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Watching a video of a car crash? Let me offer you a new car.

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(Read caption) Facebook and Google's custom-targeted advertising can yield some hilarious results.

About these ads

Over at the NYTimes' Bits blog, Saul Hansell wonders how often targeted ads on Facebook or Google actually hit their mark. He uses as an example a blurb advertising the arrival in New York of a well-known musician:

Facebook knows I live near New York and that I’ve put in my profile that Béla Fleck, the jazz-bluegrass banjoist, is one of my favorite musicians. The ad was for screenings of “Throw Down Your Heart,” a movie about a trip by Mr. Fleck to Africa, where the banjo originated. This is advertising at its best. The film’s producers were telling me about something I didn’t know about and giving me a chance to buy it.
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