So the celebration wasn’t just close family. Her friends, colleagues, staff, and current and former students came out to honor her legacy. We told stories. Had a musician play music from Argentina, where she grew up. And we showed a compilation music video of some of her core teachings.
One of her tenets was the idea that anything can be turned to its opposite. It’s obvious that extremes of junk food are best to be avoided (see "This Is Why You’re Fat" for delightful examples like the “Krispy Kreme Donut Dog”), but too much of a health food can also be poison. Even drinking too much water can be fatal.
All things in moderation, including moderation. It’s a lesson that neither originated nor ended with my mother, but it’s one that we have neglected to heed in the marketing world.
When advertising first came around, it was actually a major public service. How else could you discover the options that were available to you, the particular brand of horse and buggy or the newly arrived muslin at the general goods store? Advertising surfaced content that the consumers genuinely wanted and had no other means of accessing.
Increasingly, however, our ad model has become one of shouting over each other, fighting to be heard among the cacophony, and more often than not fighting to convince people that they need something they don’t.
As ads become more and more ubiquitous, and as advertisers become more and more sophisticated in the use of technology and big data to cut through the clutter, everyone is forced to continue upping their game in order to compete.
Against this backdrop emerges Reveelz: an Israeli company that has figured out a way to identify your home address -- and whether you’re there -- simply by having you opt into a Web or mobile offer. As my MediaPost colleague Joe Mandese reports: “The test offered consumers access to ‘premium’ content in exchange for opting in to receive ‘targeted advertising.’ Once they opted in, Reveelz's method scours a variety of publicly available databases, such as the U.S. Census, and via a series of cross-references utilizing machine algorithms, narrows it down to one physical address to that individual.
“Once a consumer’s physical address is identified, Reveelz uses it [to] identify information about the consumer that matches other marketing databases.”
They’re not wrong; increasingly, accurate targeting does indeed solve a major pain point for Madison Avenue, and, if the endeavor works, they’ll probably do extremely well with it. But it’s gross. And here’s the problem: we don’t like gross things if you ask us, but our passive tolerance for privacy invasion appears to be nearly limitless. Which means that, once tracking your home address and whether or not you’re there becomes the norm, they’ll need to go further: your social security number, maybe. Your bank balance. Your willingness to rack up even more credit card debt.
We’re rapidly approaching the point where our ability to target becomes too much of a good thing. And too much of a good thing, as my mom would have said, can be poison.