In a previous life that was the title of the advertising textbook I studied in third year commerce. The title riffed off a statement that only half of all advertising worked but nobody could be sure which half. II was reminded of this by an article about electronic advertising in the Australian today:
But a growing proportion of the advertising is no longer contextual. Companies are increasingly opting for behavioural targeting instead. A brand has identified you as someone they specifically want to reach and they have a particular message they want to deliver to you. Rather than buy advertising based on the general audience and the media options that they might consume, the ads follow you on your digital journey each day and buy available slots in any media that you visit. You’ve probably noticed the same ad appearing and reappearing across multiple web pages while you browse online. It’s not a coincidence, that ad is following you.
Yes – this happens. Now as it turns out I’m a big fan of advertising and marketing – how else would I know what I want to buy? Yet this approach is particularly wasteful.
At the moment I’m being targeted by adverts for Microsoft Surface Pro products. I am a huge fan of those products – but I actually bought a new Surface Pro just last month. True, I did do searches and what-not before buying and compared the Pro to comparative products and the like before buying. That is how they know I’m interested. But you’d think there would be a mechanism to indicate that I have made a purchase (and am very with the product). Amazon had (still has) such a facility – you can tell them that you already own a book they are recommending, or are not interested, and so on.