then we arrived at ads targeted to you based on the content of the page you were visiting. This didn’t always necessarily increase the appeal of the ad, and sometimes had hilarious results:
And now we’re in the age of ads targeted to you, the individual. Your personal information has become a coveted commodity in the current Internet economy.
(It’s true. If I saw this ad I would furiously click it while foaming at the mouth.)
What comes next? Facebook knows. Timeline adds an extra dimension to the details of your life. Not only do they have your personal info, they have that information in the context of when it occurred. It will refine targeted advertising by taking advantage of nostalgia. Imagine ads cropping up as you fondly look back through your Timeline.
Remember Thundercats? That was a good show. Hey look! An ironic, pre-faded Thundercats t-shirt from Hot Topic! SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY
Posted by Jenny Blumberg
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