I was absolutely horrified when a Louis Vuitton advertisement popped up while I was wathing some TV show on Hulu. Being somewhat of a snob, I disliked the idea of LV placing an ad on such a mass media as television. I prefer seeing LV ads on glossy paper in the more sophisticated fashion magazines or in the style section of the International Herald Tribune.
To some extent, I don’t think it was the ‘television’ aspect that was disillusioning. If I had been watching Project Runway, I don’t think I would have minded getting a LV ad. However, this ad was extremely out of place because I had been watching a detective show (It was either “Castle” or “Bones”) and to be interrupted with a very demure, slow ad about high fashion in the middle of a fast-paced, witty crime drama felt like taking a bite of foie gras in the middle of a Big Mac. It just doesn’t fit very well and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
I don’t know if LV is trying to reach younger consumers through Hulu,or if it is the demographics of people who watch detective shows that like fashion, or if that ad specifically targeted me. Certainly Hulu makes a lot of effort to try to know me so that it can deliver better ads.
I think this is an interesting example of advertising in the age of web 2.0. If people are consuming media digitally through streaming services via the Internet, the distributor of the content can collect a lot of personal data and then accordingly cater ads. Advertisers are really trying to jump on the bandwagon in terms of delivering relevant content. However, customizing is not only about knowing the consumer’s preferences, it is also about knowing what context to deliver the content. Yes, I am interested in Louis Vuitton but showing me an LV ad while I’m watchng a crime drama only makes me form negative images about that brand. That is why I find the ‘Did you find this ad relevant to you?’ tab that accompanies the ads on Hulu extremely annoying. Even if it is the same ad, it could be relevant or not, depending on the context. Also, the ad may not be relevant in terms of whether I would buy the product, but relevant in terms of I really liked the style of the ad, or the aesthetics of the ad and enjoyed watching it. What does “relevant” mean?