Thursday, March 12, 2009
Skittle-Flavored Lip Gloss?? Really, Facebook??
When perusing the pathways in Facebookland, I always notice the targeted ads that appear on the sidebar. An interesting lineup of four-eyed babies and hip-hop yoga albums (???) greet me as I scan my friends' status lines. I can't help but notice the number of ads that promise me that I'll look 10 years younger by using their magic salve or that, perhaps, I can aspire to Jennifer-Anistonesque beauty by enveloping my head in a cloud of cigarette smoke. I recently saw a sidebar ad that tried to entice me with graphic before and after belly-shots of a woman who had sloughed off inches of cellulite by using a particular product. They must have known that that's what I wanted to look at whilst enjoying my first cup of morning java. And only today I noticed an offer to receive free samples of Skittle-flavored lip balm... because I must have noted my affinity toward makeup designed for 8-year old girls on my Info page, right? I have to laugh when I think about Facebook's attempt, through targeted advertising, to paint a picture of who I am and what interests me. Based on what they've drummed up, I must be an overweight, wrinkled, chain-smoking, candy-flavored-lip-balm-wearing, hip-hop-yoga enthusiast (I didn't even list yoga or hip-hop as one of my interests). I have never once clicked on these ads. Sorry, Facebook -- you have failed in your attempts to pigeonhole me as a four-eyed baby lover who enjoys counting triangles.