The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Stalked by advertisers

For reasons too complicate to explain, I was curious about the differences between Microsoft’s Windows XP Pro and Windows XP Media Center editions. I got Googled to NexTag in my first stab at an answer, to find out if there was any significant price difference between the two.

This morning in my Yahoo! email inbox up flashes a NexTag blinking display ad featuring, of all things, various MS WinXP versions for sale. Is this a strange coincidence? No it’s not.

It is one of the more recent games and tricks being played by advertisers. Visit a business web site and eat a tracking cookie. What you look at and that which interests you on this first site is recorded. At the next web site that’s participating in the same advertising  system, you are identified as one who has already nibbled at the merchandise.

You are recognized and followed by advertisers as you browse around the web. It’s similar to being stalked.

Many people feel violated by this process. From a marketing perspective, making potential customers feel threatened isn’t the best plan. But personally, I don’t mind it. I’d much rather ignore display ads that are interesting to me than not be distracted by annoying irrelevancies.

Still, in my case with NexTag, it was effective. Display ads are impossible to totally ignore, and this one grabbed my attention.

Except, I’m not going to buy another copy of WinXP, any edition.

Written by Tom Fox

10/02/2010 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Marketing

%d bloggers like this: