Saturday, August 04, 2012

This is what makes Google Ads Creepy

Ok, so part 3 of the booties needs to be un-done and replaced. The shaping mistake was obvious once I got a normal pair of socks and applied my brain. But at the moment, I've got a completely different issue. This is a public complaint. I hope you laugh.

Google Ads on sites make those sites creepy. But this morning's experience made me realize it's not always creepy - just sometimes.

For example, if I go shopping at a computer store, like TigerDirect, or a big national company, like Sears, I expect the targeted ads later. It makes sense they would spend a silly amount of money trying to convince me to purchase something I already bought from them or somewhere else, or that I decided not to purchase after all. They're even amusing when they're for something I was researching for my father or a friend.

Actually, I've discovered this is a reliable way to reinforce my impression of a company. "Why is that company showing me drapes? Oh, yeah, they were waaaaaaayyyyyy too expensive. I'm definitely *not* buying drapes from them, and I'm going to think twice about their prices on other items in the future."

If I were in marketing for one of those companies, I would want to fix that.

But there are some companies I wouldn't expect to show me ads on national sites. It just wouldn't occur to me that they'd be big enough to put their marketing dollars into such a thing. So when a friend of mine sent me a meme photo this morning, the advertising I got struck me as particularly creepy.

Here's the first thing this ad made me think: "Is this the reason I had sticker shock when I saw the price of their garlic a few days ago?" Sure, I have since found a more reasonably priced source with the additional benefit of not advertising in unexpected places. This ad has done me the favor of reminding me I need to buy garlic ASAP, before the site I intend to purchase from runs out of reasonably-priced garlic. Why don't I think that was the intention of the ad?

Meanwhile, my husband received a mailer from google the other day offering him a discount off those ads. His reaction? He imagined a YouTube video with the punchline being a google ad shaking its finger at a businessman saying something along the lines of, "Bad business owner! Behave yourself and buy our advertising!"

Hmmm. I may find all of this really creepy, but I suppose I should be happy they haven't gotten to the point of anticipating what I want before I go shopping for it. I know those days are coming. Maybe they'll be less intrusive. The trick is for me not to notice them.

I wonder if I'm actually asking for subliminal advertising so I don't notice it? That would be creepy, wouldn't it?

I think I'll go back to my booties. I'm in control of that. That makes me happy.