How The Internet Stole Christmas With Retargeting Ads

How The Internet Stole Christmas With Retargeting Ads

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Retargeting ads have ruined Christmas.

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The web is a powerful tool for researching and buying the perfect present. But what happens when your child sees a banner ad for the toy that will be under the tree in a few days, or the camera you plan to give your husband shows up on your shared Amazon account? The internet can spoil holiday gift surprises for those who share devices.

Dax Hamman knows all too well how ads can reveal too much. About a year ago, he shopped for engagement rings on the laptop he shared with his now-fiancé. “My fiancé saw rings all over my laptop, very much spoiling the surprise,” said Mr. Hamman, chief product officer at Chango, a retargeting firm that works with more than 100 of the top 500 internet retailers.

Retargeted ads — ads that target consumers based on their online history — have the loosest lips when it comes to gift ideas.

“I passionately believe people show too many retargeted ads,” he said, suggesting advertisers stop showing product ads after a purchase is completed. “[Retailers] want to move away from this annoyance of what can almost be referred to as digital stalking.”

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