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The Future of Advertising

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/26/2009

As we continue moving forward into the digital age, consumers are changing and advertising methods need to keep up. What should we expect to see in the future of advertising?

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    The Challenges of Audience Targeting in Future Advertising

    One of the interesting and challenging things to consider about the future of advertising is audience targeting. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred, with traditional age curves becoming increasingly flattened. For instance, today it’s almost as common for a child to have a cell phone as it would be for an adult. MP3 players, iPods and other electronic devices that were commonly thought of as items popular with children and teens are now common among those over fifty, and even among seniors. Future advertising trends need to take into account the need to reach a diverse audience.

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    Redefining Digital Advertising

    Years ago, the “future of advertising” seemed to be focused on including digital marketing along with the more traditional print, radio and television advertising methods. Of course digital marketing is here to stay, but there are further shifts in the media to consider. Instead of the currently accepted practice of placing ads in online content, there is a shift towards the current advertising trend of placing ads directly into social networks or applications.

    The advertising trend for utilizing product placements is also increasing in popularity, and they now show up everywhere. While product placements have been commonplace on television for years, they are now being utilized in new ways, such as branded product placements in applications like multiplayer games and virtual environments. There is also a shift in the timing of ad placements. While in the past there was more of a focus on utilizing ads in the “pre-roll” portion of applications, videos and other forms of communication, current advertising trends are leaning towards having ads appear in other more effective places, such as in between game levels.

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    The Future of Advertising: Shifts in How People Access Digital Advertising

    The devices people use to access digital media still include PCs, but increasingly it also includes other types of digital devices, such as iPhones, Blackberries, and other mobile communication devices. There is an increasing advertising trend towards designing ads specifically for these types of devices (like the new bluBuzz device). The types of advertising that are geared towards specific devices have the advantage of being able to leverage features of the devices that users are already familiar with. The ability for the user to interact in some ways with the ad would also increase their interest in the ad, making them less of something to be “skipped over”, and instead something that the consumer would enjoy interacting with.

    Although there are many facets to consider in the future of advertising, one common thread seems to exist: in the future, advertisements will increasingly become something to be experienced and even enjoyed, and less of something to just view or listen to.