I’m going to build a lead house

Have you heard the latest? Smart ads are now watching you in the grocery store and at the mall. That’s right, you’re not only watching the ad, the ad is watching you! I noticed that recently my local Wal-Mart had installed these monitors at the end of certain aisle and the monitors were running commercials. Well, wouldn’t you know that the genius advertising agency has come up with this totally Orweillian plan to install tiny cameras in the monitors that take a digital image of anyone who stops to watch the monitor. The image is analyzed by this new software that determines the gender, age, and ethnicity of the person watching the commercial. They use this data in two ways; they target the ads that show on the monitor, meaning if the software indicates that you are a woman the next ad may be for dish detergent as opposed to, if you are a man, beer.  The second way advertisers use the info is to track how effectively they are reaching their target, so they can count exactly how many men stopped to watch the beer ad on any given day.

Not only that, but the tracking on the web now is absolutely ridiculous. I was reading IHT online and this insurance ad came up that said, “Hello, [Insert my state here], we’re now offering insurance in your state.” I’ve been hearing this company’s ads on the radio for the past few weeks, so I was familiar with their ad campaign. It totally freaked me out that they knew I was in their market when I went to an international site. How did they know? Did they buy my searches from Google, so they knew I had searched for restaurants in my city?

Seriously I can’t even begin to deal!!! Check out this poem set to music by Jill Scott. It totally captures my sentiments. Then take the poll and/or leave me a comment and let me know if you think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill or what.


15 thoughts on “I’m going to build a lead house

  1. Jill’s right. Somethin’ ain’t right. I noticed those monitors in the checkout aisles but I have never paid them much attention. I’m usually wondering how I always manage to choose the line where the cashier has to call the manager because the patron has some problem with their payment tender or they run out of quarters or some other inane issue that traps in a Walmart line for eternity. Hey maybe that’s not by coincidence either. Perhaps it’s all a part of the plot. Don’t open up any other registers although the two lanes that are open have lines going all the way to the back of the store. Just keep them in line so they watch our advertisements. But I digress. I think I am going to disable my GPS in my phone. I feel like they are watching me all the time. Maybe they call ahead to Walmart and tell them to queue up my favorite commercial about plasma TVs.

  2. Wow, you brought up interesting things I had never noticed or considered. If nothing else, it certainly gives one pause and makes you think. Thanks for such an informative (and eye-opening) post!

  3. From a techie stand point, This is cool!! Technology has come a long way, and can be used for GOOD. Just think how many things have improved your quality of life. Although, I do understand the concerns of privacy invasion.

  4. wow! it continues to amaze me the limits that companies will go to for advertising and the amount of money they will spend, especially now. it is also super creepy!

    i am stopping by to offer up a hello from SITS! welcome aboard!

  5. I think the technology is cool–if someone really wants to care about my shopping, that’s fine with me. That is a little weird, though, but it doesn’t bother me. If I was in the Witness Protection Program, though, I would have some serious concerns.:)

  6. wow, that is scary how we are being watched.
    came by through SITS part of the welcome wagon you sent an email to

  7. It’s a little creepy if you ask me. I can understand the extra advertising but the whole scanning your face thing is NOT cool.

    I’m on the SITS welcoming wagon and just dropping in to say HI!

  8. Like the book 1984, Big Brother… Kind of creepy and amazing technology at the same time. My fave was listening to a little Jill while reading. I love her voice!

    I am on the SITS welcome wagon with you. Isn’t SITS cool!

    I’m having a gift-a-way on my blog….check it out when you have a minute.

  9. Wow. That’s freaky. I don’t think I like the idea of someone taking my picture without me knowing, regardless of what they intend to do with it at the time.

    Happy Wednesday fellow Wagonista!

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