Advertising. I hate advertising. I know that’s kind of a stupid statement – aside from the people who earn bucks from them, who does like advertising?
But I can honestly only think of approximately 5 products I have ever purchased as a result of advertising.
Ok, strike that.
I can’t think of any, though I know there are some. I just took a quick tour of my house, and can’t even find one. Which is a little annoying, because I know there is at least one recent purchase that came as a result of an ad. I know this because it was noteworthy – I actually said out loud, I never buy things because of an ad, but. . .
It would be a better illustration for the post if I actually had an example, because I do know it was probably something utterly useless that amused me merely by existing, like a one-handed banana peeler.
I don’t even understand how advertising works. I mean, I understand, theoretically how is it supposed work, but I find it hard to believe that there are really that many people out in the world that will rush out to buy something just because of an ad.
I guarantee I will never buy car insurance sold to me by a caveman, or a car that is pushed by bling-draped hamsters in 80’s style break-dancing garb.
Really? Who is your target demographic for this? Do nine-year old girls with a penchant for bad music drive the market these days???
The purpose and methodology of advertising seem at odds with each other- sure, the hamsters are going to catch your eye, but will they sell me a car? I’ve seen the ad about 20 times and I didn’t even know what kind of car it was selling until I looked it up.
But all of that aside, the part of the ubiquitous advertising world that drives me most batty is the algorithm advertising. Facebook, YouTube – pretty much anywhere you go online there are ads targeted at me based on mathematical formulas taking into account my historic page views for companion sites, relationship to search terms the physical location linked to my IP address and a host of other things that make advertisers feels they are targeting me as an individual. That’s creepy enough in the Orwellian world sense.
But since these ads designed for me, one thing is crystal clear. I am perfectly insane. I have to be.
Because if I’m not, a whole lot of companies are paying a whole lot of money for a scam that sells space due to fancy words like algorithm.
Facebook has a great example of this. At least once a week, they recommend that I check out Nancy Grace and they are certain that I would enjoy the musical stylings of Bruce Springsteen. No. No, no, emphatically NO, on both counts. Nancy Grace makes me want to cut myself and I didn’t listen to the Boss when he was a hot commodity 20 years ago. And I have gone through my profile – there is nothing there to tie me to a rabidly right-wing sensationalist ‘reporter’ or main stream 80’s music.
YouTube is worse. Admittedly, I check out a lot of random stuff on there, but our playlists consist of one thing and one thing only, and there are many of them.
We have over 100 Humpty Dumpty videos alone. (Have I mentioned that I hate Humpty?) We also have an Itsy Bitsy playlist, a Hey Diddle Diddle list, and an Alphabet list, among others. The lone exception to kids music is the talking animals playlist. (I know)
And what ads pop up most often?
If I’m lucky it’s low key, like Underworld. But nothing can make the simple joy of Mother Goose evaporate faster than the crazy assed scream that starts the trailer ad for The Devil Inside.
Seriously, YouTube, are you even trying???
That’s pretty damn close to opening a box of Lucky Charms to find a toy ball gag inside.
Totally, utterly wrong.
And designed just for me.
- YouTube Launches New and Improved YouTube Analytics (hubspot.com)
- Advertising on YouTube with Google Adwords (firstrate.co.nz)
- Video Ads in the YouTube Channel Era (marketingvox.com)
- YouTube Has 200K Advertisers, Targeting 7 Million More (beet.tv)