Ad (doesn’t) work

I usually watch Youtube on my laptop, which has adblockers installed, so it’s always astonishing to me when I try to watch a video on the Youtube android app and see (a) the number of ads, (b) how intrusive they are, and (c) how poorly targeted they are.

(c) = I live in Vermont and my Youtube account, linked to google, shows a Vermont zip code, but I persistently get New Hampshire political ads. No Vermont ads whatsoever, not that those would reach me either, but… whatever they’re doing to target me, they’re missing. Why can’t they get a simple demographic like residency down? If I have a Vermont zip code, that means I live in Vermont. Why would they think I care about political ads for races in a state in which I don’t live?

(b) = ads just pop up in the most annoying spots on videos. Doesn’t the algorithm or whatever understand that if an ad gets my attention by pissing me off, it’s already lost me? My annoyance is both at the app AND at the advertiser.

(a) = I discovered a while back that if I refreshed a video page when the ad started, it’d clear. A couple days ago, I had to refresh a page TWELVE TIMES before the irrelevant, poorly targeted ads (“DON BOLDUC SAYS… SENATOR MAGGIE HASSAN SAYS…”) cleared. If an ad doesn’t work seamlessly, and in fact hinders me from doing what I want to do, that’s a problem, reference “my annoyance is both at the app AND at the advertiser” above.

Look, I get advertising. It’s necessary if you have a message or a product. I’m not saying it should be abolished, or that some of them don’t reach me, or that I don’t advertise my own works myself.


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