Monday, November 27, 2006

Targeted Advertising?

I just set up a MySpace account (unrelated to this blog, and I won’t identify it here). It states clearly in my profile that I’m married. So why does it keep feeding me ads for dating servies?

It’s clearly using some of the information in my profile to target the ads: it knows that I’m male; otherwise the dating service ads wouldn’t all contain pictures of women (to be specific, slutty-looking (and I mean that in a good sense) women in their early 20s, who all appear to be not just out of my league but probably out of the league of most MySpace users their own age). So why isn’t it noticing my marital status and thinking I might be interested in something other than dating services?

I can think of 3 possibilities:

1. Married men actually do patronize dating services in sufficiently large numbers to make these ads worthwhile.

2. Married men don’t actually patronize dating services much, but they do click on the ads, and MySpace gets paid by the click rather than by the actual business generated.

3. MySpace really hasn’t gotten its act together yet when it comes to targeting advertising.



Anonymous Smarty Pants said...

I'm sure it's either 1) or 2). Married men who patronize the ads should get a divorce or a counselor. Married men who click on the ads should click on their wife instead, or get a divorce or a counselor.

Tue Nov 28, 08:49:00 AM EST  
Anonymous pug said...

For dating service advertisers, myspace is targeted "enough" that any further targeting would be inefficient.

Tue Nov 28, 02:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gabriel Mihalache said...

I was going to say the same thing... MySpace, in all probability, are not doing their own ads.

In any case... MySpace? You see more like the Facebook or LinkedIn type.

Wed Nov 29, 02:27:00 AM EST  
Blogger true dough said...

If MySpace can't be bothered to allow its advertisers the ability to cater to, say, women, I don't know if we can conclude anything about married men's propensity to click. (I feel compelled to announce that I would need 12 cats and 40 more years before I ever considered pursuing a guy on-line in such a Jerry Springer fashion. moving on...).
A case could be made for number three. It's only efficient for MySpace to use technologies that are already implemented. This is implicit in the fact that females also see the ads featuring Candi (21) and Cheri (23) and yet the ads are placed according to the region/country of the female user.

Wed Nov 29, 08:47:00 AM EST  
Blogger Ken Houghton said...

I'd go with one and two as well, speaking as a married man.

But I'll dissent from smarty pants. A lot of the dating services allow people to list "social" (which I take to mean social, not "want to shag and not talk later"), which can be useful if one is working out of town long-term.

Also, eye candy is eye candy, and the difference between looking on the street and looking on the web is no difference.

From an economics pov, the dating services provide information. It is nice to have access to relatively low-cost information (leisure time).

From a personal point of view, the information they provide tends to reaffirm that my current state approaches one of maximum utility. (YMMV, in which case smarty pants may be correct, though confusing cause and effect.)

Wed Nov 29, 02:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Laurent GUERBY said...

Tss tss. Just open a few more myspace accounts and change your marital status ceteris paribus and see what comes in.

You're not into microeconomics :).

Wed Nov 29, 06:47:00 PM EST  
Anonymous smarty pants said...

Well, if you're married and working out of town, that is, if you're not living in the same town as your wife, I could see how you and your wife's joint utility could be vastly increased by socializing with each other over a dating service, versus not socializing at all. Of course, someone would have to make sure that it is truly your wife/husband that you're socializing with, yes?
On the other hand, socializing is not necessarily limited to one's wife or husband. Socializing with the opposite sex when you're married is not as acceptable in Anglo North American culture as it is in European culture (perhaps that's a boomer phenomena and Xers don't display these continental differences) or as in the "new nation" of Quebec. I gather it is also more acceptable in educated circles.
Yet I wonder if the paranoia one might experience if one's spouse or mate socializes with the opposite sex may not be entirely justified.

Wed Nov 29, 10:01:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KNZN, come on, more random thoughts, please. They are all great, don't stop.

Fri Dec 01, 03:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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Anonymous Frogster said...

What is all this about and who are you people? It takes a bloody psychic to figure it out! Excessive teasing and barking are not fair people, particularly when you are dealing with ingenues!
Huffing and puffing she leaves, yelling that her door will always be open!

Sat Dec 02, 10:38:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize for my comment left at 3:59. I did not realize how weird it sounded. What I meant to say was that I have been enjoying this blog, but the frequency of posting recently has been a bit disappointing… It was a far-cry for more posts from KNZN. That's all. I am sorry if I have offended anyone, esp. KNZN.

Sun Dec 03, 01:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger knzn said...

FYI I did create an account for my wife, and the ads are quite different. Only a few dating service ads, and they don't use pictures of women.

Thu Jan 04, 10:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger true dough said...

Sigh. I've returned to correct myself but I see knzn has beat me. (Sorry, sir) Old-school female MySpace users would have seen ads for other girls, but upon signing in recently I saw ads for McMuffins, job boards etc. Actually, unlike knzn's trial, no amount of hitting "refresh" would return dating ads. ugh. By now I’ve lost any right to post again. :(

Sun Jan 14, 10:42:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Windsor Bellephone said...

i run a band website on myspace. recently myspace has been throwing up the most obnoxious dating service ads targeted at women (or gay men) on my page. i hate the mugging these guys make, increasingly so, and it angered me enough to seek out your site. i couldn't for the life of me understand why myspace went from showing me video ads of pretty girls to handsome guys. then, just as i sat down to write this, i realized what it was. about two months ago, i was paranoid that the the illuminati was going to assassinate me because i was interviewed for a DC gossip website about secret societies. at this time, i wanted to show on my myspace profile, which i promoted on the same video clip, that i
was popular with the ladies, hoping that the illuminati people who were following me in the wake of the airing of this clip would see that although i had no family close by that i had a "family" of sorts of attractive females who would i appear to be surrounded by. regardless, i set all my top friends, about 30 at the time, to be females. all of them. then, realizing it might look like a womanizer to any of the girls who actually visited, i set my top friends to "random". this has worked out wonderfully, but when i click on edit friends, it still shows the 30 girls as my top friends because apparently myspace stores your top friends until you change them, even if you have that feature to random. this was around the same time that i started seeing these ads, so i bet if i changed my top friends to all males, it would go back to male targeted ads again with the slutty girl videos i miss so much. p.s. the video was removed from the site and people stopped following me.

Fri Jun 06, 05:50:00 PM EDT  
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