2054? Targeted Advertising and Location-based Advertising is the New Here and Now

“Originally, the whole idea, from a script point of view, was that the advertisements would recognize you – not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind,” says Jeff Boortz, the creative director and creative lead on the “Minority Report” ads. Once upon a time there were only five media types: TV, radio, billboards, magazines and newspapers.

That’s the scene in “Minority Report”, the 2002 futuristic thriller in which Tom Cruise’s character, John Anderson is walking through a shopping mall. With the help of contemporary advertisers like Guinness, Bulgari, Lexus, Reebok, Nokia, Pepsi-Cola’s Aquafina and a “think tank” of MIT futurists, director Steven Spielberg and production designer Alex McDowell painted a fascinating picture of what advertising might look like in 2054. Iris-recognition targets the advertisements directly to John Anderson’s personal preferences… just like Facebook, Google and Yahoo. The future is here now.

“Targeted advertising today is based entirely on keywords, but in the future it will be based on a deeper understanding of the specific personality, desires, and needs of each consumer,” says Ray Kurzweil.

Yahoo calls them “Interest-based Ads” – and now they give you the option of opting out of the behavioral targeting and categories that they have already opted you into.

On March 13, 2010 Facebook overtook Google as the world's number one Web site... and with an average user time of more than 55 minutes.

“If the 2000s was the Google decade, then the 2010s will be the Facebook decade,says Steve Rubel, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman – the world’s largest independent PR firm. “As with the last 10 years, this era will unleash an avalanche of change for media companies and advertisers. You can see the writing on the wall, pun intended.”

Facebook already knows an incredible amount of each user’s highly specific demographic details, because users are continuously telling each other who they are. With more than 500 million users it has the audience and  the knowledge to sell targeted advertising that can pinpoint viewers by age, gender, special interests and a number of other selectable measures.

And… over 100 million of those FB users are accessing via handheld devices, Facebook will soon follow Twitter by adding location-based technologies to the mix.

“Location is Everything,” was once a maxim reserved exclusively for the real estate market;  now it’s about the Internet.

I predict that within a year SEO experts will rephrase British real estate developer Harold Samuel‘s famous quote about property to say, “There are three things you need in regard to Search Engine Optimization, these are: location, location, and location.”

Advertising is undergoing a rapid and dramatic shift toward location-based targeting. Social networking services like BrightKite, Loopt, Foursquare and Gowalla provide users with GPS-aware devices, to check-in, rate and add tips that other users can reference when in unfamiliar territory.

“There’s a lot of attention being focused on location-based services and mobile social networks right now, and for good reason,” Sam Altman, Co-Founder and CEO of Loopt. “These applications represent the future of social media. They’re expanding our circle of friends online and offline. They’re changing how we meet people. They’re affecting where we go and why. They’re forging important connections between our online networks and real life.”

Altman tells the Wall Street Journal that he calls the set of all places that you go (and information about when you go, for how long, who with, etc.) your Life Graph. The rise in popularity of location-based social networking goes hand-in-hand with the ubiquity of hand-held devices like the Android, iPhone and Blackberry – smart phones that have the ability to determine a user’s current location by employing GPS or cellular tower triangulation.

Steve Rubel says, “Websites will become less important over time. They will be primarily transactional and/or utilitarian. Brands will shift more of their dollars and resources to creating a robust presence where people already are and figure out how to use them to build relationships.”

Here at DesignWise Studios we are continuing to shift with the times as evidenced by our own CMS-driven Web site… not to mention our focus on social media, video production and now, location-based technology. Here’s one last provocative question: Have you seen your own spectacular Web site as displayed on a hand held device? The experience might be chilling. Our design team is also tech-savy in that regard… Contact us if you are ready to enter the 21st century.

“Life is change. How it differs from the rocks.” – Jefferson Airplane