In 2002 I watched the film Minority Report and afterwards my main discussion point was not the film (3 out of 5 stars) but how advertising of the future was presented. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere Tom Cruise went, he was served adverts that were relevant to him. Freaky I thought, but at least we wonít see that for a while.
How wrong I was.
Facial recognition by store windows and posters has started slowly seeping into society. This technology, as it stands, has the ability to tailor digital displays to whoever stops and looks at an advertisement, or, with some clever camera positioning, even for people walking some distance away from the window: And get this, these same cameras can follow your eyes and read your facial expressions to find out where you looked and how you reacted to the copy.
In the audio world the most targeted opportunity for advertisers is Spotify. As well as knowing your IP address (the address where your computer is) Spotify also asks users for their age and their sex. Want your advert only to be heard by 32 year old men in the Isle of Skye, no problem, there might not be many, but you could do it.
So how could you use this targeting effectively?
A good example is a campaign we created for a driving school. We bought all Spotify users who were about to, or had just become old enough to drive, and created adverts that spoke directly to them. At the same time we also created and served different adverts to the parents of those children who have different decision-making considerations than their children do.
Another good example is a London shopping centre that believes there is too much wastage when using large London radio stations, due to their wide transmission areas. Their solution is to buy every single Spotify user with an IP address within a given distance of their centre and serve them adverts that talk with pride about where they all live and shop.
Different targeting opportunities also exist. Want to promote your Jazz festival or punk album or classical TV channel, no problem; Spotify lets you target users by music genre.
With specific targeting comes the golden opportunity to create multiple pieces of copy with each one written, cast and produced in the most compelling way to suit that audience. If you are going to use Spotify this way it would be a shame to be so specific with your targeting and then serve them all the same advert. The product might be the same but how those people relate to it might not be. Remember, effective advertising is not just what the advertiser wants to say, itís what the listener needs to hear to make them do or feel something.