Friday, February 13, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Like Valentine's Day

The world of advertising is pretty fascinating. The way that particular markets and audiences are identified and targeted can be a work of genius, and often downright devious. I’m sure there’s a special spot in whatever punitive afterlife you happen to believe in for the folks who market tobacco products specifically to kids, for example. Or whoever came up with the Pillsbury Doughboy – man, I hate that little sonuvabitch. We’re all susceptible, of course, whether we believe it or not, and disirregardless of whether we acknowledge it or not on a conscious level. Denial isn’t just French for “of nial.” (That “river in Egypt” thing is SO last century.)

Modern technology has taken the targeting to previously unimaginable levels. Every click of that mouse on the internet means the advertising companies know a little bit more about you. They’re watching, trust me. I mean, I had no idea there even was a NAMPGLA, much less that they have a quarterly periodical. I just happen to think that pygmy goats are cute, that’s all, but one search on the google, and they’ve got their hooks in me. I do have to admire their tenacity in their efforts to sell me a subscription, if not their questionable attitudes toward interspecial interactions.

So as annoying as the micro-targeting might be, you have to be pretty impressed by the technology and information that the ad people have and how they use it to really focus in at the individual level. Of course, information in and of itself is neither good nor bad, and for every rationally defensible (if not admirable) use of it, someone will come up with something nefarious. For example, I must have really pissed someone off at the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), and they obviously know who I am. Check this out - I bought some candy hearts the other day, it being the season and all. I mean, talk about micro-targeting:

I mean, that's just bullshit.


Sarah said...

Those hearts are depressing!
Time for a new post.

Pick-a-lilly said...

Those are pretty funny!