I used to run a campaign so well targeted that we had an 8% buy rate. That is, 8% of the people that saw the ad not only clicked, they actually bought the product.
Google charged us $35 for every click but the product was so expensive we still made a killing.
Targeted advertising needs to be banned for the good of society. It's evil, inisidious. All about trying your best to manipulate the worst traits of human nature for profit.
I can pretty easily find out if you're an addict, ex con, a gambler, in debt, illegal immigrant, bad English, maybe a minority. I'll find something you're probably insecure about and use that to sell you shit.
Also, I don't wanna waste money showing my ads to poor people. Can't do that directly, but there's plenty of proxies. Just add a bunch of "interests" to your audience. Things Like horse racing, wine collecting, yachts, expensive rugs.
I wish I was kidding, but everyone does this on targeted advertising platforms. It's a discrimination minefield, but since you use proxy characteristics for everything and everyone covers their eyes it's totally fine.
My favorite easy way to increase ad efficiency?
Exclude Android users. Really.
What's an example of this? I'm generally confused by your claim, because I've used a whole lot of internet and literally never bought anything through an ad.
If you are desperate and someone is able to convince you that he can solve your problems for only 20-50$ no questions asked, next day in delivered to your home wouldn't you click if you had the money?
Do a Google search for X accident lawyer, where X is literally anything, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
The most expensive targeted ads prey on the desperate. Personal injury, bankruptcy, addiction, jail, death and next of kin, cancer, you name it. Think if the worst possible things that could happen to somebody. Those are the most lucrative ad keywords
As dumb as it sounds when put like this, it actually works. When you start looking for it, marketing that exploits body image insecurities is particularly common.
And as counterpoint, if it was really so effective as you claim, why haven't we seen huge increases in ad spending lately?
And should also be banned. A painkiller being promoted and bought more by customers just because it has more money to spend in advertising is morally worse than the mere creepiness of regular (buy BS stuff you don't need) targeted advertisement.
Who needs ads?
Level the playing field with an online catalog where patients can discover (in, say, random order for each viewing, to avoid even sorting bias) all available painkillers.
You can then add voting to the catalog, so patients and doctors can weight in for how good they think the painkiller is -- but with huge fines and prison for any company trying to manipulate buy those votes.
Google is one of the biggest companies in the world solely from advertising revenue. Same with Facebook and other social media. The more information they have about you, the more terrible the ad targeting
Is that really the "obvious" inference?
Perhaps they're just good at selling something outrageously overpriced to a category of particularly gullible marks. It wouldn't be the first time in advertising history, I'm sure.
We're never going to get a comprehensive answer to the questions underlying these operations as long as companies like Facebook get to pick and choose what data gets released to research these issues.
The CEO is part of several other unsavory propaganda campaigns, such as Hamilton 68, which Greenwald et al have pretty effectively torn apart.
I think it is fair for me to assume that propaganda does influence politics without having to commission a study on it.
If politicians get results when they spend their money on it, they wont care to wait for "rigorous science" to prove anything. And they wont be foolish to pay for non-results for long...
Empirical results beat "rigorous science" every time...
And they wont be foolish to pay for
non-results for long...
It's far from obvious to me that you could tell apart the effects of different efforts - especially as you don't know who each voter voted for.
Companies that do those short of campaigns stagger them at different times, do polls before and after, test a new method in this or that area or demographic and check again and so on through election year.
It's not just "apply a bunch of methods at once" -> "check the final election result" as the only feedback.
Yet they still pay. People are irrational.
I know I should not extrapolate from one data point, and by way of example after a friend joined FB about 2 years ago, I have noticed a progressive change in their viewpoints. Although a trained scientist, they now talk frequently about (1) anti-vaccination, (2) chemtrails, (3) climate change hoax,(4) Soros, (5) Brexit.
My hypothesis is that hawkers of nonsense use FB to identify people interested in one of the above and then bombard them with recommends.
After all, we behave according to our lived experience - and if social media platforms are used to alter the perception of lived experience, then logic dictates that they can sway behaviour.
Should I be smug? Absolutely not! I have little idea where my opinions come from.
Not everything is so black and white.
No it doesn't. "Targeted ads" had very little to do with the CA/Facebook scandal and I see them as largely irrelevant in what happened. So I don't see that assumption present in the top comment at all.
A significant amount of the "noopolitics" done with this kind of data is done through peer-based evidence - "regular" accounts posting political things, with "regular" accounts responding, but where both accounts are false personas, spies if you will.
The 'targeted ads' line is a misleading spin. Very little was done with targeted ads and a lot more was done with impersonating Americans and posing as GOP officials, etc.