Feature

If you like ads, you’ll love the future

Today’s ubiquitous advertising will seem like a walk in the woods compared with the ad-saturated landscape of the future, said Alex Poulos in The Boston Globe.

Alex PoulosThe Boston Globe

Advertising is already inescapable, said Alex Poulos. It’s on the TV screen mounted behind the driver’s seat in the taxi you took from the airport. It’s printed on the receipt the cashier handed you when you bought shampoo at the local CVS. It’s even posted above the urinal in the men’s room.

But today’s ubiquitous advertising will seem like a walk in the woods compared with the ad-saturated landscape of the future. Tomorrow’s cab will feature not just a TV but also a casino gaming screen (“with taxes added to the credit card, of course”). Your shampoo will play “an upbeat musical pitch, reminding you to shampoo twice” when you open the bottle. Marketers will enlist online avatars to talk you out of one deal and offer a better one. Advertisers will edit their logos into key scenes in old movies—“we might see ‘Hanes’ on gladiator garb in Spartacus.”

Ads will integrate scent, touch, and even a sense of déjà vu to make their pitches even harder to resist. Resistance is futile. I have seen the future, and it’s for sale.

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