I'm looking at you Target!
Ladies, beware your shopping habits at this retailer, because according to Forbes Magazine, "Target will know that you are pregnant before you do." That's right...Target is magical! Forbes Magazine claims that it is science though.
In 2002, Target hired Andrew Pole, a master statistician, to help find trends in shoppers habits. Andrew started by studying baby registries. He tracked the purchases made by the women who had registered their upcoming bundle of joy. He probably followed them around. Took pictures. Sent unwanted gifts and made awkward attempts of affection. I think he even filmed the birthing process.
All of this surveillance led Andrew to understand women...most specifically pregnant women.
At first, they would send specially made "baby-book advertisements" to the women they felt confident were pregnant. And they didn't just send this to the expectant mother, they sent it to her family and friends as well. This didn't go over very well...one man called Target in a fit of rage over his teenage daughter receiving one of these packets through the mail. He accused the chain of "attempting to coerce his daughter into having pre-marital sex and getting pregnant before she even graduated high school."
Even though this wasn't at all creepy, Target decided to change their tactics. They wanted to hide the fact that it was a baby specific advertisement by putting random ads for other items next to breast pumps and bassinets. They would put ads for chainsaws next to ads for Pampers. Ads for the newest movie release next to ads for strollers.
The scariest part - Target is thinking of selling this formula to other businesses. Just think, one day all of our advertisements can be tailored to our lives.
Wait...Target just sent me a specialized advertisement that is mostly filled with scarves, chains, toy police gear, sleeping masks, ball gags, and other leather products - I wonder what are they trying to say?