Doing the Advertising Shuffle

I’m currently living in an apartment with internet, but without cable. It puts me in that delicate situation of seeing the same 6 ads over and over again on Hulu. As a blogger who loves dissecting TV advertisements, I miss my primetime TV ads. I’m not seeing what the “big” commercials are anymore; you know, the stuff that airs during Glee, football and Revolution.

It was kind of a great thing in November, because it meant I didn’t have to see that many campaign ads (It also helped that I moved out of a swing state leading up to the election. An NYC-based IP address sees a lot fewer campaign ads). It’s a bummer now, though. I’m missing out on most of the Christmas ads, which I hate before Thanksgiving, but love after. What am I seeing instead? The same three “Goldbluming” PayPal ads … over, and over, and over again.

This is not an unusual situation by any means. I am one of many, many, many 18-24 year-olds who watches TV online more than anywhere else (I’m also one of those folks who only watches legally, by the way, and that group is a smaller, ever-shrinking segment of this demo). Because of this online viewing, I am not counted in the ratings (a rant for another day), but I am also rarely reached by the brands that fit me (except when I watch ANTM on cwtv.com, which, while having a crappy player, only plays ads for women ages 18-24).

So, I feel a little lost in the advertising shuffle. The only other major traditional advertising touchpoint for me right now is public transportation: bus shelters and subways. And, while I am drawn in by a good subway car takeover (thank you Jameson Irish Whiskey for your Taste Above All Else ads), I don’t think I’m the target, most of the time.

I shouldn’t really be too disappointed, though. There are spaces where my brands know how to find me: banner ads, social media and email. Granted, all of these require me to do my part: to like, to sign up, to visit the website. But, I guess that’s the ideal, isn’t it? I filter down the messages I want through my actions. I see product updates from New York and Company and LOFT on Facebook. Banana Republic e-mails me a Happy Hour deal, and I end up running over to the store and buying two sweaters. The website I just checked out while shopping for Christmas presents for my brother starts showing up in banner ads, reminding me that I need to make a decision, already! (Spoilers: I did make a decision. It’s in the mail. CJ, don’t open anything addressed to me if you’re home when the package arrives.)

My brands can still find me! They get me! No, it’s not as exciting as a TV ad, and there’s no song-and-dance to this advertising. It’s simply giving me what I need when I need it. I do miss my Folger’s creepy-yet-heartwarming family-centric ads, but I am getting the deals I want from the brands I care about 75% of the time I’m online. Now, if Hulu could just find something to show me besides PayPal ads, before I start Goldbluming like Jeff Winger when he meets Rich in pottery class.

…because I’ve gone SOOOO long without talking about Community on this blog.

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