You’re visiting the ladies’ room of your friendly neighborhood bar, doing your business, when you notice someone speaking to you.
“Hey,” says the poster on the back of the stall door. “You look like a nice chick. Good genes and all. You ever think about … maybe … sellin’ your eggs? You could get up to $20,000 for ’em! Think of all the Midori Sours that would buy!”
OK. Maybe the poster doesn’t say exactly that. And it doesn’t speak out loud. But that’s how it sounds in your head. And BAM. You’ve just become the victim of intrusive advertising.
The definition of intrusive advertising differs a bit depending on who you talk to. Some experts say it’s any ad that’s not relevant to the viewer—any ad that’s missed its target by a mile. Others say it’s any ad that’s unpleasant, unexpected or ill timed.
While you could argue that any commercial that appears while you’re trying to watch The Real Housewives of Narnia (or whatever your fave trash TV happens to be) is “ill-timed,” I’m speaking specifically about the ones that make you feel icky. The ones that make you feel like your space has been invaded. The advertising equivalent of a close-talker.