The best advertisements, from a company perspective, are those that entertain people without annoying and make an emotional connection. Even with new technologies this will probably not change. However, 25 years from now advertising will not look nor feel like it does nowadays.
When you see an advertisement, for example on Youtube, people are counting down to click on the skip or next button. We are being annoyed and feel interrupted by advertisements, but this will and is already changing. Nowadays companies try to make advertisements more personalized and more inviting and valuable to watch.
Imagine that in the future you’re passing a restaurant and you immediately see reviews and prices, glancing at shoes in a store window for costs and comparison.
We’re not this far yet but Blippar, an ad tech company, already enables smartphones or Google Glass to bring ordinary objects to life. They aim to make advertisements of products and services that people will see, hear, touch, and feel when they want. Not only this makes them different from traditional advertisers, but people can also choose which advertisements they want to see, hear, touch and feel. Besides this they use augmented reality instead of traditional ad instruments.
Users download the Blippar app on their smartphones and when they point their camera at an object, magazine or poster this brings up related content. Pointing your camera at a box of Trix leads to a commercial where the screen is filled with 3-D looking pink and yellow confetti in combination with a song, whereas pointing at Pepsi brings up a Pepsi-sponsored soccer game.
Another famous example is the use of Blippar for some CoverGirl promotions. When the cover was scanned, Blipar opened a program which helped users to match their skins with the right color of foundations and enabled them to buy the product immediately.
Blippar believes that: “a brand’s biggest identity is their product”. That’s why they choose the concept where the product becomes the medium through which people engage with the brand whenever they feel like it. People choose to point their camera at a certain product and no-one is forcing them to do so.
They choose to do design an app for a smartphone because people are already using their phone for several things throughout the day, so this was a small step. Besides this Blippar intend to deliver something entertaining and useful and try to attract people to watch the advertisements instead of skipping it.
Blippar is not only trying to change the way advertising is done but they are also trying to make every action quantifiable. When Blippar is activated, brands know exactly where users are, what they are looking at, how long they are engaged with the product, and at what time of the day this engagement occurs.
David Pescovitz, research director of Institute for the Future, thinks that we do not need devices like phones, smartwatches, or Google Glass in the future but expects that drones are projecting interfaces on demand when they are needed. Besides this he also predicts that product offers and deal suggestions will be whispered into our ear via an ear bud.
However, some people are more skeptical and say that people are already pushing back on messages and commercials and that augmented reality is nothing more than a passing fad.
What do you think: Will personalized advertising change towards self-selection and which role will augmented reality play?
Only future will tell!