Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Problem With Contextual Advertising

The advent of contextual advertising has been a great thing. No long are we subjected to ads about unrelated products or services. Or are we? I am always annoyed at having to watch television commercials for stuff I have no interest or need in. I believe in advertising but I don't really need to hear about feminine products. So I'm a fan of more targeted advertising since I'll see less of stuff that I'll hopefully never need to buy. Another plus is that companies will be wasting less cash on customers who'll never buy their products. However contextual and targeted advertising have their pitfalls. Today I was reading Chris Pirillo's blog as I recently rediscovered his site. I wrote several articles for lockergnome a few years ago. As I was reading a recent post I ran into a contextual ad. Sadly Chris' parents were in a car accident today (according to his blog the car is totaled but they'll be ok) and as I began perusing the post to find out more of the details I discovered that I could buy a Car Accident at shopping dot com! Well needless to say I doubt they'll be getting a lot of buyers for that particular service/product! This leads me to wonder how much care is actually being put into some of these advertising products. I would imagine that many of them have words that are filtered from the list but theres certainly some room for improvement.

What are your thoughts on targeted and contextual ads? We live in an advertising powered world, what would you do to make it better? Do you fear the Blade Runner style blimps shoving ads down your throat will be next? Or will we all be like Tom Cruise in Minority Report freaking out because retinal scans at a retailer knew who we were?

3 comments:

Freddy Nager said...

I recall a cop in Taiwan once saying, "One rat turd spoils the whole pot of rice." As with so many great services the internets have brought us -- such as email and social networks -- a few spammers and scammers have tainted the experience. Because of unitarded greedheads like Shopping.com, consumers will learn to ignore contextual ads just as they've learned to ignore noncontextual banner ads. Blame goes in part to the publishers and to the ad serving companies: they need to monitor what their sponsors are doing on their sites and services. Ass clowns like Shopping.com need to be kept in check. I know everyone is desperate to monetize their content, but at what cost? One legitimate advertising vehicle after another on the web has been undermined by shortsighted greed from all participants. Contextual ads are simply the next to fail.

Anonymous said...

I agree, you are right on Null...

Igor The Troll said...

Just taking a Piss, so if I get lost will be able to find myself! lol