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Creepy or clever? Lenovo's interesting use of Google Ads

Back Posted on 30 Nov 2016

Lenovo get clever with Google Ads but does this creep you out?

Everyone knows by now Google is really just a big advertising company that collects a ton of data, targeting your interests so they can help other people sell you stuff.

You know how it works, simply search for something related to cars and all of a sudden every website that runs Google Ads is trying to sell you a new Ford Focus.

This is a far cry from the days of carpet bombing hoping for a hit.  These things are getting more and more personal.

But how far is too far?  And what if the adverts started talking to you?

Not literally of course but what if they contained highly targeted questions based on your search history?

Lenovo just hit on me through Google AdWords and I think it's quite clever:

Personalised Google Ad by Lenovo

Here's the back story - my Thinkpad is starting to show it's age, it's coming up on 6 years old.  Sometimes the USB 2.0 ports lock up, occasionally the finger print scanner won't wake the machine and waiting for it to chew through heavy photo processing tasks is like watching paint dry.

But as much as a replacement would be nice I'm skint and it's not going to happen.  Not for a while anyway (where's the cyber week Lightning deal for a P50 Amazon?  I know you know what I want).

That said the advert nearly worked.  Lenovo are just being friendly, just looking out for me. Another look wouldn't hurt right?

I resisted this time and wrote this instead.

It got me thinking, how far is too far and could this tactic have the opposite effect and push anyone away?  

I'm sure millennials with their Facebooks and Twitters wouldn't bat an eyelid.  The tech savvy type who would buy this kind of gear at least understands how the tracking works so might not feel an intrusion.

My parents on the other hand, I know one of them in particular would talk about it for days if they thought their rights had been violated.

All things aside I think this is worth keeping in mind for your next marketing campaign. For me clever trumphs the thoughtless or aggressive sell every time.


There it is again! Portrait orientation this time.

Personalised Google Ad by Lenovo - portrait orientation