How far is too far?


It’s a random Tuesday and you are scrolling through your Facebook feed just browsing through friend’s pictures, posts, and status updates and then all of a sudden, those black suede shoes you were looking at the day before, pop up. Wait a minute, what the heck? I know we’ve all experienced this, right? This is not something new to any social media user out there, it’s been happening for a while now. These ads are populated as a result of ‘cookies’ and although users are skeptical about the way Facebook taps into targeting ads, they’re analytics and data about users are the driving force behind these ads.

But we haven’t seen the end of this method. Cue Augmented reality and smart glasses. We know these have been in the works as well but the new craze geared towards marketing is something to take a closer look at. According to a recent Forbes article by Joe Surprenant (2018), these will allow for further marketing strategies. The ability to increase brand awareness by tapping into the consumer’s point of view and instantly generate information about the product (Suprenant, 2018). Aside from this feature tracking a consumer during point of decision will be key, the ability to see the individual reaching for a particular brand of product can allow for brands and competitors to instantly influence the consumers during their buying decisions (Suprenant, 2018).

Considering the use of cookies and analytics that are already tapping into our buying behavior, are we doomed as consumers as technology progresses? Do you want to constantly be reminded of what you searched for, thought about, or passed by?



Scheiber, N. (2017, September 28). Facebook’s Ad-Targeting Problem, Captured in a Literal Shade of Gray. Retrieved from

Surprenant, J. (2018, February 06). The Future of Marketing Will Be Heads-Up and Hands-Free. Retrieved from




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4 Responses to How far is too far?

  1. Lauren Beaver says:

    I’m torn on this. On the one hand, this technology is really impressive and just cool. On the other hand, it takes an already invasive culture of marketing and turns it into marketing 24/7/365. Not sure how I feel about looking at a pair of shoes and having info or advertising pop up on my glasses. Imagine looking at a product and having a celebrity (the Kardashians are coming to mind) pop up to tell you why you should definitely buy it.

    I think I might be in the please-don’t-advertise-to-me-all-the-time camp.

  2. Victoria Johnson says:

    The subject is definitely of current interest.
    I think that eventually, it will have to stop or slow down because we will become numb to these adverts. It’s like the start of those pop-up ads we used to use in the good ol’ days, the public got so fed up that instead of attracting customers, these ads started repulsing them. I remember I’d make it a point to NOT buy anything from that store/seller if I would see pop-ups. Same here, I’m already noting it to myself that I’m starting to cringe at the sight of another store/brand ad while scrolling down my SM page, next stage is purposely ignoring them and the products or services they advertise.

    The disturbing part is the fact that these companies are monitoring each of our steps and clicks online! I feel like I’m being stalked 24/7! Talk about “the Big Brother”! Feels like corporations are the real big brother here, not the government! LOL

    Thank you for the post.

  3. Belén Torres-Gil says:

    Hi Ani,

    This is a topic near and dear to my heart. For years, I worked for Adobe Analytics, and was part of the team that understands the complex backend of these cookie based ads.

    To be honest, I not only like them, I intentionally trigger them.

    Gone are the days when only cupcakes and wedding rings are advertised to me because I meet demographic requirements.

    Now, I will *intentionally* add something to my online cart. Create an account. Close window. Wait 24-48 hours. I *know* that 10-20% off coupon is coming. I know, because I can see it. Not many people know this, but the Analytics drivers that are firing all these cues are publicly viewable, accessible and BLOCKABLE. When I am on a site with them, I intentionally trigger them to receive discounts.

    They get my new business. I get my item at a reasonable price. Win:win (though, I am gaming the system a bit).

    If you ever want to talk through this, let me know.

    Also, my least favorite part is when I am looking at personal items, like bras, and then my ads are all bras. And I am often on social for work, and it’s bras all the live long day. Sigh… not quite perfect yet.

  4. Brooke Renee Gerstein says:

    Great blog post! I’ve been struggling with this dynamic also, and have been discussing this throughout assignments. We’re at a crossroads of when this has begun to interfere with overall ethics of marketing and communications within the digital space.
    I like that these technologies have been made possible, but don’t we need to have some kind of informed consent when it comes to our own information being shared and used for us, and on us?

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