Pardon me while I kvetch a little …

What a difference a week makes.  This time last Tuesday I was waxing poetic about George, our morning doorman; and how he always puts me in a frustratedgood mood.  Today I’m in a whole other frame of mind.

Maybe it’s the weather.  I am sick to death of sub-arctic temperatures.  Day after day after day after day.  And I am not exaggerating.  It is minus 28 celsius today, with the wind chill.  That is minus 18 degrees farenheit, in case you think I’m being a wimp.  Minus (bleep) 18!!!!!!!  And it’s been like this for weeks, maybe even more than a month.  And every second day it snows.  And then there was the ice storm.

And believe it or not the heat will have to be shut off in my apartment building on Thursday — from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  To fix some problem in the furnace.  Don’t get me started on that.

So yeah, I’m not quite as cheerful as I usually am.

Gotta let off some steam.

Who’s in my sights?

Who peed in my cornflakes?

Google and Facebook.

What’d they do?

They’re bombarding me with ads and I don’t like it.

I know, I know, you’re shocked.  Me working in advertising and all.  Why oh why would I get pissed off over ads????

Well, I am.

When I open my gmail account I do not want to see ads before I see anything else.  Frankly, I don’t want to see ads at all.  I especially don’t want to see ads Google says are targeted.  As in, based on my searches.  The way I see it, my inbox is my personal space.  I do not want ads invading my personal space.   So please take note:  I do not click on your ads.  I will not click on your ads.  Go away!!!!! 

Does anybody click on those ads?  Or perhaps what I should ask is — and what the advertisers should be asking themselves is — even if someone clicks, do they buy?  And do enough people buy — and do they buy often enough — to risk pissing the rest of us off?  Because of this you can be sure, Mr. Advertiser:  You have annoyed me enough that I have put you on my shit list.  I will never buy your product.  And if ever I am in the market for what you sell, I will buy it from your competitor.

So there.

Same goes for Facebook.

Boy oh boy I can hear the rumblings from here.  I wonder how long it will take for my ad industry pals and peers to let me have it.  Take me to task. So be it.  I know, and have worked with, a lot of very smart and talented folks and I totally respect your opinions.  But I’ve gotta tell you, I feel pretty strongly about this.  And there are a whole lot of people out there who agree with me.  Furthermore, I’m not convinced these ads work.

Oh, they work fine for Facebook and Google who sell them.  But whether or not they work for the advertisers who shell out their hard-earned dollars for them, I am not sure.  Tell you the truth, I’m not sure they know.  Are they tracking this stuff as zealously as old time direct marketers did?

You tell me.  Prove their effectiveness to me.  Tell me how clicks translate to sales.  Tell me how many sales each one of those ads gets you.  Tell me how many sales you need for the campaign to be considered a success.  Tell me how much more successful (or less) — in terms of number of sales and ROI — these ads are versus any other acquisition campaigns you do.  Are people who click, and or buy, more loyal than customers you’ve acquired other ways?

That’s all.

Now can I have a hug?  I think it will really make me feel better.

33 thoughts on “Pardon me while I kvetch a little …

  1. I’m nowhere near being in advertising or claim to know much about it, but I don’t click on anything unless I’m looking for it. I must confuse google or whomever as I don’t get much “targeted” to me that makes sense. Talk about jello! 🙂

    Maneuvering the web one passes through and around ads. It makes me feel like I’m running an obstacle course!

    Sorry for your cold, we’re having a snap too but nowhere NEAR what you’re going through. I think I’ll stay locked up in my house the rest of the day! (week? month?)

    • Yeah, they’re not so ‘targeted’ at me, either. Yeah, definitely stay home. We should all be like bears — hibernate until Spring 🙂

  2. It’s funny… I actually do click on ads and always immediately think, “Why did I just do that?” I never buy anything after clicking on an ad. In fact, half the time, the link makes my browser freeze and I get an error message. The other thing that really gets me is that I’m always getting ads for things I’ve just purchased. I know that my purchase of an item suggests a degree of interest on my part in that item, but shouldn’t a bit of commonsense come into play? How many drying racks does the internet think I need? (Great… Now you have me kvetching, too!)

    Here’s to warmer days!

  3. I wish I could pay a small (emphasis on small) fee to keep my pages ad free like I do with Word Press. For me it’s worth the money not to annoy people. I also wonder about those telemarketing calls. You know the one with John from the shipping department. He calls at least once a week and we hang up on him but he continues to call. Does anyone get roped into that crap?

  4. First, here’s a huge hug for you! Second, I don’t like on any ads whatsoever. Third, here in Illinois USA we’re experiencing some of what you in Canada get and I can tell you, I have no idea how you live like this! So kvetch away – you deserve it!

  5. I hate those ads too…and ads geared to me?!!…I think G & FB are completely off the mark there when it comes to my preferences. I’m not into diet pills or plastic surgery…and some of those photos are disgusting!

    I’ve learned a tiny bit about online marketing/advertising and I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t necessarily about selling product. Websites that have sold space on their web page for ad presence are getting paid per click, action or impression. But before you can make any money placing these ads on a website you have to have a lot of users/subscribers/visits. On forums like Google and Facebook advertisers will pay big bucks because millions will see their ads. All they (the advertiser) need us (the consumer) to do is click on their ad, we need not buy. This click action takes you to another website that is likely paying the advertiser to have us land there. What do we see at the landing website? The opportunity to buy the product advertised but even more importantly… more ads to click on. The payment “per click” can be anywhere from .001 to .25 cents and higher, and is generally based on the number of visits any particular site gets per day. You and I don’t click on these ads but we are the exception, not the rule. Advertisers can easily track their presence and number of actions taken via special code that is embedded in every ad and that is tracked via sophisticated tracking software.

    On another note, did you know that those FB business pages that have received a lot of ‘likes’/followers likely paid Facebook for a good portion of them? This is true also for many other social networks like Twitter. You can buy subscribers and followers. Yup, it’s all about building a “seemingly” large and loyal audience before you can even hope to establish your brand. If you are waiting for the masses to find you on their own, you’re in for a big let down. Most opt to pay for their followers/subscribers, etc until, hopefully, they begin to attract the real ones. Once they build a large following (we are talking six figures and up) then placing ads on their site can potentially be very profitable.

    That’s my lesson for the day… Class dismissed. 🙂

    • Well although they sell them to advertisers as targeted the ones on my timeline and in my inbox are certainly not. I could be wrong but I don’t believe the large national advertisers are doing this to make money from ads on their websites; and that’s really who I was referring to in my post.

      They may very well say they want ‘likes’ but ‘likes’ mean nothing if you are getting them from the wrong people — those who don’t have any intention of buying your products. And ‘likes’ don’t equal sales or repeat purchases or loyalty. As for creating awareness, this will never achieve the kind of awareness and memorable impressions TV advertising used to achieve.

      They’ll figure it out eventually.

      • I agree about the way advertising used to be on TV and in print. There were many more quality ads that were written and produced by amazingly creative people than we see today. “loyalty and repeat purchases” are a thing of the past as you pointed out. With that, the cost of advertising has forced advertisers to dummy down for the most part and find other ways to generate income. It is unfortunate.

  6. Oh Fran, I can’t imagine living with those temps for more than a couple of days; never mind the fact you are going to be without heating for a day! (((hugs)))

    As to those pesky ads, I never even look at them. I couldn’t tell you what ads are on google or Facebook. I learned a while back never to ‘like’ anything on Facebook because every time I did click like I got bombarded with targeted ads. That was super annoying!
    I agree with you, only Facebook and Google are making money with those ads.

  7. It’s cold here as well in northwest Indiana 😦 Woke up this morning with temps hovering around -10 degrees F. Glad I didn’t have to be anywhere today, I let Hubby run the errands. Our three cats have the best idea to survive: curl up and take a nap!

    We use adblock plus on our computers, and as a result hardly ever see any ads. (No idea if adblock is available for mobile devices) Though it does sometimes interfer with one of our local news sources website when we want to watch a video they’ve posted. And in the rare occasion an ad does get through, it NEVER is clicked on. I simply ignore it.

  8. I’m with you. I find it disturbing that I book a hotel, say, and then ads come up on my Facebook page for that very hotel. Which is dumb, since I’ve already booked it. I’m often pressing the button to delete such ads and all ads from that company. But there are ever more to take their place. I wouldn’t mind ads about new books or films, art shows and the like. But I hate the ads about age, weight loss, miracle diets, dating and gambling. They seem to stereotype your age and then send those “targeted” ads.

  9. I’m with you on the whole ball of wax. Hate those ads, and I never click on any of them. I’ve also been getting a stream of unsolicited emails from organizations I’ve never even heard of. Non in my spam file, right in the inbox. Wth? I click “unsubscribe” right away, but how’d I get on their lists in the first place?

    I think the weather is making us all edgy. School was cancelled Monday and Tuesday here in Chicago, again due to extreme cold (-16F yesterday morning; -35F including wind chill). Yeesh. We’re all a little worn out here, even by our weather-hardened standards. Keep your chin up as best you can, Fransi…and kvetch whenever the need arises.

    • Glad to know I’m not alone, Gwen. And yes, if anyone can feel my weather-induced pain it’s you. This is a winter none of us will ever forget. Isn’t it wonderful how even a little kvetching can make you feel so much better?? 🙂

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