Advertising’s uncanny valley: The personalisation tightrope

Advertising's uncanny valley: The personalisation tightrope

By Michael Hanbury-Williams, Digital Account Manager

In the pursuit of greater personalisation, we’re crossing the boundary between clever and creepy. We have reached advertising’s ‘uncanny valley’ – when technology becomes so human-like that it makes people uneasy – argues UM’s Michael Hanbury-Williams.

The recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal is a prime example of this – data being skimmed from users who were unaware and without their permission – but this is a symptom of a wider problem. Witness Alexa’s cackle and the ongoing paranoia that the likes of Amazon and Google are listening in on our conversations. There’s an entire thread on Reddit dedicated just to this . We’ve reached this ‘uncanny valley’ point, and we’re starting to make people uncomfortable, particularly large swathes of the general public who don’t know how their data is used by the advertising industry.

Read the full story here.