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Hey, Pandora! Are ad placements a crap shoot?

Perhaps plodding along on parched pavement makes me punchy. Even so, as I staggered to log a few sweltering running miles yesterday, I had to laugh.

As I jogged, I was enjoying an upbeat variety of sweet, uplifting songs, piped by Pandora through my headphones. I happened to be listening to their Christian Praise and Worship channel.

Then something struck my funny bone.

In came the ads, every few songs. First it was a car commercial, followed by a spot for a regional grocery store chain. But then the irony crept in, as I heard one for paid online slots and another for an area casino.

At this point, I gotta admit it. I am a Christian, and I have been to a casino. 

I went with a friend a few decades ago. I also know a few Christians who play paid slots online. But not many. On the other hand, plenty of Christians say they are ideologically opposed to gambling. Take it or leave it, they just don’t love it. 

Hey, advertisers. Demographics are everything.

Again, I’m not saying no Christians ever play slots or go to casinos. Just thinking this is sort of curious promotional positioning. Advertisers who want the biggest bang for their advertising bucks tend to evaluate audiences carefully. Some hire market research analysts to study possible targets for their campaigns.

Listening to gambling ads on Pandora’s Praise and Worship channel sort of feels like hearing All-You-Can-Eat Buffet ads on the Extreme Workout channel, ski vacation ads on the Summertime channel, or divorce attorney ads on the Love Songs channel. It just sort of stops you in your tracks for a moment.

Then the music resumes, and you’re up and running again.

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