Home > All, General Rants > I am not a number!

I am not a number!

Microsoft has just released details confirming that advertising a Microsoft service (Bing, which is not, as I thought, a search engine, but a ‘decision’ engine) through a Microsoft ad company (Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp) on Microsoft product (Xbox) has been a success.

But is there something wrong with me? I find the terminology used about me a little sinister and certainly disturbing.

The results verified that Massive’s in-game advertising campaign for Bing had a direct impact on consumer behavior…

I don’t want my behavior changed for me, thank you very much.

We’ve always known that Massive’s broad in-game network is a powerful force in helping brands successfully engage with the hard-to-reach gaming audience…

I am not your audience. People who buy games do so to play the game, not be part of your audience.

“The gaming community embraced the in-game ads and interacted with the brand.”
Kirsten Ward, director of digital advertising for Bing and MSN at Microsoft

I’ve heard some marketing hype before, but didn’t expect it from a director of digital advertising at Microsoft. I would translate this as something like “The gaming community couldn’t avoid the in-game ads, and some of them subsequently tried Bing either out of curiosity or through the power of our subliminal persuasion.”

But the bottom line is that I am absolutely fed up with companies trying to screw every last penny out of me. If I want to use a free news service on the internet, then I accept that it is advertising that pays for it. And if I don’t like it I can choose not to visit that site. But if I pay for a game, then I should have the right to enjoy that game without being forced to view unwanted advertising designed to take even more money (however indirectly) from me. And I really, really don’t appreciate the impersonal, target-oriented phraseology used to describe me. I am not a number!

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