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Zappos’ targeted ads: privacy violation?

About five days ago I decided it was a time to retire my old brown dress shoes so I went online, as I usually do, to shuffle over the hundreds of models that my search yielded.

So I went to my usual first option: Zappos.com, but couldn’t find something I liked so, I went to a few other sites until I did and finished my transaction. All good now, time to forget about brown shoes.

Today while reading a few blog posts at Alltop.com, one of my preferred blogs, I was creeped out by some ads displaying the shoe models I was looking at at Zappos! But on my favorite blog?

As an interactive marketer I had always supported targeted and personalized advertising but now that I experienced it, I think this went too far, it is just creepy.

It’s like I went to the shoe store and five days later the shoe salesman approaches me at lunch, out of nowhere, to tell me to buy the shoes I “touched” during my last visit, I personally find it outrageous!

So I tweeted the following:

@ferdelat 11:40am:
Zappos ads that show the shoe models I didn’t shop are annoying and creeping me out a lot. Stop stalking me!!

And this is the response from Zappos

@Zappos_Service 12:37pm:
@ferdelat I’m sorry. Those ads are running on your computer’s cookies and cache. If you clear them, the ads should go away.

Although Criteo, the company serving those ads, states that the information is anonymous you would have to go to configuration to prevent these ads from showing. What I’m concerned about is that I never signed-in and now I have to opt-out.

What happened to the question: Would you like to receive more information about ____________?

And the fact that a different company, not  Zappos, is controlling that information creeps me out even more! Why does Criteo know what I’m watching online? What else do they know?

When I’m done buying shoes I just want to close the window and forget about that. I don’t want to buy 25 pairs of shoes! Same as when I leave a store.

So, the ad wasn’t relevant, but it did creep me out. I’m blocking these ads and if you want to do so here is the opt-out link: http://ow.ly/2e9fU

And remember, you are being watched and followed – stalked would be a more precise word according to my experience.

What do you think?

Pepsi’s New Ways

January 12th, 2010 No comments

For the last two years people in the advertising industry have been forecasting a switch in marketing dollars from TV, radio and newspaper towards Internet campaigns, but the following is probably the most visible case so far.

For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not run any kind of advertisement during the Super Bowl. This represents a huge switch of around $15 million dollars in marketing spending from TV to an online campaign based on social media.

Ok, a marketing spending switch from TV to online and social media is not news, but what about costumer centric marketing communications as opposed to company/product centric? Pepsi is aiming to help people help their communities. Those individuals that register a project and receive the most votes will receive funding.

To be more specific, Pepsi’s online campaign will be powered by social media and social participation. It’s going to be about communities – online and offline – interacting to create something new.

Find more about it at: refresheverything.com

Mexican digital talent on the rise

December 7th, 2009 No comments

Recently Advertising Age, one of the most respected publications in the industry, posted on it’s global news section an article about a Mexican interactive agency creating award winning productions with global agencies like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Wieden Kennedy.

Congratulations to Grupo W, one of our parent company’s (IA Interactive) industry colleagues, for their achievements, and for putting Mexico in the global market for interactive campaigns.

Do you know what to track on your website?

November 17th, 2009 1 comment

All websites have a goal, but that goal is achieved differently depending on the user. To lead to this goal, several steps may be necessary which is why it is crucial to set your goals from the beginning to properly structure your website and measure its effectiveness.

Your website, as a part of your digital strategy, should help users move to the next step, to take action, or “to convert” – a commonly used web word. Many tools in the market, such as Google Analytics, help you measure your campaign by providing visual snapshots of your campaign’s sales funnel, but in order to properly use these tools, you need to already have the structure to lead to your goal.

So the question is, what structure should your website have? Here is a basic sales funnel and different types of websites showing a suggestion of what to consider on each step of the funnel.

Sales funnel and site goals

*SaaS (Software as a Service), where consumption of the service or execution of a license happens on the website. Examples of this sites could be dating sites, social networks and many many others.

Hope you find this useful.

F.