I'm convinced Mark Zuckerburg is somewhat of an evil genius. Although the concept of Facebook is nothing really that innovative, what he (or someone he was working with) realized was that what social networks end up giving you--laid out in front of you like a Thanksgiving day table--is the personal information and tastes of a huge swath of the 15-30-year-old population. We've probably all heard of the scandals over our information being sold to advertising partners, and we've all probably shrugged off the cries of the privacy advocates who recognize that we're all participating in what amounts to a giant marketing survey.
So, given that Facebook pretty much exists to mine our personal pages for information to sell us shit, why is it that the targeted ads on the side are always (to use internet lingo) so full of fail?
-"Meet hot single Canadian girls now!" and the like. One would think it would be the most efficient use of ad space for facebook not to show these to people who are listed as being in a relationship? Also, Canadian girls don't usually go for internet dating. The traditional ones won't come out to dinner with you unless you bring them a pair of moose antlers and three beaver pelts.
-"Find the best place to celebrate Diwali near you!" I'm not Indian, although I do greatly enjoy butter chicken.
-"The BEST DNA decontaminator!" Urgh. Really?
-"A Conversation with George W. Bush in Montreal on October 22nd! Tickets still remaining, get yours fast!" Oh boy, my favorite president in my home city?! I'll have to bring an extra pair of shoes.
-"Download the free online beer fridge!" This isn't as much mistargeted as just mind-numbingly stupid. After a hard day, there's obviously nothing I love quite as much as an ice cold binary beer.
-"Etes-Vous Francophone? Travaillez pour Facebook!" Yes, I'm a francophone. That's why I'm from California and my facebook page is in English.
-"Too early for Christmas?" Yes, actually. Why on earth would they have these ads up now? "I didn't think so. Download an entire album of Christmas piano for $3.96!" ...oy. when I do my christmas music shopping, I only go for the highest quality merchandise. This four-dollar crap just won't cut it.
-"Play Evony Now: World's #1 Web Game! Play subtly with me now! FREE forever!" Hmmm...
-"Become a fan of the Jonas Brothers!"