Targeted advertising is a huge part of the online experience these days – vast amounts of our personal data are sorted through by algorithms to produce ads supposedly tailor-made to best suit our behavior and preferences. It is big business and the main reason why social media and search engine giants are so keen to keep us sharing and clicking as much and as often as possible.

But they don't always get it right! Unless, of course, there are actually large amounts of people out there on the lookout for a prosthetic tongue, or hamster leash. The super cheap shopping app 'Wish' spends over $100 million on Facebook ads each year, has 170 million unique products to choose from and uploads over 9 million ads every week. That's a lot for the Facebook algorithm to handle and might explain why it often throws up some pretty crazy examples.

Imgur user BexRani has been collecting weird and wonderful Wish ads for a while now and has decided to share them for our viewing pleasure. And while the ads themselves are good for a chuckle, it is BexRani's confused and sarcastic commentary that really makes the post!

What is the strangest ad you've been 'targeted' with? Have you ever actually bought anything that was advertised to you online? Scroll down below to check out some hilariously random examples of what Facebook thinks people might 'Wish' for, and let us know what you think in the comments!

#1

I Thought These Were Cushioned Undergarments For Bike Riding At First. But Then I Noticed The Puff Coming Off Of One. Are These Anti Smelly Farts? Why Is There So Much Cushioning?

I Thought These Were Cushioned Undergarments For Bike Riding At First. But Then I Noticed The Puff Coming Off Of One. Are These Anti Smelly Farts? Why Is There So Much Cushioning?

BexRani Report

Ale_Vidal23 4 weeks ago

it means it breathes. those are actually biking-pants

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There are some theories about these ridiculous ads from Wish - that they are a deliberate tactic to shock and amuse people in to sharing and going 'viral,' thus generating free publicity for the company. Makes sense doesn't it?

However it seems to be simply a natural consequence of the algorithm. Naturally, people are shocked into curiosity by some of the products, and give it a click to find out more. The more clicks and ad gets, the more 'relevant' Facebook figures that it must be, and it starts popping up elsewhere too. Before you know it, that cat blindfold is one of the most popular ads on the internet, despite hardly any being sold.

#2

A Flat Dog. Cool

A Flat Dog. Cool

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HANS 4 weeks ago

No house training required. Especially responds to the command stay!

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#3

Home MRI? Mini Tanning Bed? Blinding Device?

Home MRI? Mini Tanning Bed? Blinding Device?

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Bonnie Blue Bird 4 weeks ago

Looks like something out of the Star Trek med bay ...

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Whatever it is they are doing, it is clearly working for Wish. They identified the cut-price, super cheap deals as their target market, adn deal directly with manufacturers in China, thus cutting out the middle man. According to Forbes it can take two to four weeks for items to ship from China, but customers clearly don't seem to mind for these prices and the company has now been valued at $8 billion.

The company is now looking to take on giants Amazon and Alibaba to become the world biggest online retailer. “We are the sixth largest eCommerce company in the world and we're shooting for #1,” the company says on its website.  

#4

Ok So... Are These Tattoo Cover Sleaves? Why Are They On A Cyborg Arm? Are These For Prosthetics? Who's Prosthetics Look Like Edward Elric's??

Ok So... Are These Tattoo Cover Sleaves? Why Are They On A Cyborg Arm? Are These For Prosthetics? Who's Prosthetics Look Like Edward Elric's??

BexRani Report

Daria B 4 weeks ago

I think these are actually arm coolers. They are made of special synthetic material that keeps you cool and protects you from UV radiation. I saw this a lot in Korea, especially on people who spend whole days on the open, like construction workers.

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#5

What On Earth Is $1 In This Picture. Is It The Strap?

What On Earth Is $1 In This Picture. Is It The Strap?

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Tiny Dynamine 4 weeks ago

This photo of the camera.

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“It’s funny,” Peter Szulczewski, CEO and founder of Wish, said to the Daily Beast about the ads, “but it’s actually suboptimal for us.

“If you’re optimizing for clicks, people will click on these items, but it’s a curiosity-driven click,” he said. “People are just clicking on things because they’re crazy. No consumers are actually purchasing these products.”

He said that he personally reviews Wish’s top-selling items every day and he’s never seen any of the strange products advertised on Facebook breach that group.

“No one is going to buy a plastic tongue thing,” he explained.

“It’s a consequence of Facebook’s ad system. It’s basically rewarding high shock value items that people will click on. If we just show a garden hose or jacket, the CTR wouldn’t be as high."

#6

Why

Why

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SirPatTheCat 4 weeks ago

Teeth chokers. Wear them to establish dominance over your local murderers.

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#7

No

No

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Lina Nilsson 4 weeks ago

Oh God, I don't know what to say. I actually bought these. Yes, I might have been drunk. Yes, I also actually got 3 socks, not 3 pairs, 3 socks.

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Szulczewski said Wish is in the process of creating a more restricted product list to serve specifically to Facebook, which is why you may have noticed that the weirdness of the ads has subsided in recent times. "“We’re going to start showing things people are actually buying and people will see,” he explained.

Which is all well and good, but I actually preferred seeing the weird and funny stuff, as opposed to some junk that they might think I want based on the fact that I like football, cheese and Seinfeld.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted, and luckily someone took the time to screenshot some of the classics. Keep scrolling to check them out for yourself!

#8

Why Are These Tiny Blue Plastic Shoes On This Person's Ear? What Does It Do? Why Do Ears Need Tiny Covers?

Why Are These Tiny Blue Plastic Shoes On This Person's Ear? What Does It Do? Why Do Ears Need Tiny Covers?

BexRani Report

Shari Conley 4 weeks ago

It's for coloring your hair. Keeps your ears from getting dye on them..

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#9

Anti Snoring Device? Chin Shaper? Sleep Talking Nullifier?

Anti Snoring Device? Chin Shaper? Sleep Talking Nullifier?

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Hseed 4 weeks ago

It's an anti snoring device. It holds your mouth shut. When you snore you keep your mouth open and your tongue falls in the back of the mouth. If you keep your mouth shut theoretically you can't snore....

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#10

Pills? Expandable Towels? Bullet Wound Packing?

Pills? Expandable Towels? Bullet Wound Packing?

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wtyang24 4 weeks ago

I believe they're compressed sheet face masks. To use them, you dip them in essence or some form of skin care solution, and use them as sheet masks.

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#11

Are These Hearing Aids? Why The Colored Pins? Who Wants Pins Sticking Out Their Ear?

Are These Hearing Aids? Why The Colored Pins? Who Wants Pins Sticking Out Their Ear?

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Antonina Ż 4 weeks ago

They are actually pretty useful. My grandfather uses one. Since this aids are very small the pin is there so that you can actually pull it out.

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#12

Make Up Caboodle? Wax Warmer? Radio? Time Machine To 1994?

Make Up Caboodle? Wax Warmer? Radio? Time Machine To 1994?

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Miss Cris 4 weeks ago

You put your meal there and you can warm it even without microwave. It's mostly used to wear food for babies.

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#13

Incubator For Adults?

Incubator For Adults?

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TheExtremeSmell 4 weeks ago

I feel like ya grow things in there. Like plants. Plants you roll up and smoke

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#14

I Know These Are Shoes. But Wow They Are Ugly

I Know These Are Shoes. But Wow They Are Ugly

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Bonnie Blue Bird 4 weeks ago

But you can get them in FIVE colors!!

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#15

Is This A Massager? Muscle Measurement Tool? What's With The 3 Holes?

Is This A Massager? Muscle Measurement Tool? What's With The 3 Holes?

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Václav „Evan“ Mraček 4 weeks ago

holes are for fingers, its a skin scraper, some use it after sauna or workout

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#16

For When You Need To Enter The Matrix

For When You Need To Enter The Matrix

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Miss Cris 4 weeks ago (edited)

Not laser but pulsed light. To remove hair. It should make hair weaker.

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#17

What Is This? Why Is This? Are They Fake Teeth? Don't Those Need To Be Custom Fitted?

What Is This? Why Is This? Are They Fake Teeth? Don't Those Need To Be Custom Fitted?

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Alexandra Werner 4 weeks ago

These are teeth used in partial or full dentures - by dental technicians!

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#18

Is This An Adult Toy? A Light Chain Pool? Something To Dangle From The Ceiling To Ring For The Servants?

Is This An Adult Toy? A Light Chain Pool? Something To Dangle From The Ceiling To Ring For The Servants?

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Tiny Dynamine 4 weeks ago

The bottom right pic gives it away. It's for hurling potatoes over trees.

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#19

A Pencil Case? With A Compass? Watch?

A Pencil Case? With A Compass? Watch?

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wtyang24 4 weeks ago

Yeah, we Asian kids had these growing up. They'd add cool little gadgets to pencil cases to entice us to double them as toys.

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#20

Is This A Water Hose Attachment?

Is This A Water Hose Attachment?

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Johnny Farnen 4 weeks ago

That is an isopropane backpacking stove. Actually, the only useful thing I have ever seen on Wish.

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#21

So Obviously Is Goes In A Fish Tank... But Why?

So Obviously Is Goes In A Fish Tank... But Why?

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Mascha Claessens 4 weeks ago

It's to measure the concentration of CO2 in the water. Looking at the picture of the aquarium, see the green liquid in the bulb? That liquid reacts to the CO2 in the air in the glass thingy. Seems like a hell of a job to get this thing into the water without getting water in it. We used to have one that seemed much easier.

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#22

Is This A Dumpling Press? Or A Three Tier Cake?

Is This A Dumpling Press? Or A Three Tier Cake?

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Clair Ryder 4 weeks ago

Wonton/dumpling mould - super handy if you are in a rush.

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#23

I Thought This Was A Sweep Bucket But There's No Flat Edge To Sweep Dirt Unto. What's With The Handle

I Thought This Was A Sweep Bucket But There's No Flat Edge To Sweep Dirt Unto. What's With The Handle

BexRani Report

Bonnie Blue Bird 4 weeks ago

Fancy pooper scooper for a really big dog?

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

Is This For A Shoe? Exercise Thing? Personal Corn On The Cob Pan

Is This For A Shoe? Exercise Thing? Personal Corn On The Cob Pan

BexRani Report

Ryan 4 weeks ago

It's a bottle cage for a bike.

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#25

It Reminds Of Those Plastic Rings On Braces But Wat

 It Reminds Of Those Plastic Rings On Braces But Wat

BexRani Report

Kharyss 4 weeks ago

Skin tag removal device. The rings cut off the blood supply to the skin tag and it dies off. The gizmo is to stretch the bands so they fit over the tag.

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