Perceptive advertising is coming…?

not too much h20

Google wants to bring TV ads into the 21st century. The company has quietly announced a new local advertising service for Google Fiber that will make TV ads behave a lot more like internet ads. Using data from its set-top-boxes, Google (and advertisers) will know precisely how many times a particular local ad has been watched in homes with Google Fiber service. That might not sound like a big deal, but the industry-standard Nielsen ratings simply don’t offer that kind of information. Like on the web, Google will only charge for the number of views an ad receives.

We all knew it was coming but I always wondered why Google and the other data driven companies hadn’t really done anything about the massive opportunity of personalised marketing?

It’s not yet clear precisely how the system will work, but, similar to Google’s cornerstone AdWords business, algorithms might determine the best time to show you a certain ad. For instance, if you’re watching the news before flipping over to the football game, the system might determine that you should be served a different ad during halftime than your buddy who switched over to the game from Pawn Stars. Google says it will even be able to swap out ads on DVR’d programs, so you won’t be served an old or irrelevant advertisement if you watch a program a week after it originally aired. Fiber customers will have an option to disable ads based on viewing history

But that is just the start. There is still the notion that the adverts are solid pieces for media which must be played from start to the end. This is a mistake, which will break down over time. Context is king yes, but there is big question about how personal you should get?

Something Doc Searls talks a lot about… and cue the Uncanny Valley graph

Uncanny_valley

I am worried that in the rush to deliver context sensitive advertising and marketing, there will be too much which falls into the uncanny valley space. So much it will ruin the great uses of data and context like Perceptive Media. I always said it was little friendly touches not a sledgehammer to the face or other senses…

Some dream shouldn’t be followed

Banksy - Follow Your Dreams // Cancelled

I only recently discovered Mark Manson. I’m sure theres quite a few of you guys who will be thinking geez I’ve been reading his stuff for ages. But I can’t even remember how I came across him. One of a whole load of posts he wrote is the controversial “Why Some Dreams Should Not Be Pursued.

Mark breaks it down with decent examples and some deep thoughts behind it and the self help industry.

We are all beaten over the head that we should always pursue our dreams, always follow our passions, always turn reality into what we believe will make us happy. Most marketing and advertising is based on this. The majority of the self help industry pushes this. And with the rise of Tim Ferriss and “lifestyle design” obsession of this generation, it has become a borderline religion…

I know what he means, the lifestyle business has grown and grown.

There is this conflict I have in my mind. Its a conflict between community (doing what people think you should do) and individualism (doing what your dreams says). I don’t buy all this self help crap but I do want to be happy (heck who doesn’t want to be happy?). When I say happy I don’t mean this crazy Hollywood style happiness you see on TV or they shovel down your throat any chance they can. Be Happy / Buy are shit… Roll the Fight club ikea montage.

Back to Mark…

But it’s not just materialism, the “follow you dreams” mentality dominates our relationships as well. It’s only in the last couple centuries that romantic love has been championed as the sole prerequisite for a happy relationship.

Lonely? Just fall in love and then live happily ever after! Duh.

It’s reached the point where practically all of our pop culture is based upon the idea that romantic love is a justification for just about any neurotic behaviour.

Another conflict… (damm Mark is right on the buzzer) My dating… I enjoy it but I do want to find someone special. When I say special I don’t mean perfection, I mean someone I would spend the rest of my known life with. Its important to me (yeah how selfish of me) but having gone through a divorce, I’m not a believer in there’s one person for everyone (something which the media seems to push down our throats). So on an individual level someone who connects with myself. Don’t get me wrong I do sometimes think about what it would be like to have someone very different (don’t ask, i’m not telling)

Some friends say why go out dating, if you just leave it it will happen. I say balls, and I actually kinda of enjoy it. As a friend who turns out reads my blog said, Its part of you… When she said this, I was kinda of thinking maybe shes got a point. I like meeting new people and enjoy dating, so it works. From an individual level again, its all good times. From a community point of view its a little different.

Maybe this is another reason why I’m writing this book, the life & opinions of a modern geeky gentleman… Putting the dream aspect on paper rather than in reality.

Mark’s example of the young woman from New York City who had the recurring sexual fantasy was certainly the icing on the argument. Some of our dreams should never happen and its really important to remember this (this story has to be read as its not very safe for work).

Losing control in reality is dangerous. Despite how arousing it may be, one could get hurt or killed. It’s only possible to lose control and stay safe within the confines of one’s own mind.

The reason not every fantasy should be pursued is because fantasies never have negative repercussions. Reality does. You’re able to feel fear and terror without ever actually being in danger. You can feel excitement and adrenaline without ever actually risking anything. You can experience the joy and pride of a great success without actually suffering through the hard work.

Absolutely! I wanted to be big name DJ many decades ago. Traveling the world playing the music I love and being paid for it. I guess its like the rockstar thing Mark talks about. But it was about 16 when I realised the reality of the pursuing such a dream. The daily drudgery, playing in crap venues, playing crowd pleasing tunes just to make it up the DJ ladder. Screw that…! As Mark says I might have been in love with the result not the process. Seriously settling down and getting into the internet was one of the best moves I’ve done.

I don’t like to climb. I just want to imagine the top

The process and the details is whats missing from our dreams. In actual fact thats the fun part… In my great BBC job, the details all matter and the result isn’t the be all and end all… But maybe somewhere in this messy post, I can mentally link my dating with the process and details.

Next time someone says just fall in love, maybe I should say… “don’t you see I’m in the process of doing so and loving it” *smile*

Maybe I’ve fallen in love with the process of falling in love, not the result and actually this is perfectly natural? (Don’t all scream at me at once…)

Welcome to the world of the implicit

Advertising?

A while back I wrote a blog about how implicit data is the dark matter to the explicit. I also write about it in my wired/tired/expired post.

Well I thought its about time I started writing why the implicit is so rich and may become the dominating model in the future. Of course if you know anything about me and the BBC R&D project Perceptive Media, I have an interest in this area, I actually talked about context before but didn’t really make it clear that context is a part of the implicit dataset.

It started with personalised ads, currently sits with Google Now and ends with the end of internet advertising as a thing.

Yes I said it… The end of advertising… (which isn’t the same as the end of marketing btw)

Most people now prefer targeted advertising than wholesale advertising but hate the idea of minority report’s advertising nightmare. What was missing was the context.

Duhhh… In the future, surely a smart advert wouldn’t show tom cruise cars and expensive gifts while he was running down the shopping centre trying to escape. Yes it sounds pretty dumb when you add the context to the scene. Maybe showing Tom visions of holidays and trainers would make much more sense.

The end of advertising might seem a little premature but look at Google now. Then imagine Google now serving up adverts instead…

Double Duhhh… of course Google will be using the same algorithm to serve adverts if it can be proven to be even a slight bit more effective.

Although its far from perfect, the fact is with enough data and a insight into your context and implicit motivations. Google really can start to serve up adverts for things I want before I realise I actually want it (sounds freakish but its already happening). And if that fills you with fear, you better get ready as its not easily stopped. This might rely on the likes of our government not being greedy and short sighted, actually reflect the good of the people who put them there.

I’m thinking about a future where its too expensive and too inefficient to do the mass/wholesale advertising…A future where adblockers and VRM – Vendor Relationship Management is the norm, people pay to never see the adverts not targeted at you. Yes a bit of a dream but you got to dream a little bigger darling.

I have been using the term, Micro Data which is a specific part of the Big Data puzzle. Micro data is the implicit data, the data which is personal and we generate all the time. Its that Microdata which will power the next generation of services, apps and products. You can clearly see why I’m at the Quantified Self conference

Those bloody Facebook like scams

Virtual Bagel Facebook scam

Where ever there is people being social there’s room for social engineering? Welcome to the Facebook Like scams… A little old but still a pain!

As you may have noticed I’m not exactly a fan of facebook but seeing a few of those crappy “do this now” posts in my timeline irritates me even more. As you can imagine these are just social engineering scams. One of the most common is ‘Press Like if you hate cancer, ignore if you don’t’? but theres many more… Heck even the BBC did a scam to prove it can be done.

The ‘my sister Mallory’ scam
This post stated that someones ‘sister’ Mallory has down syndrome & doesn’t think she’s beautiful. It then asked for ‘likes’ it to show her she is. The REAL story about this little girl is something much different: Read about it here

As usual you can tell by the call to action and social pressure being layered.

So how does it work?

  1. A page is created.
  2. This page put out a constant stream of heart wrenching and/or mildly amusing images that are shared publicly with a call to action to click, share or comment.
  3. These posts are initially shared by a big group of people all in the same network who have all built up their edge rank over a period of time that then results in the posts eventually leaking into the newsfeeds of real-life accounts.
  4. These people share, like or comment which then spreads.
  5. Eventually a friend of yours hits that little thumbs up button
  6. It’s in your newsfeed.

And within 3 days a post like this one has 70,000 likes, and someone somewhere is about to make a nice little profit by selling the page to a business wanting some quick wins.

The buyer then changes some of the page details. BAM! Instant fanpage with a big following, lots of likes and an in depth edge rank, capable of pushing out content to a pre-built list of thousands of Facebook users. (edit: Page name cannot be altered after 200 likes, just details of the page).

And there you have it… Facebook scammed

Thanks to my friends who stupidly fell for the scams on multiple times. I’ll be sending them this blog post in future.