I have irrefutable proof that the Internet is spying on me, conspiring to separate me from my hard earned cash.
Three weeks ago I translated an online marketing plan for a well-known Japanese car manufacturer, which contained numerous references to the corporate website. Interestingly, it also talked about the very strategies that I mention here, explaining how to hook consumers and reel them in.
As the diligent translator that I am, I checked out the car manufacturer’s website and explored the features mentioned in the PowerPoint presentation, as well as readingsome pages to ensure my text had the same ‘feel’ as that used by the agency in its existing advertisements.
Now there seems to be an advertisement for that self-same car on every page that I visit. Whether it’s Facebook or YouTube, The Times or Time, that car is always there, tempting me, reminding me how nice it is. The seed is sown and I want that car, even though my current car is similar, is only two years old and there is nothing wrong with it. It is stalking me, bewitching and brainwashing me… and even though I know what’s going on, it’s hard to resist.
It happens all the time. IfI search for an earwax remedy for my elderly neighbour I get persecuted by earwax remedy companies for weeks. Two weeks ago translated a blog about honeymoon destinations for a bridal fashion company and Ihave bombarded with offers for discounted hotel rooms in Tahiti and the Maldives ever since. I wouldn’t mind but I can’t help clicking on them and dreaming…
The best line of defence against these tempting time-wasters is an ad blocker. I do have an ad blocker installed in my browser, but using it makes me feel guilty and many media websites have started blocking the content if you block their ads. Their reasoning, which I have to accept, is that if you load pages from their sites you are using their resources, but this is not earning them any revenue in exchange, and we all have to eat! According to The Guardian, ad blocking users are tantamount to dining for free. So now, unless the ads are noisy, irritating or intrusive, I leave the ad blocker off and try to ignore them so that the content providers can earn some advertising revenue.
I don’t know if you agree, but nowadays, people seem more inclined to pay for the online content they consume. I already pay for subscriptions to Netflix, Audible, Spotify and Time Magazine, and this year I’ll certainly be donating to Radiotopia and Maximum Fun, who produce my favourite podcasts.
What do you think? Is it worth putting up with these adverts or do you use an ad blocker? How many digital subscriptions do you pay for?