Inside Story: The Future's ... a Bit Scary ; Ten Years from Now, Marketing Agencies Could Well Be Using the Following Methods to Push Their Message into Already Overcrowded Human Brains, Says Richard Benson. Some Could Be Winners While Others Make Tesco's Customer Database Look Positively Benign
Benson, Richard, The Independent (London, England)
In the old days, when it was just between us and the newspapers, radio and telly, there was a delightful simplicity to our relationship with mass media. When we wanted informing or entertaining, we bought some or else went to where the relevant receiver was, and looked at it. When we had had enough, we did something else; we trusted it; we didn't mind putting up with the adverts, and accepted we could only find out stuff a) when it was available and b) when we had time to, ahem, interact with it.
This is in marked contrast to a modern age of 24-hour TV newsfeeds in train carriages, P2P networks, viral marketing, podcasts, videophones, text alerts, websites and editorial content sponsored so heavily that you don't quite know where the lifestyle sell ends and the information begins. Mass media now come not only to you but at you, and technology is making the stream thicker and faster by the day. It seems likely that in the not too distant future, we will have a bit of 'media' pushed at us with every waking experience; a frightening thought, but not entirely alien if you think of, say, Kingston-Upon-Hull's council recently installing a huge TV screen to show terrestrial BBC all day about the city's main shopping street, or those lovely phone systems that play you ads while you're on hold.
It is mainly advances in communications technology that allow this, of course, but the driving forces are a good deal greater than even the massed ranks of the world's tech corporations. Business as a whole " or at least that section of it which is consumer facing " is increasingly using elements of entertainment to add value to its products, hoping that this will forge an emotional bond between brand and customer. Politicians now see interacting with us through our 'culture' as a way to change behaviour " hence all those government-funded magazines in hospital waiting areas, and Tony Blair's 'respect' campaign. And marketeers, as we all know, need to get around systems such as TiVo that allow audiences to screen out ads.
It is perhaps in anticipation of this that those marketeers are thinking so much about 'buzz' marketing; the science of word of mouth could be the only source of a resolution to the paradox of having more media available while finding it harder to reach your target audience. When I was working on a new report on Britain's expanding creative economy for The Fish Can Sing, I found myself wondering if this resolution might somehow involve the huge wave of creative energy that new technology is releasing among the British population at large.
As part of the report, we examined trends in media technology and usage, and put together a speculative list of how it might be affecting our lives in 2015. I have to warn you that it is not all pleasant; some of it may have you longing for the good old simple days.
To find out what you will be doing in 2015 visit www.oldjobnewjob.com for your own personal job profile.
With many companies trying to engage customers using the story behind their products, the label is augmented by an embedded chip which, when scanned by sensors in a video device, triggers a two- minute film about the item. This will initially be popular with brands where provenance is important, such as food and drink; in the picture we see one being used at a farmers' market of the future.
The big prizes in media will be reserved for those companies able to use information about our individual media and consumer choices in order to direct us towards other content we would like. Google and Amazon are already well down …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Inside Story: The Future's ... a Bit Scary ; Ten Years from Now, Marketing Agencies Could Well Be Using the Following Methods to Push Their Message into Already Overcrowded Human Brains, Says Richard Benson. Some Could Be Winners While Others Make Tesco's Customer Database Look Positively Benign. Contributors: Benson, Richard - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 3, 2005. Page number: 10,11. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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