Stray Puppy Ads

I am being stalked by ads.  They follow me around the internet.  I thought it was my imagination, but now I know better.  I have been marked for retargeting.  There is a good chance you’ve been marked, too.

Do you keep seeing the same ad crop up over and over no matter where you go?  Does it show you something you had actually looked at and paused to consider on another website?  Do you ever stop and wonder, given the way internet ads rotate so quickly, why you keep seeing the same one?  There’s a reason.  You are a  remarketing target.

Don’t panic, it isn’t painful or malicious, but you might want to rein in your impulse buying tendencies.  Those ads are following you because you have already showed an interest in them.  Like stray puppies, they want to be picked up and taken home.  When you visit a website you are given an electronic cookie that works like a doggy biscuit.  Some electronic cookies are designed by retargeting companies so that whenever you visit a webpage that has their content on it, you will see the happily wagging tail of  whatever ad they’re promoting that corresponds to the most current doggie cookie in your browser.

Really, it is a pretty ingenious selling method.  The consumer is repeatedly exposed to products, services and merchandise of personal interest, and the advertisers are assured that interested peoples are seeing their ads.  Now next time you see that ad at three sites in a row, you’ll know why it’s following you.  And, if you’ve got something you want to sell, you know what kind of internet ad to purchase.

12 thoughts on “Stray Puppy Ads

  1. The good thing about having a limited income is that you very rarely if ever buy anything off the internet, hence no one chases you!! If you get a chance, stop by my blog, I celebrated Thom’s birthday. Hope you’re ready for a great weekend!! Missed your Microfiction this week!

    Sylvia

    • Sylvia — I do my research on the web before I buy. Thanks for the birthday heads up. I had him scheduled for tomorrow! That means I was a day late last year, too!

  2. Marketing has become so sophisticated. And I have to say that I spend a good bit of time each day “unsubscribing” to various Web sites that pop up in my e-mail…

    • Melissa — I just click the SPAM button on gmail and I never see them again. I love it. Unsubscribing only assures them there is a live person attached to the addy.

  3. I have not NOTICED this happening to me… but I’ll keep an eye out. I NEVER click on advertisements though… so unless they are tracking my Amazon purchases or my search engine searches, I doubt they’ve figured me out yet…

    • Melli — Overstock.com must use a retargeting service. I bought something from them — went directly to their website — and now I see their ads EVERYWHERE.

  4. Oh yeah. I ordered my new checks online and starting the next day, wow, that same check company was on EVERY ad everywhere I went. It didn’t make me want to buy more — it felt creepy.

    • Susan — I originally wrote my post as if a stalker was after me rather than a puppy. I changed it because while the ads can be annoying, they aren’t really dangerous.

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