Ad Retargeting - An Advertisment's Evil Brother

Fri, Jun 25, 2010

A topic that seems to be very hot these days is ad retargeting. It's a concept that goes something like this:

  1. You visit an online store that is a member of a particular advertising network.
  2. You get served an ad on that website and a tracking cookie is placed in your browser.
  3. You view the product, maybe even add it to a shopping cart, but you don't make an actual purchase.
  4. You leave the site.
  5. Days later, when you're viewing another website which is also a part of that same ad network, you get served an advertisement for the very same product that you wanted to buy - maybe even with a special discount offer, exclusively for you.
Now, I'm not really a big privacy advocate and I don't concern myself with those kinds of issues, but *if* I were, I'd probably be crazy as hell! If there ever was a reason to use an ad-blocker...

This is a space that a lot of advertisers, investors and ad agencies are very excited about. That gets underlined by a recent acquisitions that was made, GSI purchasing FetchBack and lot of investors are investing in the space. (eg.  Bessemer investing in Criteo)

Ad retargeting resources

If you're interested in those kinds of services, check these sites out: Other examples of ad retargeting services: And of course, a good source of information is on Wikipedia's entry: Behavioral Retargeting on Wikipedia