More vindy on my "Out of Context" concept first unveiled in The Westmount Drunk.
In an enlightening, and somewhat scary, article in Business 2.0, Paul Sloan talks about Yahoo's brilliant--and VERY scary--head of research and data Usama Fayyad. Well worth your time to read, but in a nutshell, Fayyad talks about Yahoo's "behavioral targeting," where the company sells ad space NOT based on a site's content relevance (as would be expected in traditional media), but on a consumer's online behavior instead.
In other words, spend time surfing car sites, and Yahoo will deliver you car ads next time you're on Yahoo Sports, Finance, Showbiz, Comics...site context be damned. Your previous surfing habits will define you, and like your cologne, follow you everywhere. Extrapolate this for a second and perhaps you see what I see in the near future--"adult" banners on CNN.com, Hallmark.com, Amazon.com...every.com, frankly.
It can all be easily explained by demographics (the State Farm target market spends time in front of the tube with their toddlers, so...), but it is a little unnerving seeing a car insurance spot during Spongebob Squarepants (although he does sort of have that insurance salesman look about him, dontcha think?). By the way, this doesn't stop with TV; like a good neighbor, State Farm has also bought ads in the Nick Jr. Family Magazine and is sponsoring the Go Diego Go Live show.
And if that ain't out of context enough for you, the American Association of Retired Persons (better known by their less age-painting AARP acronym) have adopted the classic Buzzcocks punk anthem "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" for their new TV campaign.
Pretty soon, everything's gonna be SO honking out of context that being IN CONTEXT will be the only way to stand out; or put another way, In Context is the New Out Of Context.
And the wheel in the sky keeps on turning...