Just how specific is targeted advertising in magazines these days?
I’ve subscribed to Wired for years, and a lot of the advertising seemed pretty much general for my demographic and interests. But lately, it seems a lot more specific than it’s ever been, kind of like ad tracking online.
For example, I’ve always gotten Patron tequila ads. After a recent trip to Louisville where I used my credit card at a couple of bourbon tours, I’m suddenly seeing bourbon adverts in my Wired.
I had my first child earlier this year, and the latest issue now had an ad for a local private school. I’ve never seen ads for local places in Wired, although I’ve seen ads targeted to my ZIP codes over the years (auto suppliers that typically don’t have national appeal).
I suppose it’s possible that, maybe, bourbon is become more common, and it’s a national ad. But the private school? Even if going to everyone in my state, I can’t imagine it would be cost effective. Most people who have first kids aren’t reading print magazines any more. I suppose it could be just my ZIP code, but it felt eerily personal.
And, these are bound pages, not loose inserts. Are magazine printers now able selectively include single, targeted pages into their huge industrial process these days? Or is this just Baader-Meinhof playing around with my mind?
In GQ, because I’m sure there’s a factual answer about the capabilities of magazine printers.