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Advertising of the Future, Already Here 234

prostoalex writes "Did Stephen Spielberg predict the future of advertising, when in Minority Report the relevant ads were delivered by retina scanner, which could then personalize any message? August issue of Inc. magazine takes a look at future of advertising and who's offering advanced technologies today. Internet search engines and helpful utilities from companies like Claria already know a lot about your shopping and browsing habits. Combine that with advanced tech from TV viewership tracker Nielsen and large nationwide databases like Experian, and the advertising messages of the future could get extremely personal."
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Advertising of the Future, Already Here

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  • Not a problem... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gwernol ( 167574 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:40PM (#13311964)
    Personalized ads will be just as invisible, thanks to AdBlock [mozdev.org].

    My behavior with AdBlock: if the ad contains movement of any sort - animated GIFs, Flash etc. - I will always AdBlock it. Small, stationary ads I generally leave in place, especially if they are around the border of the article I am reading. As Firefox/Mozilla usage increases and tools like AdBlock become (hopefully) widespread, it will be interesting to see if advertising changes in response. The "conventional wisdom" in advertising is you need to make your ad stand out, hence pop-ups and wildly animated adverts. These are the most noxious and instrusive. If users start to react to this sort of ad, maybe it will die out over time? I could live with a world of small, static ads like Google's text ads - they can even be useful sometimes.
  • by Japong ( 793982 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:41PM (#13311969)

    I can only hope that advertisers start to realize what they're doing by making their ads increasingly intrusive. I've done a fair amount of work studying advertising, and it's shown that by creating louder, personalized, in-your-face ads is more effective to about 90% of the market, and it turns off about an additional 10% (these numbers incredibly generalized for your reading enjoyment).

    However, as great as that sounds to marketers, advertising has increased so dramatically on such a huge scale, that these stunts are yielding diminishing marginal returns, because they now do it continuously. It's nearly impossible for today's generation to escape advertisement and endorsements. Increasing the volume has reached the point of turning off just about as many people as it gains - and this will become a huge factor as the baby boomer population reaches Senior Citizen status.

    The elderly respond far better to conservative advertising than to brash advertising - they also become less likely to switch brands, having built up brand associations over several decades. As they're going to be a dominant economic force, not earning wages but spending money nonetheless, advertisers need to back off of the intrusive advertising if they want to continue making sales.

  • Re:Enough (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:59PM (#13312062)
    Thats fine. If you want to make a living doing that, and you feel good about it, go ahead and keep doing it.

    But remember, the goal of advertising is to change the behavior of a person. So you are exploiting pyschological traits to pressure the consumer into buying the product using color, suggestive imagry, playing on their insecurities and desires.

    You may in fact be changing people's habits who have no use for your product or could not truely afford it. You defend yourself by saying that they have a choice.

    Looking at it more realistically, I equate it to stealing someone's credit card. Essentially, you are exploiting the way the brain works to cause a behavior. Yeah, real ethical.

    Viral ads are MUCH better because they are opt in. I can seek out an ad which I want to see (subjecting myself to all the pyschological tricks).

    So while individulally you might be delluded, your industry is as inherently evil as the spam industry. You are just dulluding yourself.
  • ad blocking 101 (Score:5, Informative)

    by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:13PM (#13312120)
    Just block ads outright. I keep an updated hosts file of ad servers here. [everythingisnt.com] The whole situation with flash ads, firefox proof pop-ups, etc is getting ridiculous. Funny, I've been blocking ads for years yet I still buy stuff.
  • M$ Advertising (Score:2, Informative)

    by mporcheron ( 897755 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:16PM (#13312139)
    Well, M$ advertising don't appear personal, im on a gaming website with MSN Search advertising Ski Resorts, i watch discovery and M$ are advertising child at school with outlines of their bodies in white. Only a few ads I see are relevant to what I do, most are complete rubbish about IPods and screensavers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:17PM (#13312140)
    It's not Spielberg who invented it, but Philip K. Dick. You can read something about it in its novel
    "Sales Pitch", written in 1953.
  • yahoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:18PM (#13312149)
    yahoo is probably further ahead on data collection than anyone. they track every link on the site, the federate all data you associate with your ID, they have a demographic profile on you if you provided it, and they have an massive infrastructure doing analysis and mining on everything they find.
  • Re:Enough (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moofie ( 22272 ) <lee@ringofsatur n . c om> on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:43PM (#13312250) Homepage
    I don't want your better results.

    I don't want to BE your better result.

    I don't like any ads at all. I think your entire business is founded on manipulation, deception, and brain washing. You have no leg to stand on. You can't put a bright face on it, and you can't convince me that you're just an innocent, idealistic advertising executive who's speaking out for the people with integrity.

    If it is your job to trick me into buying something, you don't have any integrity.
  • Not just PKD (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2005 @04:12PM (#13312597)
    Increasingly intrusive advertising is an idea that was circulating in quite a bit of the early 1950s SF. Case in point: Pohl & Kornbluth's "The Space Merchants" 1953:
    'They outlawed compulsive subsonics in our aural advertising--but we bounced back with a list of semantic cue words that tie in with every basic trauma in American life today. They listened to the safety cranks and stopped us projecting our messages on air-car windows--but we bounced back. Lab tells me,' he nodded to our Director of Research across the table, 'that soon we'll be testing a system that projects directly on the retina of the eye'
    Also see Pohl's 'Tunnel Under the World', for advertising campaigns that advertisers would love to do if they thought they could get away with it...
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @05:19PM (#13312839)
    The real predictors were surely Pohl and Kornbluth, in their novel The space merchants from the 50s (and yes, the title is a clever pun). I still have a copy. It's wrong about the future - oil and population run out of control much too soon - but (IMFHO) dead right about the unholy alliance of corporations, governments and the advertising industry. It's one of the two books about dysfunctional societies that should be compulsory in the school curriculum, the other one being 1984.
  • by Zero_Independent ( 664974 ) <.moc.socyl. .ta. .orez.rm.> on Saturday August 13, 2005 @07:54PM (#13313484)
    I actually read Minority Report. I didn't see anything about retina scanning targeted ads or spider robots in it. All I read was a silly story about pre-determinism. Philip K Dick wasn't prescient. In Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, the sheep's voice was done by cassette tape. He couldn't even envision the microchip.

    Give credit were credit is due. It was the modern writers of the movie that showed us a dystopian ad enveloped future. Not PKD.
  • Re:Enough (Score:3, Informative)

    by chihowa ( 366380 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @03:05PM (#13317027)
    We happen to believe that consumers are smart, independent-thinking individuals who decide what they will buy. They do have minds of their own you know.

    That's funny. By referring to them as consumers, it seems that you see them first and foremost as an endless source of income in their defining feature as those who exist to consume [your products].

    I understand that the term is used to indicate those who purchase the products from the producers, but by constantly and openly referring to your customers as consumers, you seem to cement the idea that people only exist in order to give you money and that no trick is too low in order to achieve that (exploiting emotional and psychological responses in order to sell stuff).

Happiness is twin floppies.