Thursday, February 16, 2006

Every Ad Man Has His PR Ice

Think about the last Olympic ice event you watched. Figure skating. Speed skating. Short course. Curling. Doesn't matter. They all had one thing in common. Lots of white space just screaming for ads! Right now we see flags, but we'll soon see ads.

Let's take this concept one step further. What if the network broadcasts the show with a blocked-off area for targeted ads? Your cable box, which tracks what you watch, chooses the ad with greatest appeal to you. Advertisers only pay for the number of ads actually shown.

The same concept can be used for product placement in scripted series. You watch "CSI" and see a can of diet Coke, but your neighbor — who is watching at the same time — sees a can of Wolfgang Puck's self-heating coffee.

Now you see the power of Microsoft's patent application that I mentioned last week.

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