About a month ago, I ordered some team gear from the Manchester City website. I’ve followed the club for long enough; I figured it was time to get a shirt or two. Plus, the offer of free worldwide shipping didn’t hurt. Two days before Thanksgiving, my order arrived.
Of course, every day in between, I was reminded of its impending arrival. Not by package-tracking emails or anything like that; no, I was reminded by advertisements for the mcfc.co.uk suddenly showing up all over web pages I was visiting.
This in and of itself is no big deal, except for the fact that I had never seen an ad for the website, ever, until after I ordered the shirts.
This may have happened to some of you, and it may be no big deal. But it certainly weirded me out. I started noticing it with other places I had ordered from as well (although, at the moment, the specifics escape me; I just know that I saw another one and yelled “GET OUT OF MY HEAD” at no one in particular).
I get it; nothing is truly private or safe on the internet. It’s designed to connect us and bring us closer together. And I can see why companies would want to target their ads towards folks they know are interested in the product. Still, it’s strange, and in my case, counterproductive.
I spend a lot of time on the internet, both at work and at home (the blog doesn’t write itself, you know). When someone needs to contact me for work, I tell them that email is the best way to reach me. It follows that the best way to reach me in order to sell me something would also be via the internet. Well, when you’re taking up ad space by showing me ads for places you know I already like, you’re preventing me from seeing new things. I’m not going to constantly buy more Man City gear just because I see an ad. However, if I see a different ad for, I don’t know, a new type of indoor portable grill, I’m not going to suddenly stop being interested in City, you know? You’re missing out on an opportunity to bring new things to my attention, and you’re also just plain old creeping me out.
So, anyway, internet marketers…GET OUT OF MY BROWSER. And my head.