The Perfectly Targeted Ad Should Actually Be Imperfect

At Wednesday's OMMA DDM in New York City, an interesting point arose during one of the panels -- “The Year Of Personalization: Making Data Smaller And Smarter.”

The question: Would a flawlessly targeted ad actually be too creepy, thus having a negative impact?

According to the panelists, yes.

Anush Prabhu, partner, chief channel planning and investment officer, Deutsch NY, brought up the notorious Target story in which the retail giant did such a good job of targeting that it knew when a girl was pregnant. The result was a lawsuit from one unhappy father.

Henry Lawson, CEO of nFluence Media, said the advertising industry needs to maintain a level of serendipity.

There is enough history to prove that there can be unintended consequences from targeting. Even recently there have been stories of people being targeted in ways they should clearly not be targeted.



The panel moderator, Maria Tazi, strategic brand and marketing consultant at Prophet, asked if the marketing industry was falling into the realm of “Big Brother.”

You knew it was a good question when it was followed by a few moments of silence; each panelist was thinking carefully before speaking.

Oren Harnevo, CEO and co-founder of EyeView, doesn’t think it’s falling into the realm of “Big Brother,” but does believe the industry needs guidelines. He believes those guidelines should be created by the consumers, and that everyone should choose what to opt into.

It’s paradoxical that an industry borderline obsessed with efficiency is actually capped in regard to how well it can do what it’s intending.

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