TOO MANY CROSSHAIRS When targeted advertising is hunting you down.
Theoretically, targeted ads are a beautiful thing. If I onlysee ads that are relevant to me, then I might actuallywelcome them and see them as a valuable part of mymedia experience.Theoretically, targeted ads are also more valuable thanads targeted to an audience aggregate. Hopefully, thismight allow digital media companies to scale back thebarrage of shitty little annoyers they currently hurl at us.So, theoretically, I like them.However, when targeting is both persistent and wrong, itcan get down right creepy. Recently, I was looking for ashort term apartment in Tokyo, and www.sakura- Imagine a Mariachi band that just wont leave your table.apartments.com is the market leader, offering partments Now imagine that same Mariachi band showing at theall over Tokyo. In English :-) ofﬁce, and in your living room. For weeks.The moment I left their site (with booking), I found myself In the end, I got desperate and decided to try a headfake.under a steady shelling of Sakura Google Ads, I used a different mail account to send a “departure note”regardless of where I went on the web. And even after I to my gmail account, hoping that the everwatchinghad left Japan for weeks, the avalanche just would not googleeye would recognize the futilty of showing mestop. further ads.The following are just a couple of screenshots I started About a week later, the ads stopped.taking after more than two months of total Sakuraimmersion. More than two months ﬁlled with constant I am not sure if it was the headfake or my arrival in India.variations of a very irrelevant offering. But boy I am glad that the other websites I visit arent as zealous in their targeting as Sakura.