Raise your hand if you love online adverts popping up whenever you open your browser!!!!
No? No one? We thought as much.
Invasive advertisements that interrupt a video or clog up the web page you’re exploring are at best a nuisance, at worse a disincentive to visit certain sites or purchase goods. In a world where companies all strive to offer the best possible online experience, the 30% rise of ad blocker usage from 2016 to 2017 is revealing of some serious marketing flaws.
Ads are increasingly invasive and can have the opposite effect of that desired: driving us away rather than luring us in. With concerns over conscious consumerism coming to the fore, traditional advertisements just won’t survive. But here’s how tech is giving advertising a new lease of life.
Out with the impersonal, in with the tailored
Numerous start-ups are taking on the advertising sector, despite the presence of giants such as Google and Facebook who clearly dominate the ad scene. While it’s not easy to compete against the heavyweights with their almighty consumer reach and revenue figures, AdTechs are capitalising on their sharp tech-knowledge to offer services that Google and the like are yet to come up with.
One example of the way technology could be leveraged to disrupt advertising can be seen in Gestoos, the start-up OneRagtime invested in in 2017. The San Francisco and Barcelona based company is an Artificial Intelligence platform aimed at harnessing the power of human movement to power technology. How can this technology be applied to the advertising world? By creating ads that detect our gestures, ascertain our preferences and analyse product performance. You can see the kind of work that Gestoos do here, in the interactive wall they created for FC Barcelona:
Ads are no longer something you want to ignore, but an experience you consciously and gladly engage in. And the good news, AdTechs can collaborate with the ad giants rather than attempt to compete against them. The technological leverage of young start-ups can be coupled with the scale of large corporations to create a win-win situation.
It’s all about using AI to learn what consumers want and providing them with an experience they will want to relive.
The exciting new world of immersive advertisements
Augmented Reality global spending in the advertisement sector jumped from 6.6 billion US dollars to a staggering 12.8 billion in 2017, according to Statista figures. You can now envisage what a piece of furniture would look like in your living room before having bought it, or get a glimpse of a concert’s vibe before even entering your card details. British supermarket giant Tesco even turned metro station adverts into digital stores in South Korea, as shoppers could scan QR codes of a product’s digital image to place an order while waiting for their train home from work.
Likewise, start-ups like the London-based Blippar are turning ads into what they should be: an exciting, beautiful insight onto the product. By using image recognition, AR and computer vision technology, this app is enabling brands to interact with their consumers, spark their curiosity, and meet their interests. All on your smartphone.
Smartphones are the platforms on which the first changes will be implemented. Easily accessed, always connected and incredibly widespread, smartphones will undoubtedly be the scene for the next big wave of AR innovation. A whole world of immersive experiences, personalized interfaces and meaningful purchasing at the end of your fingertips.
A change in how we shop calls for a change in how we advertise
The age of impulsive and excessive consumerism is behind us. According to Euromonitor’s report “Top 10 Global Consumer trends for 2018”, consumer behaviour has shifted radically, and with it, the need for businesses to adapt. No one has ever liked the flashing, misleading ads that lurk all over the internet, but people are all the more intolerant towards them now that a certain consumer conscience has developed. For “clean lifers” and “sleuth shoppers”, products need to fulfil environmental, ethical and economic criteria to be deemed fit for purchase.
So, as we become increasingly demanding of the quality of the goods we buy, and increasingly scathing of poor or overbearing advertising, it’s time for advertisers to match the needs of consumers.
This tired industry is ripe for disruption; a disruption that is already under way. However, at the risk of sounding like a spoilsport, there is a major challenge to this amazing world of opportunities: safeguarding the real, human interactions in a world of bright augmented realities. After all, we wouldn’t want our future shopping trips to resemble something like this…