Are we doomed to live in a world where retina scanners are in every public place, delivering ads based on our identities -- and even our moods? This is the future of advertising painted in the 2002 film "Minority Report." Jeff Boortz of Concrete Pictures said the whole idea was "the advertisements would recognize you -- not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind. It's the kind of stuff that's going on now with digital set-top boxes and the internet." While the current advertising space isn't quite as intrusive as the one painted in this famous clip from the film, it does seem like the direction we're heading in.
In the case study presentation, "Is the Minority Report Scenario Inevitable?" at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit, Jeremy Ozen, co-founder, Vistar Media, and Jenna Gino, VP, programmatic media director, Affiperf North America, discussed the future of digital out-of-home (DOOH). Ozen and Gino joked that this year and last year were both called "the year of mobile." But they claim, with the on-the-go mentality that goes along with mobile, next year will be the year of DOOH.
Ozen pointed out that the film came out 11 years ago, pre-dating the iPhone. Today, we actually don't need the retina scanners, he said, because we target with mobile. With location data, companies are able to target what Ozen called "contenders," or those who visited a store once. With their mobile data, advertisers can know where they shop, get gas, and go to gym. This way, specific audiences can be targeted based on their actual physical locations. It sounds pretty creepy if you ask me, so I would hope such companies have plans to defend themselves against consumer privacy concerns.
With all that data floating around, measurability has the potential for great improvement as well. According to a study Gino shared, marketers need to remember that a large percentage of purchases are still made offline. Plus, location based media spend can go much further than digital media spend, according to the findings. Ozen also reminded marketers of the power of captive environments such as doctor's offices, airports, and more, and these locations have the price to match. I have to admit, although I consider myself fairly immune to advertising, when I was at the airport just a few days ago, I found myself giving a lot of attention to an IBM campaign on a digital screen -- conveniently located at my gate's waiting area.
Gino concluded that the future is going to look more like Corning's "A Day of Glass" than "Minority Report." Prices are dropping, she said, and soon we'll put a screen wherever we used to put paper. "Think about all the screens you encounter on a typical day," Gino said. A science fiction future is already taking shape.