Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Outdoor Advertising Takes Us One Step Further to Living in a Sci-fi Movie...

Movies always seem to utilize outdoor advertising in some bombastic ways whenever they need a 'dystopian' future-scape. From 'Blade Runner', 'Idiocracy' & 'Robocop' to 'AI', 'Back to the Future', 'Minority Report' & 'They Live', outdoor advertising plays a role in conveying an emphasis on the conspicuous consumption & promotional opportunities of the future. However, this week, 2 stories in the mainstream press seem to have emphasized how close we are to having at least the capability, if not the consumer comfort with, some of sci-fi's outdoor advertising channels.

Something tells me these might be kinda noticeable....(via source)
First, the city of Miami has fast tracked approval for two 'skyscraper' sized digital LED screens within the city. The digital ad platforms would come in at a total height of 50 stories, with the first 100 feet being supplied by a parking deck. While event type installations are nothing new within outdoor advertising, this seems, given the mock-up, to take attention grabbing dynamic content to a new level. While sights such as Picadilly Circus neon signs barely go above 5 stories, the 22 story advertising installations would bring us a step further to the ever present advertising in films like Blade Runner (now if we only had a zepplin...). So, film associations aside, will something this big work? The panels come in a line of large, historic outdoor installations, so they may follow other examples and become part of the skyline. However, they must strike a pretty hard balance between being bombastic & noticeable without being a horrible eyesore.Either way, the creative opportunities for advertisers seem pretty varied (someone planning a monster movie campaign is salivating already).

Secondly, in smaller scale, but customizable advertising, the Telegraph (and my Daily Links section) featured a story about the advancement of consumer customized, digital advertising panels (ala Minority Report, as shown above). Technology such as this has been in development for some time, with previous installations tracking approximations of age and gender from a web cam monitoring consumers. Currently however, IBM has spoken of taking the tech a step further, utilizing RF-ID to obtain user information for a more granular customization.

 Whether consumers accept something like this or see it as an invasion of privacy depends on the implementation of the technology over the next few years. Consumer attitudes are a long way from accepting a very tangible and public representation of what advertisers know about them and the technology to do more than approximate characteristics is far off from being widely accepted. If advertisers, technology providers and media owners can slowly progress the general consumer attitude to a more accepting view of data customization through RF-ID or another wireless solution, then something like this may have a chance of occurring. Alternatively, high costs, privacy concerns and lack of a standardized information system may limit this technology to webcam based approximation.

1 comment:

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