As we reach the end of 2014, we also reach the end of Isaac Asimov’s 1964 New York Times predictions on the future of technology from the World’s Fair. In an effort to keep the traditions alive with a modern twist,General Electric turned to social media for predictions on the next fifty years. These 2064 World’s Fair NextList predictions inspired us to wonder what advertising will look like in 50 years. What advertising technology will be used? Will all advertising be digital? How will creative evolve?
We’ve seen so many changes in digital advertising just in the last 10 years. Thinking fifty years ahead seems foolish, but we are up to the challenge. From projections on the moon to screens on beer bottles, see below for our predictions on advertising in 2064.
Advertising executives will laugh when they read our definition of cross-screen. We will evolve from our tablets, desktops and mobile screens to include blenders, bus stops, the moon and thermostats – screens will be everywhere and on everything. When you look in your mirror, there will be an option to swipe Ralph Lauren outfits over your mirror image. Your beer bottle label won’t be made of paper; instead, it will be a screen displaying interactive ads for great food pairings, local dance clubs, sporting events, and popular drinking games. An ad in the subway will allow you to scan an image of the item and purchase online for same-day delivery, which is already being tested. While we trust the future to resolve the technical challenges that come with distributing multiple ad sizes across various screens and publishers, we do see two more complex challenges for screens everywhere: the right to personal time and energy consumption. With screens and advertisements everywhere, advertisers will need to find a creative way to allow for opt-in and energy savings.
Wearables will be passé.
In the past few years, we have seen wearables awkwardly fumble to find market fit. The iWatch’s launch this month indicates the market is beginning to ripen for wearables. By 2064, the iWatch will be on it’s 50th iteration and wearables will be like mobile phones are now, everywhere. Fifty years from now the market will be testing even more personal technology, like microchips. For example, instead of wearing your Fitbit, it will be a microchip implanted in your finger. When you are out having a beer, the digital label will read your microchip and serve you a coupon ad for new running shoes. As this new technology is tested, performance and privacy will become critical concerns. Unlike an Apple TV that doesn’t work, if the Fitbit in your finger doesn’t work, it could take surgery to get a new one; if the technology malfunctions, the risks are much higher. A controversial, and often disputed human right – privacy – will be a huge concern. What guarantees will consumers have that the Fitbit isn’t tracking more than their fitness? What protections will there be for safeguarding the information from insurance companies?
Advertising will disappear.
In 50 years advertising will grow increasingly relevant to the targeted consumer, blurring the already thin line between content and advertising further. With everything connected, advertisers and publishers will have a 360 view of the consumer. From interests to location, the need for guessing will be eliminated. Imagine yourself in your typical grocery store scene-- at the start of your shopping spree, your grocery cart screen recognizes your habits and automatically displays coupons for your top items. Privacy will always be a concern with targeting, as there are pieces of everyone’s life they want to keep private. If a woman buys Plan B, she may not want coupons for contraceptives showing up during her next shop.
We hope to do a 2064 post on how accurate these predictions are. Who knows, by then we could be selling a platform to create, launch and monetize hologram or augmented reality ads. If you’d like to hear more about our creative interactive and video advertising platform today, please do contact us.
Leave us comments with your own predictions for advertising in 2064. Cheers to the next fifty years of innovation.