Friday, August 13, 2004

Look around and you will find, no one's really color blind

Targeted advertising annoys the hell out of me. Seen on the New York Post's site, presumably because my IP address is Canadian:
...Yes. Of course. Those are my favourite foods! Brilliant! However did you guess, Weight Watchers? First of all, if you mean poutine, say poutine, not "fries & gravy." I think I've eaten a beaver tail exactly twice, and one of those times was done in highly ironic fashion at the Canada pavilion at Epcot. And while I enjoy maple syrup on pancakes, as is an acceptably generic North American habit, I can't remember ever eating or making maple cookies. What bothers me is the decidedly unironic undertone of ethnic stereotyping; would Weight Watchers target those with a German IP address with a banner ad questioning if their favourites are sauerkraut, schnitzel and liverwurst? Or maybe one for the French market announcing that one could eat all the frogs' legs, escargot, and camembert one likes on their diet plan? Or how about a special version for addresses tracing back to Detroit or New Orleans announcing the newfound possibility of continuing to enjoy fried chicken, watermelon, and pig's feet while still losing weight? If it's a ham-handed and offensive marketing concept for any region, it's ham-handed and offensive everywhere.

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