“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.

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About Dan Goldgeier

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. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.