So IBM researchers are working on developing ‘Minority Report’ style advertising. This is all well and good, I suppose you’ve got have something to do (although if people are going to base their work on technology they’ve seen in sci-fi movies I’d still rather they focused their efforts on making some hoverboards already).
However, what really grates about this announcement is that this is being heralded as another breakthrough in the seemingly incessant push for more ‘targeted’ advertising. To quote from the story: “IBM claims that its technology will help prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them.”
Now, I realise advertising is pretty much a fact of life, however, when is everyone going to realise that no matter how targeted they are, adverts are always going to be annoying? As much as advertising agencies, and the clients they represent, try to persuade us otherwise, no one wants to be stomped in the face over and over again by an advert – even if it is for their fizzy drink of choice or the maker of that jumper they saw the other day that looked quite nice.
As I say, I’d like to think there are other technologies that are worth prioritising before ‘new advertising platform’. And the sooner the ad people stop pretending that everyone would love adverts “if only they were more personal” the better. Tell us what it is and how much it is. Those that want it will buy it. Those that don’t, won’t. And leave the boffins to make me a hoverboard – which, incidentally, I would buy without needing an advert to persuade me it was a good idea.