This week’s mission was to lure some product (or, as it turned out, service) into using cookie-ing me such that a banner ad for that product or service would track me and show up while I was browsing an unrelated site. At first, I tried navigating to Hult International Business School to see if I could get them to follow me. Back when I was in the market for a business school education and fishing for scholarships, I definitely browsed their website enough to be considered a prospect. The internet bots that control our lives clearly picked up on this because for the next 3-4 months, Hult banner ads appeared everywhere I went: Facebook, Amazon, the New York Times… Hult was waiting for me in all my favorite cyber-places.
Today, though, I guess my exploration of the Hult website was too cursory because no banner ads followed me after I had left. So I reactivated my Facebook account (deactivation is part of my sprint to obsolescence, which I anticipate completing before my 30th birthday) and clicked around my friends’ profiles to see what the ad gods had in store for me. As it turns out, this:
I’m chalking GrubHub up to demographics; I’ve only ever visited the site once and it was several months ago. An almost-30 white guy in business school is probably a good target for GrubHub though. On average, this segment probably cooks with below-average frequency, enjoys higher-quality food than Trader Joe’s frozen enchiladas, and is willing to pay for small conveniences. Does the ad make me want to use them? Not particularly. Delivery in Seattle is abysmally slow and/or expensive and this ad does nothing to convince me that GrubHub will be different.
The other ad is for Bombfell, kind of a remote personal shopper for men’s clothes. I browsed the company’s site, or the site of a similar service, a week or two ago when exploring companies on ProductHunt.com, so that’s probably why that one is showing up. Either that, or the internet has seen recent pictures of me and finds my fashion sense lacking. Either explanation is equally likely. Does the ad make me want to use them? I won’t be punching in my credit card info imminently but I do find the idea appealing and the ad helps make Bombfell the brand in this category that I’ll remember. So it might be one helpful step for them on the torturous road to acquiring me as a customer.