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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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  • you can't do that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:25PM (#13311883) Journal
    You can't directly put something on MY eye unless I get an implant of some kind. As long as I refuse to get any implants then they can't advertise to me..
  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Patient ( 571083 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:25PM (#13311884)
    Well, as a non-female entity, if I don't have to see any more Stayfree ads, I'll take that as a positive.
  • by EEBaum ( 520514 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:28PM (#13311899) Homepage
    ... advertising of the present?
  • I hope it does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) * on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:29PM (#13311904) Journal
    Seriously, I would appreciate some ads that are relevant to me. Instead of punch the monkey and Free* iPods, I could be getting discounts on stuff I'm interested in and might actually buy. If I could get a guaranteed higher quality of ad, I would definitely give up some of my personal information, especially to sites that I care about.
  • Helpful utilities (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NixieBunny ( 859050 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:30PM (#13311910) Homepage
    ...helpful utilities from companies like Claria already know a lot about your shopping and browsing habits

    Helpful is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Helping your PC crash is one thing Gator's stuff is known for.

  • PKD? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stevobi ( 600234 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:34PM (#13311932)
    Just to give credit where it's due, it's probably more accurate to say that Philip K. Dick foresaw this advertising, as it or something similar appears not only in his short story Minority Report, but throughout his fiction.
  • Freedom (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:35PM (#13311935)
    You have to respect the freedoms of others. You can't ban something just because some people (such as yourself) might be offended by it sometime in the future, you can only act after a deed is done. Last time I looked nobody was jailed for WANTING to kill someone, it only happens if they actually do.

    By acting preemptively you're making presumpions about people's behaviour based on your own flawed experiences, which are probably not relevant to the situation at hand.

    This is all separate to the issues of freedom of speech of the advertisers themselves.
  • by knipknap ( 769880 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:48PM (#13312004) Homepage
    Hello, I am your digital shopping assistant! I saw that you were looking at some of our trousers - may I help you with that? I think you would like these, kind of like in that porn that you watched yesterday. Or these, maybe? The extra air might help you get rid of that fungus thing that I found in your medical record.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @01:54PM (#13312031) Homepage Journal

    One thing that annoys me about some ads, is they say "in the future...", make some claims about good things, then say "...the future is now".

    I also find medical ads annoying. They all seem to push a perception that things will be great if you'd take this pill or have that operation. Stuff like Viagra, Levitra and Claria are only supposed to be help people with certain medical conditions, NOT to make a healthy person have "better sex". I think mass marketing is completely wrong for that kind of product, and targeted mass marketing is also going to cause problems.
  • Re:Enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:05PM (#13312088) Homepage
    New technologies will continue to be developed to target more accurately because that generates better results. I repeat: IT GENERATES BETTER RESULTS! This means that due to it being targeted better, people are buying more! We are not holding a gun to their heads saying they have to buy, we inform them of the product (and yes, some do it less truthfully than others, I will not lie about that)and they make the decision to buy.

    See, here's the thing: this *is* the dark side of your industry. You're yelling "generating better results" as if that were some laudable goal. Even "generating better results" sounds like a commercial. Better results for who? Better results for me would be fewer ads, in every medium.

    When your industry plasters every available surface with advertising, whether that's walls or screens or clothing, it's bad enough. You may not be holding a gun to people's heads, but frankly that reminds me of a child irritating another child by saying "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you!" You aren't holding a gun, but you are "targeting" people.

    I don't care if your industry likes making good ads that people like. Hell, I might even laugh at some of them, or see the cleverness. But for every "clever" advertisement, there is a tidal wave of ad-noise drowning out the sounds of life. Your goal might not be to annoy people, but that is what you are doing.

    The worse the advertising gets, the more ubiquitous, the more targeted -- the less I will watch, the less I will pay attention.

    The less I will buy.
  • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @02:12PM (#13312115) Homepage Journal
    You seem to be ignorant of undercover marketing. It is product placement just like product placement in movies, except that we do it to you in real life. We will take your most popular friends and make them do something on behalf of our advertisers. They can show you their new shirt and tell you how happy they are with it or they can simply invite you to a great party and tell you all about how cool it will be and make you come along without you ever getting even a hint that they are, in fact, part of assembling the crowd for the party and are secretly paid a small fee for ever person they bring. Undercover marketing is direct and extremely personal and to think you have the power to ignore 99% of all advertisement messages when you are in fact probably influenced by at least ten undercover messages daily seems kind of ignorant.
  • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @03:15PM (#13312377)
    I don't mind ads when they are for something that interests me

    But that's the crux of the issue. To make ads that fit you perfectly you'd have to give the marketing assholes as much information about you as possible.

    So on the one hand you don't want ads that are not targeted at you. OTOH, at least I don't want to give those wankers any information about me. So I just block ads and that's it. No "I'd take ads if they were more targeted" from me.
  • How long??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @03:31PM (#13312444) Homepage
    How long until the entire American economy is based on people convincing other poeple to buy cheap stuff made elsewhere at a huge markup for the brand that they believe will bring them happiness/money/love/sex?

    Almost everything I buy is the generic, the exact same product made by the same people in the same plant, but at 1/4 the price because a brand isn't printed on it. This way, almost all my money is going to the slaveowners in Asia that made the stuff for 2 cents an hour, instead of an ad agency.
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @03:51PM (#13312519) Homepage
    And, because WE go and look, Googling for products when we need them, the sites we find are garanteed a sale.

    This gets into media studies but I believe that the future of broad casting is NO future.

    What I suspect will happen is that we will have specialized content aggregators that we look at, like we used to look at car magazines for cars and audio magazines for audio components.

    But instead of magazines which were mostly waste, we will be able to focus in on what we want, a couple of sites, possibly a podcast or two, backed up by some blogs.

    Then we'll be in a position to buy.

    Problem with that 'trend' is that its going to put a lot of people 'on the slag heap' of history.

    A study of the buggy-whip makers is in order.
  • Better Results (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jesterzog ( 189797 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @05:24PM (#13312853) Homepage Journal

    Even "generating better results" sounds like a commercial. Better results for who? Better results for me would be fewer ads, in every medium.

    As much as I agree with the general sentiment of this thread about marketing (which I frequently get sick of), there are times where I actually appreciate it. I don't like marketing and advertising that's in my face, and I don't like marketing that lies to me. But some marketing material is just out there to be informative for people who want it and ask for it, without being in anyone's face.

    Better results for me means being fully informed about all the relevant options I have, at a time and level of detail of my choosing. This is also a type of marketing, and it's one that I respect. I do know some marketing people who focus on this goal, and I appreciate it.

    I actually like the way that the shoe salesman walks up to sell me a shoe when I walk in. I really have no idea what I want and it's not a decision I want to make. What I care about is trusting the guy to sell me something that works, and that's what will get me to come back again and again. That's also marketing. The guy's job relies on him selling lots of shoes, but he knows that his best approach is just to be honest with people. (and to chat, and joke, and so on.)

    I also quite like the way that Amazon suggests books for me to read. It's only there when I ask for it, it often offers good suggestions, and every so often they might get a sale out of it. That's the type of marketing that I like.

  • by Archangel_Azazel ( 707030 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @10:39PM (#13314063) Homepage Journal
    The reason you don't see much info in ads is something to do with the Truth In Advertising laws. For everything good they say, apparently they have to balance that out with listing some side effects. Which is why you get rhyming Krestor ads that don't say what the fuck the med does....

    I agree that Pharm. companies should *NOT* be able to advertise on TV. Their commercials are intentionally mis-leading.

    You know, I was told growing up that there were these evil people who would tell you very little about what they were offering, and they'd tell you that it would solve a lot of your problems. But they were *shaking finger* EEEEVILLLLL. They'd even sometimes give you "samples" of their drugs to get you hooked.

    Apparently now those "drug dealers" are ok and even have the support of the government. My street dealer ain't got SHIT on Glaxo Smith-Klein.

    My 2c

  • Re:Enough (Score:3, Insightful)

    by misleb ( 129952 ) on Saturday August 13, 2005 @11:56PM (#13314374)
    You ought to give yourself more credit, and so should the rest of everyone who shares your view. You seem to subscribe to the idea that consumers are mindless minions under the spell of advertisers. If you think that us advertising folks are controlling the minds of consumers, dictating what they can and cannot drink, eat or wear, you're dead wrong.

    Nobody said anything about forcing people to do anything. It is about manipulation. If you are not a manipulator for hire, please describe what you do.

    Granted, there are shoddy advertisers out there that give our industry a bad name, but there are those like us who take pride in what we do.

    What do you take pride in, exactly?

    If you don't believe this then look no further than the script kiddies that gave the hacking community such a bad rap. There's a good parallel for you.

    I don't see the parallel. Could you explain it?

    See, people tell you they hate advertising and yet when they're in the market for a new house, a new apartment, a new car, a new stereo, a new MP3 player, where do they look? When you're trying to score a deal for a laptop, do you bring competing stores' flyers to compare prices? Do you tell the salesperson that you can get a better deal from Store X? Of course you do. And yet here you are telling us advertising folks we have no integrity.

    Perhaps I have a too strict idea of what advertising is, but I don't think that simple price lists and such are advertising. That is basic information that any informed consumer needs to know. Just posting a price list or having an catalog is not "advertising." There is a big different between information that is there to be referenced at will, and advertising which is unsolicited and inserted into otherwise desirable material.


  • by Wes Janson ( 606363 ) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @01:39AM (#13314820) Journal
    As the reply above this one mentions, PKD's orignial story has nothing to do with advertising, future life, or anything remotely prescient-ish, except for the central premise of precognition. Like many short stories of the time, it focused on a single plot idea, with everything else being merely a setting to place and explore that idea. If you're seriously claiming that PKD was a master of exploring mundane details of the future, then you're either a poser or an idiot. Virtually every other story of his talks about someone taking rocket ships somewhere, or slime aliens from Jupiter, or laser pistols. PKD's greatness was his plot ideas, and general weirdness, not his ability to predict future technological trends. That would be Isaac Asimov who holds that award (may you rest in peace, Isaac).

    The writers of Minority Report deserve the real credit, and Spielburg for spending a crapton of money to get a bunch of people to sit around dreaming up ideas for what the future might look like.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde