The Future of Advertising

Contrary to popular belief, the 'Golden Age of Advertising' is very much alive and well. Worldwide advertising generates roughly $475 billion every year, and the average urbanite sees 5,000 ads every day — from Internet banners and TV commercials to highway billboards and leaflets left on car windshields. So where do advertisers go from here?

Many companies are boosting sales and increasing visibility through product placement in movies and television. Last year, Heineken forked over $45 million to the makers of the James Bond film, Skyfall; in exchange, Agent 007 was seen on-screen sipping a green bottle of crisp Heineken ale, rather than his signature vodka martini. Apple has adopted a different strategy: mailing free products to television cast and crew members; as a result, Apple phones, MP3 players, tablets, and other devices have been featured in nearly 900 TV shows.

Scent dispensing is one of the more cutting-edge marketing trends in recent years. Machines that emit aromas, from snack cakes to suntan lotion, have been popping up in train stations, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other public venues. And so far, this sensory-driven strategy appears to be working; Dunkin' Donuts reported that stores located near scent dispensers increased their sales nearly 30 percent.

Some advertisers have even begun to market products to people while they use the bathroom. British software firm Captive Media recently unveiled a video game console that is powered by streaming urine; not surprisingly, the game has been quite popular with gents who utilize restroom urinals in restaurants, bars, and clubs across the country. And just so we're clear, the game is hands-free.

Video Transcript

Today, the average-city dweller sees 5,000 advertisements per day. The global marketing industry is worth a whopping $475 billion, and many experts agree, the golden age of advertising is far from over, in fact, it's just getting started. At this point, everything from grocery carts to highways and the internet are already plastered in ads - so where else can marketers go?

  1. Product placement: Everyone has a price - even James Bond. In 2011, the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, featured the hero drinking Heineken and it only cost the beer company $45 million to get Bond to turn down his usual martini for their beverage. Product placement is everywhere - and the winners are reaping the rewards. Take for example Apple, whose products appeared in 891 television shows and the only thing they did was send out free products to the right places.
  2. Tapping into new senses: It's controversial, but it's happening, and it's right in your face. Scent-dispensers are popping up at train stations, on buses, and more, dispelling scents along with advertisements. Dunkin' Donuts reported a 29% sales increase at locations situated near these scent-marketing dispensers.
  3. Entertaining where no one has entertained before: Captive Media isn't about to let men using the restroom at a club just stand there. They've developed urine-controlled, hands-free, pee-stream operated - video games which are installed in bathrooms to entertain and then advertise to men who answer nature's call.
Top of Page