So I’ve been on a bit of a crusade the last few weeks: to have zero interests.
No interests. No hobbies. Nothing. Why you ask?
Yes, advertising. You may not have noticed but advertising makes up nearly 111% of all internet traffic. As best they can our internet overlords have tailored your advertising experience to be more relevant to your own, personal, internet shopping, and link clicking habits. This is, of course, entirely creepy. Click on a tomato sauce recipe you searched for and before you know it you’re getting adds for canned tomatoes on your book club blog. Big brother is watching, and he knows your underwear size.
So then, what is my crusade? Whenever possible I’ll tag an add as “irrelevant.” I figure out of all the options this one is generally the best. I like to think that somewhere, some computer algorithm is having the “I am your father” equivalent of an identity crisis. “What? He’s on pastasauce.com but he’s not interested in pasta sauce apps?! Everything I know is a lie!”
I’ve actually found the concept of advertising to be rather interesting. Not so much the methodology or the advertising itself, but more how it has seemed to become the life blood of the entire internet. I’m not necessarily opposed to it, it just amazes me that it can be as profitable as it is. Even back in the day before the internet became a giant ad machine it amazed me that TV and radio stations subsisted mainly on advertising revenue. Yes, cable channels got some money from cable subscriptions, but advertising revenue was still a large chunk. Now we have YouTube and Twitch stars who get multi million dollar deals with other companies and then get them yanked when they do stupid and offensive things.
I’d really like to see what the return on investment looks like for advertising. Or how many people actually have to click and then buy something in order to make it worthwhile having an ad on a website.
Who would have known that Futurama would have hit the nail on the head back in the year 2000…
One thing that has thoroughly amused me though is a company advertising itself on it’s own platform. Back in the day when I first signed up for Spotify and only had the free version, I don’t think I heard an add that wasn’t for Spotify premium. If I did it obviously didn’t make a major impact. I’m sure that the monthly subscription revenue is more then they’d get for the ad time, but by how much? I recall seeing ads for Hulu without commercials on Hulu, but frankly I never cared. That is, until, I saw the first political ad. I don’t think I’ve ever signed up for anything faster in my life…
Oh, and that ad for the cool Futurama figurine that will no doubt now pop up in some random mobile app now that I’ve linked to that video, it’s not relevant to my interests. Regardless of whether or not I’m back-channeling over to Amazon to buy it…
When we no longer want to buy, what will they sell?