Monday, October 16, 2017

How I Wish Don Draper Worked For Silicon Valley

I sit here, trying to watch a program on a streaming service, but as I try to do so, I'm being bombarded with ads.  Now, I know that the people behind the streaming service will tell me that the only reason I'm able to watch it is because of the ads.  That's fine.  Doesn't bother me in the least, except for the fact that the ads are for things I have absolutely no interest in.  

Even worse, there's no mechanism for me to tell the people behind the streaming service what kinds of ads I'd like to see.  There's absolutely no point in showing me an ad for a new car, regardless of make or model, I can't afford one.  Absolutely, utterly cannot.  My annual income is less than $30K/yr, so forget about my being able to buy the cheapest new car out there.  I can't do it.  Yet, you insist on doing it.

You know what ads I'd watch without any reservations?  What ads would get me to click on a link?  What ads which would have me salivating more for them than any content I might be looking for on the web?  Ones which were aimed at helping someone who is desperately poor to make enough money to be able to afford a new car.  Or hell, damned near anything at all.  Show me those.

I don't care how many videos of dancing turnip twaddlers you show me, for the low, low, price of just 10 easy payments of $19.95/week, I can't afford one.  I can't.  Most of the crap I buy comes from places like Goodwill or other bargain basement places.  Why?  Because my income is barely $300/wk.  Either show me things that I can afford, or ways in which I can make more money, or GTFO.  I can't even tell you that an ad has no interest to me because you're so bad at targeting a market you know you can't make that option available, as most of the people who see that ad would tell you to go fuck yourself.

Don Draper instinctively understood markets.  He didn't need big data to be a success.  You have more data at your fingertips than Draper did, but you can't convince me to buy anything.  Why?  Because it doesn't matter to me how fucking awesome a Lexus might be, I can't afford even a crappy used one.  Yet you insist on showing me ads for the latest Lexus model.  I don't want that.

And fuck your claims that you need more data about me before you can effectively target me.  That's bullshit.  You've got my street address, thanks to my ISP, that alone should be enough to tell you that I can't afford a new car, let alone a new Lexus.  Yet, you insist on showing me ads for them.  Why?  You claim that the ads are supposed to show me products which will help to make my life better, and certainly, if I watch an ad about turnip twaddlers, I'm shown how my life is incomplete without one.  Yet, you don't show me the one thing that I need: The means to be able to afford one.

Would I like to be able to be able to afford one?  Holy fuck, man!  That's a stupid question.  Of course, I'd like to be able to blow money on something as useless as a turnip twaddler and never have to think about it. But you don't show me that.  You don't even show me anything remotely related to that.  Why?  Because you don't know me.

Even worse than that, you don't want to know me.  Unlike Draper, who not only instinctually had an understanding of what people want, but also was willing to see what science had to say on the subject.  You are so enthralled with the concept of "big data" that you've forgotten to ask me what I want.  I'll be happy to tell you.  Hell, I'll let you mine every aspect of my personal data if it enables me to be able to afford a new Lexus.  I won't buy a new car, for reasons I'll be happy to explain to you, but I can't certainly make it worth your while.  If you're willing to have a dialogue with me on the subject.  So far, that doesn't seem to be the case.  When it is, let me know. I'll be happy to give you whatever personal information you need, and stare at as many ads as you like.  Until then, I'm going to block, or ignore every ad you thrust at me, because it isn't offering me a product/service I want.  Draper would understand that, and so far as I've been able to tell, not only do you not understand that, but you don't even want to be told that your ideas might be wrong.

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