What's That Comida Kraft Ad Doing on My Huffington Post?

Behavioral Targeting. Compelling or Creepy?

By Published on .

Rochelle Newman-Carrasco
Rochelle Newman-Carrasco
I like the Huffington Post. I like Epicurious.com. I navigate the web in both Spanish and English depending upon what I'm seeking or what experience I'm looking to have. It's contextual. So I suppose the Spanish-language Comida Kraft ad that popped up on my Huffington Post page was a result of my online behavior. Even when you know you're being cyber-stalked, it's always a little startling when the stalker finds you.

I'm still not sure how I feel about having two sides of my personality living in the same space at the same time. By that I mean, my Huffington Post identity has nothing to do with my "recipe-seeker" identity and even less to do with my Spanish-speaking identity. And yet, there were all of those behaviors merging together. I'm a siloed kind of person. I never liked to mix my school friends and my camp friends because each group experienced a slightly different version of me. It's what I find uncomfortable about Facebook. All of my personalities, as reflected by friends and colleagues from different parts of my life, all mushed together and exposed to one another. I ask you -- are you with me on this one or maybe it's just me?

I remember when marketers started putting Spanish-language ads in English-language TV programming. When the spots were truly creative and of high quality, I remembered reacting favorably. When the spots were low quality or fraught with stereotypes, I remember cringing. And regardless of what I thought, there was always an audience of English speakers (and some Spanish speakers) who rejected the mixing of Spanish with English, finding it everything from slightly annoying to violently offensive.

So now that the technique is part and parcel of my online reality, I have to admit I had to take a moment when the ad popped up to decide how I felt about it. My first reaction was, it simply didn't belong there. It was out of context for the Spanish speaking me. My next reaction was, it got my attention and isn't that what the advertiser intended. Would I even have noticed it at all if it had been just another English language ad? So on that front, mission accomplished. My third reaction was that it wasn't high falutin enough for the snobby, foodie Epicurious, Bon Apetit, Gourmet magazine recipe-seeking, not-a-mom me.

So, at the end of the day, did this behaviorally targeted ad reach its intended bilingual food-buying target? And when I clicked through (which I did), did it add another successful metric to a fellow marketer's case study about how effective this Spanish-language ad served up on Huffington Post had been? I don't know. I don't know that I'll ever know. But I have to say, since the time it popped up and several pop-ups since then, I can't get that moment of the first appearance out of my head. Comida Kraft and Huffington Post side by side. Y por qué no?

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