Monday, July 15, 2013

Minority Report Is Here

This is my actual ring. Seriously, unless you're buying diamonds and
other precious stones and such, get your wedding rings online.
You'll save a hella lot of money.
No, I don't mean that we're putting people in jail for crimes they're going to commit in the future. We might be--who knows at this point--but I'm talking about the hyper-intense, very personalized marketing that the film Minority Report depicted.

We all know that if we buy something on Amazon, we start to see related advertisements in other internet activities. It gets really weird when you search for something on your computer, then get an ad for it on your phone. And I understand that when huge corporations run software and hardware companies that are integrated, and cross-platform, and all of that kind of crap, we're bound to start getting weirded out a little.

I've actually been trying to create this phenomenon by searching for odd things, things I don't normally have any interest in, like Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Bing, ladies' golf shoes in Yahoo, and Dymo label makers in AOL, just to see where those things might pop up. Oddly enough, none of that worked. What did, was by accident. My boss needed to get a ride to a Lexus repair shop, and I typed "Lexus Las Vegas" into a Google Maps search. After that, I got used Lexus ads in AOL email for weeks.

This is not an ad for you,
it's the targeted ad
for ME.
I unwittingly prompted this again just a couple of days ago. A couple of weeks ago, I bought matching wedding rings to replace our old ones, to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I bought them from eBay, having learned that jewelry is crazy expensive from traditional sources. I got lovely tungsten carbide/carbon fiber rings for $14.99 each, no joke. And no shipping charge! But that isn't what flagged me. No, just a few days ago, I got it in my head to find out what the rings would have cost if I'd bought them from standard jewelry retailers.

I tried some local Vegas outlets like Tower of Jewels, to no avail. I tried Zayre, and couldn't find our rings. Then I tried Kay Jewelers ("Every Kiss Begins with Kay!"), and found our exact same rings. The cost $299 each. Wow, did I ever get a great deal, and wow is Kay ripping people off! After I found that out, I closed the browser window, and didn't think another thing about it. Then, while cruising the inernets, I was stunned to see the ad you see at the right. That's my ring, that's Kay Jewelers, and they really apparently want me to spend $274 more dollars than I did for the same ring. Again. Or something.

This is really no big deal of course. It's just deeply weird. I mean, I did use Google to search for a "tungsten carbide men's wedding band." I did click Kay Jewelers' matching picture, along with a pictures that matched from a couple of other sources. I'm just kind of surprised that Kay puts together the actual image search into an ad that specific. They can't know I already have the rings, and wouldn't dream of spending that much!  And when I think  of other pictures I've searched, I'm a little horrified at what might pop up on a any random web page!

And PS., Kay: I doubt I'm going to surprise "her" with matching men's wedding bands! But thanks, just the same.


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