Did you really think the Internet forgot about those shoes you thought about purchasing six months ago or the muscle-building supplements that you searched with no intention of buying? Don’t be lulled into a false sense of complacency. The Internet knows what you bought/searched/glance in the direction of last summer, and last week, and this morning. Nobody’s safe. There is no escape.
Such is the conceit behind “Stalked by an Ad,” a movie trailer spoof by the UCB comedy troop Pocketwatch. In typical horror fashion, a group of friends believes the Internet is all fun and games until their search histories start following them online–and off. Ebooks, clothes, and even embarrassing sex toys creep up to the unwitting shoppers on dark streets, in the woods and in the shower. The filmmakers nail the poorly produced, low-budget look of cookie-based ads, which makes their terrified entrapment that much funnier. There’s even the requisite elder, who tries to provide sage advice: “You’re not the first generation dealing with advertising that you don’t want to see.” Her weapon of choice? A trashcan. But sadly for 21st-century victims, no garbage (not even the one on your desktop) can protect you from this ubiquitous enemy. No matter how often you clear your cache, the forces of evil will find you.