It's here and it's real. For years this has been a hot topic. In this blog we explain how it works.
You are chatting with some friend, you mention you want to get a pizza. You start surfing the web and next you know it, an ad for Pizza’s pups up.
The technique is a form of contextual targeting. The technique came to life in the early days of Programmatic Advertising but at that time was only applicable for display advertising. A consumer visits a certain page or app, and ad-request is fired and within this adrequest the content of that specific page or app is present. Then, a campaign set-up based on contextual targeting will notice a ‘match’ in the content of the site/app and the content (text) that the advertiser wants to target and an ad is served. This all taking place in mere milliseconds.
Now let’s say you are chatting in WhatsApp (owned by Facebook). You mention you want a pizza. You then open your Facebook timeline and an ad is served showing an ad for the nearest Pizza restaurant. Scary right? Well, it’s reality. Especially the fact that Google, Facebook but also Amazon own multiple widely used internet applications, this creepy form of targeting is present today. Again; it’s based on a reasonably long existing form of contextual targeting. There are even speculations and rumors microphones of phones transfer data and ads can be served based on the content of that phone call. Until now f.e. Facebook has strongly denied these claims.
Whats interesting to mention is that - when studying the entire ecosystem in which this takes place - it’s notably becoming more accepted. Yesterday an Amazon spokesperson admitted a small team of Amazon employees is listening to what Alexa hears. You might even know a person that admitted; ‘I don’t care that(f.e.) Google/Amazon is listening; got nothing to hide’.
This - ladies and gentleman - is acceptance by the masses and with that; the future of advertising. We are not sure we like it.