Retargeting needs an off button.

I recently became a customer of Clear the 4G mobile wireless internet provider. Before I signed my contract I visited the Clear website to check out plan options and look at reviews and probably did a few Google searches with the terms “Clear 4G” in them. My search and cookie history “Clearly” (groan) had potential Clear customer written all over it.

Smart ad networks picked up on this activity and began serving me Clear banner ads every where I went online. I don’t mind the intrusion, it’s targeted, relevant and at least they’re not those floating flash banners you have to chase around a site like an errant toddler. But what I do mind is that there is no way to make them stop. I’m a Clear customer now. I’m acquired. It’s been two months and I’m still getting served Clear banners.

Which is remarkably interesting and ironic. Because these banner ads are so well targeted they’re actually – in my case – completely, utterly and uncompromisingly irrelevant. And they would be so for every person who converted off of the Clear web site or Google search or whatever criteria they’re using to target me. Maybe in a hyper targeted world the old basic demographics such as males 21 to 35 aren’t as dead as we think they are?

Suggestion: a “next offer” button on retargeted ads to keep things fresh and the inventory more relevant.

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