Tag Archive for: Ads

We live in a world where everything you can think of, can be found on the Internet. It should come as no surprise this had led to a problem, also known as the rabbit hole problem. There is so much content available, that the consumer gets lost in it. That’s why companies had to come up with a solution which is known today as personalized marketing. By using cookies for example, companies can follow your browsing behaviour and use this to present you with personalized offerings and content. Personalized marketing is essential for companies to ensure that consumers will keep coming back.

The Filter Bubble

A consequence of personalization is something that’s called the ‘filter bubble’, introduced by Eli Pariser. The filter bubble is an invisible algorithm that selectively guesses what information someone would like to see based on the search history of the user. Common examples are Google’s search results and Facebook’s news feed. What happens is that users don’t get to see the information that disagrees with their viewpoint and thus isolating them in their ideological information bubbles. But what determines what you get to see? You can think of clicks, viewing friends, likes on Facebook, reading news stories and so on.

The Downside of Personalization

Personalization may be helpful for online shopping, but it could have negative implications for the discourse in society because it closes us off to new ideas, people with other backgrounds, and opinions but also other crucial information. We don’t challenge our beliefs anymore and become blind to other perspectives. It thus creates the impression that our narrow view of the world is all that there is. As Pariser said, “too much candy and not enough carrots”.

Hitting the Psychological Jackpot

However, the filter bubble can not only be explained by online algorithms, but also by a persistent psychological driver: the confirmation bias. This is the tendency to search, interpret and recall information in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs or assumptions, while giving less attention to alternative information. This effect is stronger for emotional issues and personal beliefs. It can be explained by wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. The result is overconfidence in your own beliefs and poor decisions due to this bias. The filter bubble not only seems to be the problem, we ourselves contribute to it as well.

It is debated whether personalized filtering is actually happening and if it is, to what extent? But it is definitely something we shouldn’t put aside without giving it some thought. Be aware of the fact that what you see on Google might be something different than what someone else sees. If you are looking for a good movie to watch on Netflix, it is a good thing that they already know what you like, but there might be more to it. What do you think, is personalization beneficial or harmful?

The filter bubble is likely having an impact on important decisions in your personal life. Decisions such as the way in which you have informed yourself about the upcoming elections. A relevant question to ask yourself – is it possible that the filter bubble has affected your vote for the elections?

Written by Jasmijn van Veggel


Some people humanize brands and say that they have a kind of personality – that they are nice and friendly or more sophisticated, for instance. And, like real humans, brands can actually also like each other… or not!

A large percentage of the funniest commercials and ads in history are at the expense of other brands.


Round 1: DHL vs. UPS vs. TNT vs. DPD vs. FedEx

Take the logistics industry for example: In 2014, DHL let UPS, TNT, and DPD advertise for them using a “Trojan Mailing”:


But, it seems as if FedEx is even one step ahead of DHL in this advertising contest:


Hilarious, right!?


Round 2: McDonald’s vs. Burger King

Even more entertaining is the everlasting fight between McDonald’s and Burger King. BK always claimed that their Whopper is larger than Micky D’s Big Mac and also showed this in its ads.



This year McDonald’s mocked Burger King in a pretty creative way in France:


But the smart guys in BK’s marketing department took up the gauntlet and implemented a little plot twist:



So, what do you think? Who won round 1 and 2? And do you know any other entertaining ad-bitchfights?


Written by Felix Kausmann

It’s Christmas time, the most wonderful time of the year! At least it is for most advertisers. Because, on what other occasion do we spend so incredibly much money on food and gifts? It’s the perfect opportunity for companies to spam us with their great deals, fancy stuff and generous prices. Ok, I’ll stop being cynical now. To be completely honest, I actually think that some of the best advertisements are Christmas advertisements. The new ‘Flappie’ one from Bol.com is genius in my opinion (if you’re Dutch and you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it!). However, the master of Christmas advertisements, in my opinion, is Coca-Cola. Why? Keep reading and I’ll tell you.

Let’s start at the very beginning. In 1931, Coca-Cola released an ad that would change the Christmas people knew those days. In a series of advertisements the company designed for popular magazines, they created the image of Santa Claus we know nowadays. You know, the chubby, cute one. Before that time, he was usually depicted as all kinds of things, from a man wearing a bishop’s robe to a creepy looking elf. By creating a chubby Santa with rosy cheeks and a friendly face, they created an icon that we couldn’t imagine being any different today. If that does not make Coca-Cola the king of Christmas marketing, I don’t know what else will.

Source: flickr.com/photos/thelampnyc/4574440813

Source: flickr.com/photos/thelampnyc/4574440813

The next and biggest example I’ll give you – and my favorite one for that, is the ‘Shake up Christmas’ song, written by Train and sponsored by Coca-Cola. Now, I always figure there are two kinds of people around Christmas-time; the ones who like Christmas songs and are not afraid to show it, and the ones who like Christmas songs but pretend to be too cool for them. Admittedly, I belong to that last group. Though I love Christmas songs, I always desperately try to keep me cool once I hear one in public – and I have an especially hard time doing that when I hear ‘All I want for Christmas’. So, here I am, taking a blind leap of faith and admitting to you that, however much I pretend to, I am not too cool for Christmas songs. I’m a sucker for them. And so I am as well for the ‘Shake up Christmas’ song.

Let’s analyze it a bit; what makes this song a Coca-Cola song? We hear the ‘shake up the happiness’ lyrics, obviously linked to the ‘Open Happiness’-slogan. Also, when you listen carefully, at the very beginning of the song as well as under the refrain, you can hear the Coca-Cola tune (you know, the one with the joyous bells – “tu-tu-tu-tutu”). This is very slick marketing, of course, but genius nonetheless. The Coca-Cola element of the song is so subtle that the song – at least in my ears – does not sound like an annoyingly persuasive element of commerce. But it is very effective. It’s a way of priming the brand in our thoughts, so that it is always there at the edge of our mind. As Christmas time is a happy time for most of us, we tend to link Coca-Cola to happy moments, making it more likely for us to like the brand and prefer it over others.

So I think, it’s fair to say that Coca-Cola is doing good – especially around Christmas time. I rest my case by pointing out their DIY gift-wrapped bottles you can see in the video below. I mean, that’s amazing marketing, isn’t it?

There are of course many, many more examples I could give you of amazing Coca-Cola Christmas advertisements. Like the polar bears, or the Coca-Cola Christmas trucks (I actually had one of those when I was a kid – a small one, not an actual one). And it has probably become obvious that I am a big fan of Coca-Cola. Not even necessarily for the drink itself, but for the pure joy I get from watching their marketing. And honestly, I think that is what makes Coca-Cola one of the best advertisers around.
Happy holidays everyone!


By Kim van der Vliet