Monday, November 3, 2014

Big Data and me.

Not so long ago but many agencies from here, I sat in a meeting, a particularly heinous one. A bunch of people, experts I guess you could call them, were in the cruddy rectangular with me and all of them, to a man, were touting the astounding efficacy of the channel they were seeking to promote.

All of the usual buzzwords spilled out. About all the engagement that would involve people. Of all the forwarding and referrals that would happen. Of all the information we could gather so we could target and serve better.

It was astounding, really.

The advertising equivalent of the second coming.

But then I did something horrible.

At least horrible when you consider I was ECD at an agency that billed itself "the agency for the digital age."

I asked for examples.

Show me how this has worked before. Because, and I'm not trying to be an ignoroid here, I just haven't seen it.

If I could, I'd ask the same thing of the "15 Stars of Ad Tech" featured in this article. I'd ask Maurice Levy, too. He just completed the $3.7 billion purchase of Sapient. Levy paid a 44% premium for the shares. He said
the acquisition "accelerates achieving Publicis Groupes’s objective to become the leader at the convergence of communications, marketing, commerce and technology."

What does this mean? 

How does it work?

Show me via real life examples.

Robert Goddard or Werner Von Braun could show me how a rocket launches and then launch a rocket.

Phil Jackson or Tex Winter could explain to me the "triangle," and show me game film that further clarifies.

I understand concepts like 4-wheel-drive.

These things don't throw me for a loop. 

More often than not, I even understand Tim Gunn on "Project Runway." 

I've yet to see an ad that's hit me at just the right moment. Or if one did, it was cancelled out by flaccid creative and the 63 other ads that surrounded it.

Show me an example of intelligent ad serving. Or cross-device marketing.

I mean it.

I'm not playing dumb or being willfully ignorant.

I just won't believe it until I see it.

The thing I get from Big Data is the same thing I get from politicians who have taken over our street corners, lamp posts, mail-boxes, phone lines and TV screens.

I see, simply, a way to annoy people more effectively.

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