Question of the Week #241

If ads could be tailored so effectively to your personal desires and concerns that they’d be nearly irresistible, would you want to ban them? Would you buy special high-tech sunglasses that screened out billboards and other advertising to leave a pristine visual landscape?

Ah… but how would I know about these special high-tech sunglasses if I didn’t see the advertisement for them first?

Personally, I hate ads as they are, whether they’re tailored to my wants or needs or not. And, in most cases, they kind of are. I happen to Google the title of a book or go to Amazon to price an air purifier and suddenly I’m seeing ads for them on Facebook and Instagram. Isn’t that an invasion of privacy amazing?

I love watching a YouTube video… but I hate that you now have to sit through a couple of ads that you can’t skip anymore. And then there are more ads peppered throughout the video. But I sure don’t want to pay $12 a month just to never have to watch those stupid commercials anymore.

Ads are dumb, but they’re a part of life. I think, in my case, it’s rare that a commercial actually does its job. I’ve never been convinced to switch auto insurance because a commercial made me laugh. I’ve never been convinced to buy a new car because some spokesperson was screaming at me about the great deals they have THIS WEEKEND ONLY! I’ve never even considered asking my doctor if any prescription medication is right for me.

The only commercials that ever sway me are the ones for food. Restaurant chains and their ad agencies do a fantastic job of making their menu items look way more delicious than they actually are.

But what about you? Would you prefer to have ads banned? Do you want those special sunglasses that block out advertisements from view? If so, just send three easy payments of $19.95 to PO Box 13655. Oh, and let me know down in the comments!

*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Feature Photo by Kiran CK on Unsplash

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