The future starts now?

12/28/2009 at 4:12 PM Leave a comment

Christmas has come and gone, so now it’s time to take our focus off Santa and Christmas lights and turn it towards confetti and falling disco balls.

However this December 31st, we will welcome in not only a new year, but a new decade — anyone who tells me the new decade doesn’t start until 2011 needs to be welcomed to the real world. This got me wondering how close are we to the future we have seen in the movies – more specifically, in regards to advertising. Filmmakers have given us plenty of examples of how they view the future of advertising, but how close are they? Lets take a look.

1) Back to the Future Part II – Jaws 19 holograph

You couldn’t possibly expect me to write about the future without including Marty McFly’s trip to 2015. In this future full of hoverboards, power laces and yet to be discovered Elijah Woods, Marty stumbles upon an interactive ad for Jaws 19. The shark rises from the marquee, music and all, and takes a harmless swipe at McFly (to his horror).

While I love this bit, I don’t see this trend really catching on. Movie marketing is using the Internet and guerilla tactics to set themselves apart today. Plus the holographic route seems a little 1980’s to me.

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence/Children of Men – Motion billboards

The audience only gets a quick glimpse of the future of ads; you really have to look for it but I promise it’s there. The outdoor ads in these movies stood out to me because none of them were static. Billboards, bus wraps, you name it, it’s going to be moving.

This is actually not a far-fetched idea at all. With more billboards going digital and the introduction of “electric ink” that can move, it seems only a matter of time before moving ads are a reality.

3) Minority Report – Interactive and Customized ads

In order to make the movie more realistic, director Steven Spielberg brought together a “think-tank” comprised of MIT students and asked them to imagine what advertising would be like in 2054. Furthering the whole “people from MIT are smart” theory, the group was able to produce some very good ideas.

The ads in Minority Report would either be able to recognize you personally and identify your consumer patterns or they had the ability to be manipulated by the user. We are actually seeing this from cell phone newcomer Droid, which set up an interactive ad that can be controlled by anyone who has the ability to touch a screen. Overall, I think this movie did the best job in seeing the trend of marketing to the individual a good five years before it really took off.

4) Lots of movies – Using TV spots

Be it Robocop’s attempt to sell Sunblock 5000 or I, Robot’s commercial for the new robot models, apparently TV is still the best route to take as far as advertising goes in the future.

While it still holds sway, TV is definitely NOT getting more popular as an advertising medium. For a perfect example, take a look at Pepsi. They just recently announced they will not feature an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl– to put a little context on that, they have ran Super Bowl ads for the last 23 years . If that’s not a trend, I don’t know what is.

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A reflection on graduation and preparing yourself for the future A bit of a hiatus

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