“Daddy, What’s a 4-Hour Erection?”

If you dread hearing that question, well, the day may truly be coming when consumers can decide exactly which commercials they want to see–and which they don’t.
Thanks to Albert Maruggi of the Marketing Edge blog and podcast, I met the folks behind this technology at the NAB Show in Las Vegas Last Week.
Singular Logic in Minneapolis is beginning to test a system that actively pushes advertising to consumers based on their demographics and personal preferences. From their blog:

Singular Logic is built on Services Oriented Architecture that allows consumers to establish preferences across television, web, and mobile devices. In other words, a family of four watching American Idol might view an ad for an SUV, while the neighbor, an unmarried man next door, might see an ad for a sports model, as well as seeing the same ads while discussing American Idol on Facebook the next day.
“Ads by Choice” also enhances consumer privacy. While search engines rely upon aggregated search results to determine the right advertising, all information provided to content providers through Singular Logic is voluntary. People receive the advertising on topics that genuinely interest them.

This is the kind of thing people have been talking about for years. I saw it demonstrated, and if it catches on it could be revolutionary. And while it puts control in the hands of consumers, we’ll see exactly how much information people will give up in order to have advertising be a little less of a nuisance.
One thing’s for sure: it puts more pressure on agencies who don’t have the time, staff or planning capabilities to figure this out. As for advertisers, well they can either make their commercials better and less obnoxious, or risk getting killed by viewers. I’d care more because a commercial is annoying than because I’m not necessarily the right audience.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. DB:
    I think it’s far more likely to go the other way, with advertisers selecting the type of consumers they want their ads to go to in a more “granular” way.

  2. Hi Bob–That was me, not David. But you’re right, it gives advertisers the power to target who they want to, provided the demographic information is there.

  3. Advertising seems to be changing constantly. Even so, 75 percent of americans actively avoid ads. I think many people would be more tolerant of ads if they were suited by demographics and personal preferences. Consumers really are taking control!

  4. Sorry, Danny. I’m starting to leak.