Monday, August 6, 2007

It's an Ad Ad Ad Ad World

The article I chose is relevant to our e-marketing class because it paints a very clear picture of how advertising and marketing are going to be innovating the way we use technology in the coming years.

The article explores the new ideas emerging from David W. Kenny’s, chairmen and chief executive of Digitas, ideas that it’s only a matter of time before all of the world’s advertisements are digital. Digitas is an advertising agency in Boston that was recently acquired by the Publicis Groupe six months ago for $1.3 billion.

Mr. Kenny is now trying to reshape the digital advertising strategy for Publicis’s worldwide conglomerate, which includes advertising agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and the global accounts of Proctor & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard and General Motors. Mr. Kenny’s plan is to build a global digital ad network to create thousands of versions of ads. Then, with the help of information on consumers and computer algorithms, the network will be able to decide which ads to show at every moment to each person that turns on a computer, cell phone, and the television. Mr. Kenny wants to make each advertisement that a consumer sees into a personalized message.

When I first read this article, I thought “Wow, no way! That seems impossible!” But as I read over it a few times and really sat and thought about it, I realized that this kind of technology really isn’t too far into the future. Being able to personalize an advertisement to every single person at every single moment seems quite impossible. However, with how rapidly information technology is expanding this kind of technology may really be possible in the near future. Mr. Kenny is building upon the basic ideas of companies like DoubleClick, by storing and sorting through user data the new technology will be able to directly connect with each individual consumer.

For advertisers and marketers, this seems like a great idea, in fact maybe the best idea any marketer as ever had. I can not think of a better way to reach your target audience than by being able to actually send them a personalized message every time they are surfing the web, talking on cell phones or even watching tv.

However, as a consumer, I do have a few concerns. Personally, I think that kind of technology and advertising may be a bit of information overload for a consumer. If a personalized message popped up on my cell phone every time I turned it on I would definitely be frustrated. Or every time I went to check my e-mail and ads appeared all over the place, I don’t think I would ever want to turn my computer on. Consumers like having control over what ad content they take in, and if there was shift of power back to the advertiser, I think consumers would begin to dread using the technology that they have.

My other concern would be, how do they know who is actually sitting in front of the computer or television screen? If a child is using his dad’s computer and suddenly there are adult ads popping up, who can control that? The same could be said for the television. Technology would not be able to tell what member of the household is watching the tv at that particular time, so all of the money they are spending to advertise to a certain demographic, may be a wasted effort.

From the advertiser’s perspective, I realize this is just the next big advancement in global technology. And really, Mr. Kenny is an advertising-genius for being the first to come forward and claim this idea. It could really keep consumers from filtering out ads. If a series of advertisements were able to keep a particular consumer’s attention because the ads had value to that consumer, then channels wouldn’t get changed during commercials and advertisements on the internet would not get overlooked.

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