The good folks at Innovation Hub, a weekly NPR radio show produced at WGBH in Boston, recently invited Thinkmodo’s James Percelay and me to chat about where advertising is headed in the years to come. Hint: it’s not going away.
Granted no one has a crystal ball, but if this show is any indication, one thing we can be certain of is that people in the business will never be short on opinions. Myself included. And we all like to predict.
My thoughts, which you can hear preserved forever on the episode titled 21st Century Mad Men, are summed up in one of the examples I shared.
In a few years from now, we’ll all have personal robots. They’ll read to our kids, keep track of our spending, make our shopping lists, monitor our energy consumption, and more importantly, understand our emotions and predict when we’re about to get sick. After all, they’ll know our diet, temperature, vital signs and sleep patterns. Better yet, they may even excel at interpreting our facial expressions and body language.
Once we get our privacy settings right, we’ll decide which of that data we want to share and with whom. My robot knows I’m tired, not sleeping well, and had a bad day, so it can do a much better job than Netflix at recommending a movie. CVS could know that my restless nights indicate that I’m about to get sick. It alerts my doctor, gets a script for Tamiflu and then tries to sell me a few other essentials that might reduce the anticipated symptoms.
The marketing that connects with me or sends me information may still be more effective if it’s “creative,” but who really knows what that means when the media has yet to make its debut?
Whether delivered via sensors, robots or social media, technology will continue to grow in appeal. And as consumers, we will value brands more for what they do than for what they say. Yes, we’ll still love great stories well told. We’ll just want to play the starring role.
*With credit to Raymond Carver