The Evolution of Personalized Internet Marketing

Step One: Reconnaissance

One day I started to notice the ads everywhere were very specific to me now…( Unless I’m on Hulu, in which case, by all means, show me that yogurt commercial again. What’s that expression? The 7th billion time is the charm??). They know whether I’m single or married, my religion, political preferences, what kind of clothes I like, what products I bought recently, and what movies I’ll go too. It’s kind of cool, but also creepy.

Step Two: Geotracking

Oh, it looks like a few things want to know my location now. That’s ok. It’s just my maps, gps, browser, instagram, twitter, blogging sites, social networks, song pop, and the Facebook “Who is your 80s teen heartthrob personality quiz.” All of those seem pretty legitimate.

Step Three: Expansion and Coordination

Hey, these ads aren’t just on Facebook, they’re in my browser, and somehow seem to be influencing the junk mail I get. Hmmm, It’s almost as if they’re working together.

Maybe I should read the terms and agreements on sites more carefully?

…said no one ever…

But still maybe I’ll pay more attention to these things. In fact, I think I’ll go check Wikipedia to see how much of the Internet Google owns right now.

Step Four: Disappointment  

The internet has goals for my life and I’m not reaching them. In addition to not starting my million-dollar-any-one-can-do-it-at-home business, I have not tried all the amazing weight loss supplements it’s offered, dated any of the hot single Christian men it’s been telling me about, or furthered my education like I should.

I say things like hey marketing world I’m not thinking of having a baby I just shop for onesies occasionally because I have friends with babies. Yet that does not stop it from sending Babies R Us ads to the Martinez “family” or Salt Lake City hospital ads touting their superior maternity wing.

Step Five: Smart House

Finally I seem to get the message through, but then things take a darker turn. It’s  clear that Internet advertising is no longer satisfied with trying to predict my behavior, instead it wants to control it. It’s sees I have rejected the local singles, hot Christian men, young, black men, lesbians, and LDS men online dating sites (You gotta give Fb credit, it really tries to cover all the bases.) and decides I no longer deserve marriage or children.

Slowly the ads become less dating focused and more food centered. It shows me less cute clothing and more at home streaming movie options. Then every so casually it suggests that I donate my eggs. Jeez Internet, relax, I’m in my mid twenties. There’s still time for me.

I’m cautiously ignoring this right now, but if cemetery plots start coming up as BOGO in my top banner I may have to take a little digital vacation far, far away from my Google maps saved locations.

Currently: Wishing all the moms out there (including my amazing mother!!) a Happy Mother’s Day :) If you forgot about your Mom, don’t worry, your browser would be happy to help you with a last minute bouquet for 29.99.


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