Wednesday, 6 January 2016

sponsored rant

Italian folklore says that on Epiphany, the Befana visits each households bringing small presents for good children and coal for misbehaved ones. She’s traditionally described as an old and ugly poor lady, poorly dressed and wearing broken shoes; because of it and of the fact she makes her deliveries flying with a broom, she kind of resembles a witch but she’s not exactly one.

There are a lot of small jokes on the day: girls and women, we jokingly wish the best to one another for our special day.
This morning, after waking up and taking my lazy time to get ready for the day I eventually went and checked my Twitter feed and spotted this sponsored tweet:



It’s retirement house, offering a lifetime 10% discount for booking done by end of January.
Maybe all these jokes about the Befana are getting too close to home for me.

So, Twitter, I know you’re a company, not a person and nobody working for you is reading this post. Still, please, let me reach out to you to explain you in a quite simplistic way what’s wrong with this situation.
First of all, a disclaimer: I normally find ads quite annoying when I bother to read them. Given I read them 1 time out of 10 when I’m normally distracted, I find them pointless as well, as they have no real impact on me.

As the old saying goes, Twitter, know thyself, or at least try to know your users. I understand that it’s really hard to tailor meaningful advertisement to people spread all over the globe, but this is getting crazier and crazier.
For example, I listen to the likes of R.E.M. and Wilco, The Frames and Mic Christopher, De Gregori and De Andrè, so Twitter, explains me why does my feed have to be plagued for the whole summer by ads of a stupid, horrible Italian pop song (that I won’t name here to avoid more visibility, but anybody in Italy knows about the song with the name of Italian and Thai capitals in the title).
And it’s not because I’m a snob. It’s just that, at least when it gets to music, I got high standards and you got shitty taste. Moreover after I told you times and times again that the tweet is offensive and irrelevant and appearing too many times, can’t you at least implement an “Avada Kedavra” option?

I live in Italy, so what’s the point of pointing me to Swedish or American companies? It’s not that I’m likely to get free delivery.
Then, if you think about Italian economical situation, you should know that I don’t and won’t need a retirement house, because I won’t retire: I won’t have the mean to retire and will probably need to continue working and working and working… provided I’ll still be employed by then.
Plus, not to be stingy… but 10% discount, seriously!?!? If they added a bicycle or a mattress to the offer I might be tempted to accept it.

This morning, however, I felt a bit of doubles creeping in. A retirement house? I first took a look at myself in the the mirror to make sure I was not in denial about my general appearance. At least from the outside, I’m not that old to be in need of that kind of care.
Dear Twitter, you might never have seen me live, so should I suspect that it’s something in my tweets that makes you think that I’m actually on the lookout for a reasonably priced retirement house? Thinking about it, don’t answer that.
Maybe just point me to some miraculous anti-wrinkle cream in the next ads, how about that?

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