Hey, see that ad to the left? Kind of sad huh? I woke up on my 29th birthday (last Sunday), checked my Facebook profile for birthday well-wishers and saw that ad glaring back at me! It’s been there, non-stop practically, all week, a not-so-subtle reminder that two months prior to my 29th birthday, my fiance broke up with me and I became, yes, ALONE AGAIN. If the accuracy of this particular targeted ad wasn’t so freakishly detailed (how on earth did the tech bots know “a man suddenly pulled away”???) to the point of hilarity, it might actually make me depressed. After the jump, more targeted ad bull crap, on Facebook and Google.I’m convinced that Facebook ads for women, outside of the ones targeted at personal interests (I do love yoga, wine, soap operas, wine, and puppies!), come in two categories:
1. Love/Dating/Relationship-Related: Dating sites and self help if you’re single, engagement rings and romantic vacation ads if you’re in a relationship, and weddings, weddings, weddings if you’re engaged. During the nine months I was engaged, my Facebook page was inundated with wedding ads, for photographers, locations, and even marriage counceling advice ads. Now that I’m single, it’s all online dating ads, self help loser nonsense. Aside from that social networking wine club. That sounds rad.
My Guy Friends Reported: No dating or romance related ads at all.
2. Dieting & Fitness: Thanks to Facebook, I cannot escape Acai Berries. Apparently they make you skinny! And apparently Facebook wants me to ingest them, in all their many forms, constantly. Why does Facebook think I (and Catherine and Annika) am fat? Nothing in my profile indicates an obsession with working out or a penchant for anorexia. In fact, my profile professes my love for cheese and cured meats. Catherine wonders if Facebook also uses some sort of special technology that can tell if your face is round or not.
My Guy Friends Reported: No fitness or weight loss ads at all, although one did get ads for braces and teeth whitening. This would indicate that Facebook does have some sort of visual component for ad targeting, and doesn’t just use keywords. I never thought his teeth were that bad…
Facebook isn’t alone in finding weaknesses and targeting ads that pick at them. Tracie Egan, who writes for Jezebel, wrote a post on her personal blog, One D At A Time, the other day about how she got in a fight over email with her fiance. All of the targeted sponsored links/ads for that particular email chain had to do with broken engagements and “stopping negative emotions.” Yikes, one fight and the relationship is dunzo? Thanks for the faith, Google. Anyway, I went back to a couple email exchanges with my ex to see what diagnosis Gmail gave my life as a result. See left! For the record, I do not f$#king need anger goddamn management, GOOGLE, so PISS OFF!!!