Have you ever looked at an item on an online shopping site and then seen an ad for the very same item show up on the next website you visited?
Or perhaps you’ve done a web search on a topic only to see ads for items related to that topic follow you around the web from site to site?
Those creepy “follow me around” ads are officially called “targeted ads”, and they’re extremely effective at getting people to buy the products they’re hawking.
After all, the folks who see them are probably at least somewhat interested in those particular products since they were looking at them on a previous site or found them via a related web search.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of targeted ads. In fact, I find them downright creepy!
Well guess what? If you own a “smart TV” you can expect to start seeing targeted ads on it before too long.
The major TV manufacturers are currently working with some of the larger TV networks to develop a system to bring targeted ads right to your TV screen!
Instead of seeing the same commercial trying to get you to switch your car insurance for the millionth time you’ll start seeing commercials for products and services that you showed an interest in the last time you used the Internet.
As much as I dislike them, targeted ads do have some advantages over regular ads:
1 – Targeted ads offer more bang-for-the-buck for advertisers because they can pay a smaller fee to get their ads in front of the very people who are most likely to buy that particular product or sign up for that service.
That means they don’t have to pay to blast their ads out to the masses, many of whom will never have any interest in that product or service at all. And that can result in lower prices for consumers.
2 – Targeted ads ensure that most of the ads (aka commercials) you see are for products that you do have at least a passing interest in.
That can potentially help you make an informed buying decision about a product or service that you’ve been in the market for anyway.
As you can see, I “get” why advertisers really love targeted ads. But I still don’t like them personally because I just find them creepy.
But then that’s just me. You might well think they’re the best thing since indoor plumbing, and that’s fine. To each his/her own as they say.
Bottom line: Whether you like them or not, targeted ads are coming to your smart TV before long (probably within a year or less).
There will surely be a way to disable targeted ads once they start showing up on our TVs, but since the details of all this are still being debated and hashed out we don’t yet know what that way will be.
As soon as I find out how to disable them I’ll write a post explaining how to do it. If you’re interested in seeing it, stay tuned!
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