Advertising’s Lost Opportunities

An Essay by J. Paul Duplantis   


I guess I am on this kick again. Just can’t shake it. I wrote an essay back in March on this and the continued barrage of nonrelevant ads into my digital footprint is keeping the argument alive for me. I believe I must have seen this ad from HostGator 50 times on different media platforms in the last week. I have to ask – what in the hell does this have to do with me.

Not the service. I actually might be in the market for a service like this is in the future. No~ the advertisement. Granted, this ad may speak to the interests of many out there which is fantastic. No judgment whatsoever. It just doesn’t speak to me. It actually turns me off the service. Are there any ads that do the same thing for you? They are lost opportunities for engagement in my mind. I could see the necessity of shotgun ads in the past before technology could tune images and moving images to my interests but here we are knocking on the doorstep of 2020 (The future by all accounts) and I am met with this?

How do you solve this? You allow me to keep my interests stored in a personal and private silo where advertisers have to knock on my door and ask my explicit permission to advertise to me. I would say yes as long as they met the criteria for providing advertisement of services that match the interests I designated. And if there were an AI assistant in my silo, I might even be open to discovering interests I never thought of before and therefore related products and services. I argue under this model, businesses who care enough to understand their customers could increase sales.

So now HostGator would be competing for my interests rather than my clicks. Could they create a library of ads built around an ecosystem of interests that could be aligned with my personal silo? In the near future, yes. But not until personal silos are a thing. More of a chicken and egg argument. This is the reason why in my opinion it is important to create technologies where my interests and activities hide behind a personal silo. Build this and they will come (hopefully). Tim Berners Lee and Inrupt are working on personal silos through their Solid POD framework and I know others are working on similar tech.

Unless we would like to keep the doors of our cars, our homes, and our bank accounts open permanently, I just don’t know why we would want to keep the doors of our experiences open. It will never be perfect but once we begin to regain control of these experiences, I believe the opportunities for engagement and commercial transactions are limitless. They would just serve the interests of the consumer more than the provider. But isn’t that still a win for all involved? Is it advertising if we are interested? Wouldn’t this change in perception be healthy for purveyors of goods and services?

One way to find out. Let’s build it. What do WE have to lose???

Leave a Reply