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How I Lost My Shirt (& the Internet Didn't Let Me Forget It)

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My friends and I held our annual clothing swap last weekend. Everyone contributes garments they no longer wear and selects new ones from the pool, with the remainder donated to charity. It’s a great way to thin out one's wardrobe and satisfying to see friends glorying in duds you no longer wear.

But in the frenzy of donning and doffing garments, clothes may unintentionally disappear. This happened with my favorite shirt. I thought it gone for good, so when I got home, I immediately searched online, looked at several options (none in my signature green, however), and finally ordered the same shirt that disappeared.

And then, I received an e-mail telling me that my beloved shirt had gotten mixed into someone’s pile and would be returned. Now, I had two.

Case closed? Not quite.  Immediately, ads began showing up touting the shirts I had not bought. The same two shirts in the same two colors (red and black) followed me everywhere I went. The web had decided I’m in the market for a shirt and was determined to sell me one---even though I had already made a purchase (and now had two).

With this experience fresh on my mind, I saw this article on re-targeting:

Lesson: Technology is wonderful and re-targeting might work sometimes, but enough is enough! I lost my shirt, yes, but I found it already.  Twice.

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  • by Daniel Schutzsmith Thu Jun 9, 2011 via blog

    Ha, I guess the internet knows more about what you need than you do! Kidding aside, this does bring up tons of implications for the future of advertising and privacy. Hopefully as we progress there will aloso be plenty of opportunities to opt-out of the Orwellian ad networks.

  • by Elaine Fogel Fri Jun 10, 2011 via blog

    Why is it that the most effective marketing tactics are sometimes the most annoying? In the linked article you included, retargeting got a 1046% lift. Hard to argue with success.

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