Earlier today I read a short post by Shiv Singh asking if society is going to become all advertising all the time. It included a trailer from “Logorama” where the whole world was covered in logos. Is this the world that we are heading into, a world where all we see are ads plastered on everything?
There’s a limit to the value of advertising. Think about how many ads you come across in a day and then think about how many actually make an impact on you. Now imagine if everything you saw, literally everything, was an ad. I don’t think that we’d really go that far (at least I hope now)…at least not in reality.
What I expect to see it more virtualization of brands and retail. With location based games/services like Foursquare, Gowalla and others, you’re telling people where you are. You’re finding directions via Google Maps. You’re posting reviews on Yelp and other sites. You’re getting coupons and deals delivered to your mobile device. Even when you’re out in the real world you’re still connecting with brands and retail virtually.
In 2010 and beyond I fully expect to see more business embrace virtualization and begin (or continue) to try to acquire and engage consumers through new technologies. I think we’ll see much more integrations with services like Foursquare. This could be anything from retail specific badges, to check-in specials, to deal for mayorships. There are already a number of location based ad services out there and I expect them to get smarter and better at serving relevant ads.
Another big opportunity I see is actual virtualization via maps and routes. I’m not sure exactly what we’ll see but I know it will be something. Perhaps your online shopping accounts will be linked to your phone and populate your map with nearby deals. Perhaps there will be an app that will build shopping routes for you based on your most traveled paths. Maybe you’ll start to see specific locations brought to you by a specific brand, giving you tips and discounts (think something along the lines of “The Pepsi Guide to Times Square” or something of that nature). If done right, there is a huge opportunity. But if done wrongs…there can be tremendous backlash.
All I know is that there will be some form of brands and advertising in your “on the go” virtual/mobile experience, and that they will be different than what you see today. We will move beyond simple text ads. Guides, offers, charity tie-ins, these are all things I think we can see. There is opportunity to increase foot traffic into physical retail stores. It’s there. The question is, will someone take the opportunity and will they make the most of it?