I have a really good friend that on occasion sends me their musings. By musings, I mean the odd things that come to them as questions. They share the questions, and we trade emails for a while about the question. About a week ago, they sent me an email asking me to consider “what is the future of advertising.” We discussed the concept of locational or location specific advertising, literally, you drive, walk or boat by a specific location, and you receive a specific advertisement based on that location. Advertising in specific locations is done today via Bluetooth. Eventually, I suspect the carriers will sell location data to organizations that would allow text or SMS messaging as well as Bluetooth messaging.
All of that resulting in about 30 emails over the course of 8 days. This morning it hit me, the worst case scenario for the future of advertising. Something that when I thought of it, it made me shudder. It made me nervous just to think about the possibility. First off there are legal issues that will hopefully prevent this potential new worst-case scenario from happening. Privacy and other laws that would force the advertiser not actually to do this.
The horror would be targeted ads that activate the camera of your phone or tablet. Why? Because if you don’t watch the ad, it is not as valuable as if you do watch the ad. It isn’t about plays it is about connection. How many people that play the ad, actually watch the ad. Using the selfie camera (I hate selfies anyway, now another reason) to verify you eyes are looking at the screen and therefore the ad. Look I see 10 – 15 ads per day on various devices. Sometimes when playing brain games in the morning. I get these ads when checking my newsfeed or other information online. The reality is I don’t watch 99% of those ads. But today it is the plays, not the interaction they are looking for. Advertising of the future will not only tell you if the ad played but if the person actively watched your ad. Unless of course, we are smart enough to pass privacy laws that protect us from this. The result would be the carrier, or the advertiser paying you directly to access your onboard camera.