Look – I get targeted advertising, I really do. I can see how it makes sense to market things to a demographic that’s statistically more likely to buy those things. I also get that the internet is the perfect place for this kind of marketing, since they can track your habits or whatever it is they do.
But I find the assumptions they make irritating and sometimes insulting.
I first noticed this when I was on facebook. The advertising was all “girl” stuff – freebie sites for women, moisturizers, diet plans. Mildly obnoxious stereotyping about my interests but whatever. What shocked me though was that immediately after I got married, which yes, I did update on my status, all the ads switched to mommy/baby stuff. I’m not sure why I was so shocked beyond that the change was just so obvious. It also felt kind of sexist, although I’m not sure if I can define how exactly it was. (A friend of mine noticed this as well and took her sex off facebook so it wouldn’t know whether she was male or female. The advertising changed to education programs.)
But whatever. I quit facebook a while ago. It was a good decision.
Groupon though, is now pissing me off quite a lot. I’m signed up for those emails that send you the daily deal. But there are actually several daily deals. So in their email, they send you the one that they think you will like the most.
Now. Here are all the things I have bought from Groupon ever: a dance class, a windsurfing lesson, a gift certificate for The Body Shop, and a hop-on hop-off tour in Hawaii. Groupon knows I am female and that I live in Vancouver. I have told them I am interesting in learning, culture, foodie stuff, healthy living, rainy day, simple pleasures, and the finer things (whatever that means – you have to click boxes.)
I think it’s a pretty varied list of things I’d be interested in getting deals on. But you know what they actually send me? Lipo-laser treatments and microdermabrasion (not even a real thing, according to spell check) procedures. What – from my profile – indicates that I am interested in these things?
I am not impressed, I tell you. Not impressed at all.