Wired's got an article detailing some new technologies in advertising, and while they're interesting to read about, they really just mask the fact that many advertisers still aren't grasping the significant change the industry needs -- to shift away from captive-audience advertising. One example it cites is a system that lets advertisers easily localize cable TV commercials down to a neighborhood level, but like other targeted commercials we've seen before, making them more personalized doesn't automatically mean they're any better or more compelling. Another technology the article mentions is a combination USB flash drive/microphone that recognizes audio codes embedded in some TV ads, then promises users coupons and discounts to get then to plug the device into their computer so it can upload a record of to which ads it's been exposed. It promises to show advertisers which TV commercials "work" -- but all it tells them is that their ad ran, and the TV was on. It can't measure if a person actually paid any attention, or if they were even in the room. Without a deeper shift away from interruption-based or captive-audience advertising, all these technologies will do is make current efforts more precisely ineffective.
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