I remember how shocked I was the first time I was on some website that had paid rotating ads and saw ads that were clearly targeted at me, because they were plus-size clothing websites I had recently visited. It was then that I knew that cookies of the non-chocolate-chip type were on my computer (although if you shake out my keyboard, it’s entirely possible that you would find evidence that cookies of the chocolate-chip type had also been on my computer), and who knows what other kinds of data miners. Despite all my careful internet practices, I had been infiltrated nonetheless.
I’ve been an active internet citizen for a long time now, and that stuff doesn’t even faze me anymore. I get it. And I get that the idea of privacy on the internet is largely the stuff of carefully constructed self-delusion. Yeah, I wish it were otherwise, but as I’m not about to give up my laptop or surfing the ‘net, I accept that it is what it is. In fact, I think it isn’t going far enough to be useful to me.
So the other day, on my Facebook timeline, this very cute dress was suggested to me via a paid ad.
And it was suggested by a company whose stuff I love and have quite a bit of in my closet. Problem is, I would never, ever buy this dress. They have wasted their advertising AND my time. If they’re going to put cookies and data miners on my computer, there should be additional settings I can configure so this stuff can really, truly, be tailored to me, like “Too messy an eater to ever, ever, EVER even consider buying a white dress.”
Please. The last time I wore a white dress was 20 years ago, the day I got married. I’m pretty sure I spilled various offerings from the buffet on it, too, because it isn’t lunch if it isn’t dribbled down my front. In fact, white clothing is pretty much a magnet for marinara sauce, in my experience. And if you manage to avoid red stains on the front, you’ll inevitably sit down on something you shouldn’t have and ruin the back. That’s why I just don’t go there.
Other cookie settings that would be useful to me in targeted ads:
- Won’t iron, so if it needs ironing, fuhgeddaboudit it. I’m looking at you especially, Linen.
- XL is not a plus size, it’s the top end of straight sizes, so if you’re marketing yourself as a plus-size vendor and don’t go above that, you’re blocked, because that shit is just annoying. Don’t make me fall in love with your designs only to find out you don’t feel like making them for ME because you’re a body snob who hates money.
- Back zippers are a pain in the ass when you don’t have a lady’s maid, or you do have a husband who goes to work before you’re dressed most days, and besides, all he does is complain about the impossibly tiny zippers that are attached to women’s dresses. Back zippers are low-priority. Do not show me these dresses if you’re trying to get me to make an impulse purchase.
- Ditto Dry Clean Only. They make amazingly soft and comfy polyesters these days. Polyester is my friend.
- Lane Bryant, just give up already. All I buy from you is bras and undies, because your clothing is cut so weirdly that I honestly don’t know who can wear it. Go market to that strange polygonal woman with the ginormous rack and an insatiable need for armpit aeration you’re using as a fit model.
- Is it yellow? Never gonna wear yellow. Don’t even bother.
- I am 5’ 10”. Does your dress/skirt account for that in both length and belt placement? If not…pass!
- I am 5’ 10” with a bad back that cannot tolerate much more than 1” heel, so high heels are both unnecessary and dangerous to me. Do not flaunt astoundingly cute pumps I can’t wear in my general direction. That is cruel, and I do not reward cruelty with cash.
- I hate paying shipping. I won’t pay exorbitant shipping. If you’re going to gouge me on shipping, move along, because I’ll never buy your stuff. Pay shipping both ways and you’ll be amazed at how fast I’ll give you a try.
If you’re going to target me with your ads, don’t half-ass it–TARGET ME! Make it worth my while. I really am a soft touch when it comes to indulging myself, so offer me what I actually want, and I’m going to give you my money. It’s that simple.