watch the ad tech bubble pop tomorrow just to really bring some chaos down.

chaos twenty 20 i live for this

don't forget that they literally can't prove that digital advertising works. yes it's the engine of the "new economy" and yes it will eventually crack like a shiny beetle's carapace

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"I’m selling $25bn of advertising a year," Karmazin said. "Why would I want anyone to know what works and what doesn’t?"

Leaning on the table, hands folded, he gazed at his hosts and told them: "You’re fucking with the magic."

also the phrase "you're fucking with the magic" has been reverberating around my brain since i read it a few months ago

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@selontheweb this article is subtly hilarious and also horrifying


is marketing just a make-work program for charlatans? experts say "i dunno probably yes?"

@selontheweb I made a mistake and looked at my 401k and it's all in an index fund with the top 10 being mostly tech advertising companies. Gonna be real cool when my money all fucks off

If they can't prove it works, it doesn't work.
It's just a corporate surveillance state.

@selontheweb "Marketers are often most successful at marketing their own marketing." yyyyyyyyyyea

@selontheweb Going to co-opt this phrase and stick it in a fantasy novel at some point

@selontheweb as someone who used to work in marketing for a startup (before they fucked me over by putting me in charge of a failing project and then fired me 😃 ) can confirm, this is all absolutely true. my boss straight up told me that there's no proof retargeting (showing people ads for stuff they've looked at before) actually works and yet they kept doing it. we did lots of a/b tests, but only for which version of an ad got more clicks, not for if the ad should be there at all.

@selontheweb you know, after digging through some of my mostly-repressed memories of working there while walking home from
the bus stop, i realized that's not entirely true. there was some legit a/b testing being done. however it was only on text-only google ads, and i only remember hearing one of the two people who dealt with google ever doing it. it involved running our ad against an ad for a random charity (i think we were running habitat for humanity ads when i worked there).

@selontheweb it was also never done with brand search ads (i.e. having an ad for ebay when someone searches ebay as discussed in the article). we were terrified of letting our brand search budget slip in case competitors (and we had several fierce competitors) bought ads on our terms. however, i have to wonder if someone who searched specifically for ebay would really click on an ad for, say, amazon instead of it came up first.

@selontheweb none of this changes the fundamental point that billions of dollars are being spent and massive amounts of personal data is being harvested for something that probably doesn't even work though.

@xyzzy as someone who helps older & inexperienced computer users, many people type in, say, "yahoo e mail" into Google after directly saying "type in"

And I watch in slow, painful silence as people click on the first result even if it's an ad for a different website, and the exact hit they want is #3

So, yeah. People with various mental fogs and who don't have the learned processing skills we have for computer info will do that.

@xyzzy some people will know Amazon & eBay by name only, and never realize they did something wrong.

Others will be aware enough to know that the webpage is wrong, but too insecure to backtrack on their own.


@selontheweb sel have you read bullshit jobs? It has a lot of the same energy as this article and I think you'd like it

@AOL i haven't but i've heard so much about it :) might have to check it out!

@selontheweb I'm tempted to share this on LinkedIn. I work in marketing.

@firescotch ohohoho, I'm real curious if folks would ignore or engage with it...

@selontheweb It'll probably just get ignored tbh. The only thing people seem to respond to on there are stolen feel good videos from elsewhere, workaholic humblebrags, or the odd "I'm sorry I know this is LinkedIn but Trump is still my president and he deserves more respect". Anything that would shake these people's worldview would probably land with a dud. I am trying to find a good quote from the article to post with it anyway though.

@selontheweb Been waiting for this to pop, it's astounding the amount of money spent on this.

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