This is a follow-up to my post “Marketers know everything about us! [SARCASM]“. The absurdly-targeted web ads just keep on coming, so I decided to start a collection and post some of them here. Most won’t need an explanation; I will provide one where I think it might be needed.
My small-but-growing collection includes: an Amazon ad for shoes I just bought from Amazon; a CafePress ad for ; an ad for degrees for CIA officers; banner ads in languages I don’t understand, like Korean and Chinese.
COMMENTARY: LinkedIn thinks I may know and may want to connect professionally to a professional astrologer based in India.
COMMENTARY: I speak neither language
COMMENTARY: This is my product. I am selling these . So the marketing “system” (not CafePress) is trying to get me to buy the product that I sell.
COMMENTARY: I was never in the US military, nor was anyone in my family.
COMMENTARY: I am not a CIA officer, obviously. If I were an undercover CIA officer, this ad would be even more inappropriate.
[UPDATE June 23, 2014] In the interest of science I clicked on the Korean ad (or maybe it was the Chinese) and requested the page in Spanish (which I also don’t speak). I was curious to see whether I would start getting banner ads in Spanish. Lo and behold, three days later I get served the Honda ad in Spanish!
[UPDATE June 20, 2014] I now get banner ads in Korean and Chinese. Lest you wonder: No, I do not speak either language, and no, I have not somehow provoked this by visiting Korean or Chinese websites. Explanation is simple: Online advertising is broken, your privacy is not in danger, marketers know NEXT TO NOTHING about us.
[UPDATE May 13, 2014] I’ve been getting very persistent email pitches for a Jet Card. Their latest offer is for the bargain price of $179,125. How misguided. Don’t they know I’m in the market for a Maserati?
[UPDATE March 14, 2014] Apparently it wasn’t obvious that this post was meant to be sarcastic. So let me spell it out: What I meant was: “Marketers don’t know anything about us. ANYTHING!” Amazon — the smartest of them all — only serves me ads for either stuff that I just bought from them, or stuff I looked at by mistake with no intention of buying. The rest of them are worse. Chinese Walmart? Puh-leeze!
Don’t freak out, people!
I just got served this banner ad on a website I visit several times a day. Clearly, my privacy is in danger.