Cookies, and Advertising

I have written previously about the connection between cookies, and receiving targeted advertising. It is only to be expected, in our modern online world.

But it is getting better, and more detailed. There is ample evidence to show just how immediate and powerful it is.

Over the course of the last twelve months, I have had occasion to research things online. Subjects I would not normally investigate. For my serial ‘Benny Goes Bust’, I looked at the phenomenon of ‘Granny Glamour’, something that has an overwhelming following on Internet search engines. Within minutes, I received invitations for sites that dealt with ‘Granny Dating’, ‘Granny Sex’, and ‘Willing Grannies’. The only real surprise, was just how many ‘Grannies’ were out there. In various forms of undress, and in many manifestations of ‘old-age sex’.

More recently, I have noticed that whatever I search for, that subject will appear in seconds, either via email, or in a ‘pop-up’ when I am surfing any site, no matter how unrelated.

Not too long ago, I bought a pair of casual shoes, from the website of the manufacturers, ‘Crocs’. Seconds later, I checked my email, only to find numerous advertisements for Croc shoes, even though I had just bought them. And they were identical to those I had bought too. When it comes to the mighty Amazon, it is even faster. Buy something from that dominant website, and within a heartbeat, you will get emails suggesting that you buy exactly the same item again.

This is all driven by ‘Algorithms’, I am aware of that. But what kind of silly process decides that you will buy exactly the same thing again, five minutes after you have just ordered it?

I recently researched ‘Omega Seamaster’ watches, for a fiction serial. Moments later, my email inbox was full of jeweller’s advertisements for that very watch. I had to laugh, as they cost almost £2,000, far beyond my reach. Those algorithms are completely skewed, but the companies paying to be included are oblivious to the actual genuine market for their products. It may not be a problem for me. I can just delete the emails. But I am left wondering about all the time and money wasted, picking up on search engines, and sending targeted emails.

So this is an open letter, to all those companies paying a small fortune for ‘targeted’ advertising.

Forget it. It is pointless, and it won’t work.

38 thoughts on “Cookies, and Advertising

  1. This actually made me laugh out loud: The only real surprise, was just how many ‘Grannies’ were out there. In various forms of undress, and in many manifestations of ‘old-age sex’. .

    To be honest the cost of that kind of advertising is so low compared to traditional advertising that a bit of a scattergun approach doesn’t make that much difference compared to trying to be really one to one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isnt it nice, Pete? LoL You are using a free mail-account. This means you allow them to get advertising emails. Since we manage our own mail-server, we dont get them anymore. The advertising firms get paid by delivered emails, and in a next step by clicked emails. Its enough for them if one of one thousend users will click anx link inside. 😉 Most times its a brand making campaign. User only should remember special brands for the future. 😉 Best wishes, Michael (At the beginning of this century i had managed some of such campaigns, too. LoL)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I suppose, Pete, that these work on the assumption that some people who have looked at a particular article on line will go back and buy it. I was researching the most efficient way to kill yourself using a gun for one of my short stories. I immediately started getting emails from call in sites offering to council me for free so there is a positive side too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They claim to ‘know their market’, but it is just like casting a net into the ocean, and hoping to catch some fish. It just irritates me, Maggie, especially the ‘buying the same thing I just bought’! Grrr… 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. I really don’t get that ‘buy it again’ thing, from Amazon. I buy a Kindle Fire Tablet, and before it even arrives, I get an email suggesting, ‘Buy it again?’. Such a waste of time!
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A year out so back I helped a neighbour but some walking aids. He was elderly and didn’t do Internet shopping. She this my sidebars became full of adverts fur incontinence aids and zimmer frames. It was nearly a year until normality was restored – with adverts for Russian brides and young women that wanted to meet me. Now I’ll have to try and get back to the old senior friendly adverts, if for no other reason than to look for some wee blue pills 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I regularly post about my birthdays, so my age gets mentioned. When I did one about being 65, my emails exploded with ‘friendly Russian and Asian brides’, all looking for someone just like me, apparently.
      Then I got the flood of Viagra tablet ones, followed by cures for ‘penile dysfunction’, leading to straightforward contact sites to mature women who supposedly lived just around the corner from me, and wanted me to pop round for ‘no-questions-asked sex’.
      I can see the connection. Had I taken up the offer of nubile Thai bride, followed by ‘willing mature women’ living close by, I would have undoubtedly needed a large supply of Viagra! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t click on them as a rule, Arlene. I certainly didn’t click on any site for the Omega watches, just typed it into Google. I think that’s all they need. 🙂
      And maybe Amazon ‘promotes’ my order history, who knows?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One theory is that if you bought one, you will buy another because you like the first one so much. but then if the first watch worked, why would you need another. So there goes that theory. Another theory is the cost is so minimal that it approaches zero for one email–so why not send a billion emails at no cost? This one is harder to shoot down. However, I wish the folks who sold them on an immediate review of products I could not have possibly received yet, would stop too.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why it is so easy for them, Theo. Minimal time and cost, automated advertising. But the accumulative effect is that I will not buy something I might well have bought, just because they are annoying me. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


  6. Pete, I surprised my wife las year for her birthday by taking her to New York for some Broadway shows. I bought the tickets and all was good – UNTIL I started getting non-stop ads on my Facebook page for those very shows! So, for two months I had to ask Alex NOT to look at my Facebook page, because the ads were everywhere! And the point you make Pete is so true: why do they send you ads for something you just bought???

    Liked by 2 people

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