The problem with internet advertising: 2

I’ve written about this before, and it still confuses me. I know for sure that Google and lots of other companies that want to decide which advertising I am shown when I go to a website know all kinds of information about my browsing habits.

But when I look at the ads presented to me, it seems sometimes that they can’t see the forest for the trees and that maybe better advertising decisions were made in the days before algorithms were involved.

Case in point. I needed a new element for the oven. SO I googled stove elements, found what I wanted and bought it. Of course, the companies that monitor my search don’t know (yet) that I made the purchase, so I still keep getting ads for new appliances when I go on YouTube and other sites.

I get that. What I DON’T get is this:

I also went on YouTube to find out something about boats. And GoogleTube showed me an ad for appliances.

Back in the days when mere humans made decisions, when you picked up a boating magazine you the advertisers assumed – and I think quite wisely – that you were interested in boats, so they served you up ads about boats and related things. Nary an appliance ad in sight!

Maybe for all their big data and algorithms and behavioural research these companies might want to do the simple and put a boat ad on a boat video or waterskiing video and put an appliance ad on a house decorating video or recipe video.

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