Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is Your TV Watching You to Help Marketers Sell You More?

According to this CNN report, your television may be watching you, sort of, through your cable box: what you watch on TV can give advertisers insight into who you are and what you're likely to buy. Armed with the data collected from viewers' cable boxes about their viewing tastes, an advertiser can send commercials to a television screen customized to the interests of viewers in a specific home while they watch shows such as American Idol or Being Human. It's possible that your next door neighbor, who may be watching the same show, will see an ad for the same product or service but the ad he or she sees will be slightly different, will promote features that would appeal more to your neighbor's personality rather than to yours.

Through the data collected from cable boxdes, advertisers are leveraging the same power of targeted marketing they leverage through collecting data based on Internet browsing habits. Should we thank or blame Google for this technology? It's its success online with targeted marketing that may be driving this marketing method. Keep in mind that the companies making money from this say that it also helps consumers by decluttering their ad streams, narrowing commercial appeals to the viewer's interests so that viewers don't see ads for products or services they're unlikely to ever use.

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