Monday, July 14, 2008

Of Stem Cells and Contextual Advertising

I had just settled into my armchair to check my personal mailbox. I clicked on the 'logout' button of my wife's mailbox. The screen transitioned to an online advertisement that I usually ignore. However, this time around it was an ad that caught my eyes, not just for its uniqueness but also for the way contextual advertising had been tapped to the hilt.

It was unique because the advertisment was from a biotechnology company named LifeCell offering stem cell preservation services in India. The service they offered was to preserve the umblical cord of your newborn. In case at a future point in time when the kid/adult gets diagnosed with a life threatening ailment and needs a transplant, the cells from the umblical cord are harvested and grown into a organ fofr your child. Absolutely no issues in terms of compatibility. The patient's body will accept the new organ like a fish to water. I was amazed to see and Indian company offer such services.

My mind then shifted to why was I seeing this ad? It so happens that my wife had changed her marital status to 'married' in the profile before I clicked on 'logout'. I guess that some program in the background sensed that the user being an Indian, a female and a newly wed, the interest aspect in such a service would definitely be high. Wow, that's a called targeted bombing. And the point is that you haven't asked the end-user a single survey question yet to identify his/her interests.

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