As technology reaches saturation point, marketing companies are already looking to the ‘post-digital’ era. Their evolution will be neither easy nor assured.
Imagine a world where billboards recognise your face and serve up some precisely targeted advertising for you as you approach. A thrilling prospect for advertisers, if not necessarily for their customers. Well, imagine no longer, because the railway stations of Tokyo are already hosting the first trials of a “digital signage promotion project” that lays the groundwork for just that possibility.
Cameras mounted alongside billboards establish a person’s sex and approximate age. And while, at the moment, the information is being gathered for “research purposes”, it’s a short jump from there to the systematic selection for each passer-by of a more precise dish from the all-you-can-eat buffet of persuasion. Perhaps only ethics, rather than technology, stand in the way.
While it might not yet be as impressively bespoke as the personalised poster copy imagined 10 years or so ago in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, this latest innovation plants another little bomb under the old certainties of the advertising industry. A world of sharp distinctions between mass and personal communication, and between analogue and digital. A world, more specifically, where posters were the last bastion of truly broadcast propaganda, for brands and politicians alike.
See full article at: When everything becomes digital, then nothing is – Telegraph.
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