Monday, February 02, 2015

(the dangers of) Data Mining hits the Super Bowl (ads) and prime time comedy

I get strange looks from people in my work circles when I admit to watching American football, and stranger looks from people in my not-work circles when I admit to watching the Super Bowl for the game.

I didn't avoid the ads though. And two ads (both from Esurance) riffed off the idea of segmenting: that the business goal of data mining customer data is to segment people into little categories that can be targeted the same way. The ads are a little heavy-handed, but then I don't think most people actually know how data mining works to segment them. And getting Bryan Cranston to play a "sort-of" pharmacist was brilliant.

Esurance: "Sorta Pharmacy"


Esurance: "Sorta Mom"

And finally, an entire 30 minute show centered around the idea of a Facegoogle-like company invading our privacy by reading our texts/emails etc. If you don't watch Parks and Recreation, then it's too difficult to summarize six-odd seasons of shenanigans, but in brief: A facebook-google mashup-like company is setting up shop in a small town in Indiana, and is sending people free gifts via Amazon-like shopping drones based on analyzing their private communication, and then shenanigans ensure. If you can't stand the horror of watching network TV, then there's a short clip here:


 and the full episode is on Hulu (for now) here.

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