Cookies Kill Christmas

Getty Images. NPR

Getty Images. NPR

Although you may not here this from an FDA or CDC official, but parents and gift givers around the globe should be alerted to the fact that cookies, not the sugary sweets you bake, but rather those embedded on your web browsers, have the ability to ruin any hope for secrecy for the gifts that Santa is packing as he heads down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

Led by our friends at Amazon and online marketers of all stripes have corrupted cookies and other tech breadcrumbs for their own diabolical plan to manipulate us into buying whatever gifts we see when perusing their sites, even when our intentions are most innocent.

The Grinch has nothing on the creepiness of social media platforms and Google to troll us with our own browsing history. Then they embed ads from online marketers complicit on wrecking our joyous holidays with the subtlety of a brass band fanfare, as ads are splashed everywhere on screens, just right for little wandering eyes searching for clues to appear.

Sure ad blockers can be an inoculation against this technological flu, but I’m surely not alone from the innocent millions who think this is big brother run amok.

Is it ease or convenience or greed that one is forced to look at the same ads served for days and weeks after a single visit to a site? Or is it just another variation of Lucy’s East coast syndicate trying to wring the last single penny out of the over-commercialized holiday?

As a marketer, I see the remarketing stats for clients. It’s not all that impressive. If a shopper wants to buy a product, they will do it based on the quality, service or status it provides. The small remarketing rate isn’t all that overwhelming in exchange for the privacy I’m sure most consumers prefer.

21st Century window shopping has taken an evil turn as our iPads, laptops and phones have become an open book to those we love who may, even in the most random of glances, may see what gifts are headed their way.

Where is the privacy we’ve expected? That’s gone in spades as the recent troubles by Facebook are probably only the first of what we will come to learn from the big three (Amazon, Facebook and Google) who traffic in our information and our personal stories. Two of whom still trade efficiency for information behind an opaque filter.

Do I expect anything to change in this rant to the stars above? Heaven’s no.

But long gone are the times when young siblings would scour the house for the glimpse of yet unwrapped packages under beds, in attics, behind jackets in closets for a sneak peak of what awaited them on Christmas morning. Now, unfortunately all is revealed in a push of a button, a scroll through a newsfeed or a phone left unattended. Yet another example innocence of youth exchanged for the promise of the future.

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Brand, Creativity, Event Marketing

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.