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10 ways you will be shown targeted advertising in the future

By 11th October 2017No Comments

Much like “normal” science, the science of marketing is constantly growing and evolving. The Internet and Smart Phones have given marketers more advanced options to target consumers than ever before. And they are just getting started. Here are 10 ways you will be shown advertising in the future.

Engineered Jingles

The American Psychological Association recently published a revealing paper on the phenomenon of earworms—songs you can’t seem to shake from your head, even if you dislike them. Songs that hang on and won’t let go share some unique characteristics not shared by less catchy hits.In addition to a quick tempo, these songs share what researchers called a “common melodic shape,” as well as the frequent use of unusual intervals and repetitive notes. That these characteristics are distinct enough that one may be able to predict which songs will get stuck in listeners’ heads by analyzing their melodic content—or, familiarity with these patterns “could help aspiring songwriters or advertisers write a jingle everyone will remember for days or months afterward.”

Smart Appliances

Many appliances are already starting to be “smart”. The essentially means you can control your entire home from one central device such as a smartphone. A big take away from this is the ability to target homeowners with advertising in times when they’ve run out of detergent or milk. Google has been onboard with this since smart appliances have existed, and it seems all but certain that such targeted advertising will be a major aspect of the connected home of the near future.


Some companies are using drones to capture high-quality aerial video for use in commercials that would have otherwise been prohibitively expensive; some, like Tequila maker Patron, have even integrated such footage into successful virtual reality campaigns, combining two cutting-edge advertising techniques. Of more concern, however, is the potential for drones to collect data. Singapore-based advertising firm Near conducted a proof of concept trial in 2015 in several markets, including Los Angeles, in which drones collected publicly available Wi-Fi data to gather user information and deliver super-targeted, location-based ads.

Interactive shops where you order online

Most brick and mortar stores have struggled with the growth of online shopping. However, some consumers still want to physically see what they are purchasing. Recently, a few major manufacturers have pioneered a completely new retail concept—using a physical space purely as a showcase, giving consumers hands-on time with their products without the option to purchase. Many consumers use retail outlets in this manner already, evaluating products in person before completing their purchases online. Retailers following this model can make better use of space without the need for a stock room, and consumers are relieved of the pressure to buy while being able to “deep dive” into a brand, its products, and its ethos.

Smart Cars

In 2013, electronics manufacturer Magellan launched its Smart GPS, a standalone dash-mounted system that had a few features lacking in other similar units. Specifically, its interface can be made to volunteer information relevant to your current location—such as places to eat, hotels to stay in, or entertainment options. Many of these suggestions come paired with coupons or special offers through Foursquare. This is an example of contextual marketing, and many in the industry believe it to be the wave of the future as more cars come standard with Internet connectivity. Location-based ads are only one potential avenue for in-car advertising; even today, devices connect to your car’s diagnostic computer and offer situational rewards.

Personalised Radio and TV ads

While radio and TV advertising remains a significant source of revenue for many advertisers, its one-size-fits-all approach ensures that a great number of ads will fall on uninterested ears; to name just one example, diamond engagement ring ads—common in most radio markets—are not very helpful to those who are already married. At least one company hopes to optimize this form of advertising by providing web-style targeted ads to terrestrial radio and television broadcasts. The technology, developed by tech company Gracenote, is available in over 50 million cars today. It develops a profile of a user by identifying songs played on CD and radio, the type of car being driven, frequent locations, and more; it then uses this profile to dynamically insert relevant ads in place of local programming.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, or AR, has exploded into the public consciousness over the past year due to the success of the mobile game Pokémon Go. AR uses electronic devices to overlay the real world with digital elements. Among other things, a consumer could easily find more information about a product simply by pointing their smartphone at an advertising display. AR displays have already popped up on storefronts, bus shelters, and billboards—one famous British Airways advertisement used a giant video billboard featuring a child who would point to actual planes as they flew overhead and call them out by flight number.


Although consumers are typically able to give marketers good feedback on the types of products they like and how much they are willing to pay for them, they are less able to delve into the underlying reasons behind these feelings. Enter the emerging field of neuromarketing—using data gleaned directly from the brain to discover what aspects of a product or marketing campaign generate a positive response, and why.

In 2008, Frito-Lay hired a neuromarketing firm to gauge consumers’ responses to Cheetos. Examining EEG patterns, researchers determined that many subjects got a subversive thrill from the messiness of the product and its famous finger-coating orange dust. This information was incorporated into the next Cheetos marketing campaign, which featured the Cheetos mascot encouraging people to do subversive and weird things with Cheetos (such as sticking them up a sleeping airline passenger’s nose).

AI generated advertising

Advertising agency McCann Japan made waves in 2016 when it formally appointed an artificially intelligent robot as its creative director. The AI was fed data from previous advertising campaigns and directed to creatively produce an effective ad for Clorets breath mints, shown above. A human director was tasked with producing a competing spot; the two ads were then shown side by side on Japanese television and put to a vote as to the best one, with the public unaware of which ad was the robot-produced one. The human-produced ad won—but only by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

Word of Mouth is still the strongest form of advertising

A carefully calculated, gentle nudge may be all that is required in order for consumers to do the marketers’ jobs for them. This is known as “User Generated Content,” and in the current climate of online reviews, “unboxing” videos and consumer product-oriented blogs, advertising firms are just beginning to find ways to leverage this massive amount of content.

A 2013 study of adult behaviour online helped solidify this trend. While only around 1 in 10 people find banner ads or direct advertising to be trustworthy, fully 70 percent of those responding were likely to trust product reviews from peers. This points the way toward a new model of advertising, in which brands partner with top online “content producers” to most effectively disseminate their messages. This could mean a near future in which the line between consumer and marketer becomes so blurred as to be difficult to spot—and in which advertisements are so ubiquitous, personal, and highly targeted that we don’t even think of them as advertisements anymore.

This article originally appeared on Listverse.

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