Facebook does a pretty fantastic job of their sidebar ads, to be perfectly honest. They collect an incredible amount of information about you – your age, your sex, your sexual interests, your favorite music and books and even quotes – so they’ve got a lot of information to go by. They do the same basic thing Netflix does: Oh. You liked this. So you’ll probably like this thing, too, right? And they’re usually right. I frequently get funny sidebar ads for things like Old Spice and gummy bears. They know me well.
But here’s what I don’t understand. I got married last August. Facebook knows this. It was a big event, my marital status changed, there were pictures – it’s no secret. While I’m on Facebook, I get ads for cute dresses, chocolate, gummy bears, whatever. But as soon as I log off, it switches to match.com or some other dating site. Same goes for my husband (who was, coincidentally, also married last August). And you can’t tell me they just use the same ad for everyone, because on my computer, it uses pictures of guys in their twenties, whereas my husband’s computer has cute girls and my mom’s computer has a collage of single, silver-haired foxes.
So, what’s the big deal? Does Facebook just think that everyone cheats on their significant other? Or are they just being lazy? Perhaps match.com has simply bought out the entire “log out” screen?
At any rate, my husband and I had some fun coming up with things that would be way more likely to actually make money on his log out page than ads for single ladies he’s not looking for.
- Anniversary reminders
Facebook not only knows that Ethan is married, it knows the date – and even the time of the event. And I’m going to be sorely disappointed with someone on their marketing team if they don’t remind my husband that the time for buying flowers, chocolate, movie tickets, or a couples’ massage is near. (Whether he buys them is up to our budgeting – but for crying out loud, people, this is America. Sell the stuff.)
If you’ve been there, I don’t need to explain this. If you haven’t, I’ll try to describe it for you. Cabela’s is like a shopping mall for grizzly bears. Also, hunters of grizzly bears. The store has entire sections for tents, kayaks, long-range rifles, fishing poles, Dutch ovens, camouflage (in every variety you’ve ever seen), and even a walk-through fish aquarium and a taxidermy wall of large mammals. The cafe sells sandwiches, soups, and venison or elk burgers and steaks. If I were planning a man-night for my man, I think I would just ask the manager if they could stay the night and rent a few sleeping bags.
Ethan and I both agree that he’s far more “in the market” right now for a couple of corn dogs or a bag of Cheet-Os than he is for hot Christian singles. And if the ad listed bacon anywhere, he’d be there like that.
- Superhero paraphernalia
For reasons none of us truly understands, Ethan already owns a full-body banana costume. I’m absolutely certain if a reasonably-priced Spaceman Spiff costume were to crop up, he’d find room in the budget.
- Comic Con tickets
Realistically, Ethan probably wouldn’t buy these. But a lot of guys would, and I still think any happily married guy would rather spend his time and money walking around with his woman dressed in a sexy space uniform than deliberately ignoring match.com.
- Surf and Turf
I’ve been morning sick for months, and even I want to eat that steak. Look at it.
- Movember events/donations
For those of you unfamiliar with Movember… shame on you. But since you’re here, I’ll explain. During the month of November, men unite in growing facial hair. There are two reasons for this: one, they like to grow facial hair. Two, they do it to raise awareness (and, through some events, also funds) for men’s health: funding research on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues. (Here’s their website.) The mustache, or “Mo,” is simply the public attention-getter. But even though the Mo is just a front for a larger cause, I can tell you from personal experience that my husband would readily click on an ad for mustache wax or a local Movember movement.
- Video games
Do I really need to comment on this one?
- DVD collections of childhood cartoons
Do you have any idea how tempting it would be to buy any childhood cartoon that isn’t found on Netflix? Batman, Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, and The Tick would all be considered worthy investments in this household. And that’s not even including old classics like Wile E. Coyote or Marvin the Martian.
- Star Wars
Star Wars movies, Star Wars LEGO’s, Star Wars costumes, Star Wars action figures, Star Wars posters… if it has a Star Wars label, it’s more likely to get my husband’s attention than a single girl he’s never met. I mean, I’m sure these girls are cute and all. But given a choice between Jessica’s profile picture and a scale model replica of the Millennium Falcon, I know where he’d rather spend his time online.