Happy Tuesday from NYC, home of competitive Mother's Day brunching. Today's update is a short one, as LHC is globetrotting this week -- mostly searching for chips, but also visiting clients in various far-flung locales including Bucharest, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, not to mention that most exotic of destinations: Lower Manhattan. If you want us to send you a postcard, just give us your mailing address (you can do it by responding to this email) and we'll hook you up.
On to the news:
Ad targeting = bad targeting? One of the things that's been top of mind for us of late has been the idea of ad targeting vs privacy. It's a huge and complex topic, but for us (and for other people in our industry, we suspect) it breaks down into two camps: advertisers/ad tech platforms, who assert that the more data they have, the better job they can do serving you useful ads; and privacy advocates, who say your data should remain your own, or at the very least that companies should be honest about what they're tracking.
Into this debate steps Harvard Business School, with a study that examines what happens when ad companies show us exactly how and why we were served a certain ad. And the results aren't great -- the study shows that the more we know about how an ad got to us, the less likely we are to like it. To put it in research-speak "ad transparency that revealed unacceptable information flows reduced ad effectiveness." Or, to put it in person-speak: we can't handle the truth.
It's a paradox of online life that we crave convenience and expect advertisers to anticipate what we want, but don't like the idea that someone is watching our every move. The kind of tracking that makes the perfect ad appear in your feed at the perfect time would basically amount to stalking if it happened in the real world. And yet, despite all the noise around GDPR and Cambridge Analytica, that genie's not going back in the bottle. That puts the onus on marketers to be more thoughtful about how we use the targeting tools available to us. There's few things more valuable to a brand than the customer's trust, and once you lose it, it's gone forever.
Other stuff The Kentucky Derby already happened, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this timeless Adweek video from the great John Tejada, wherein innocent bystanders are asked to guess between ad agency and horse names. It's harder than you think (or actually exactly has hard as you think).
Liz Phair!! Exile in Guyville turns 25 this month (wow we are old) and there’s a new re-issue from Matador which also includes a bunch of unreleased material from around the same time. Turns out, Liz Phair is still awesome.