Hulu, IPTV & Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.

It is a little strange when we begin to see shifting in our ways of living.

That was my sentiment when I first discovered and quickly embraced Hulu. I actually landed in the site by word of mouth, so catching their cool commercials was a bonus. But for a guy with a family, no cable or satellite budget and little time to watch my favorite TV shows with my wife, the website quickly resolved my problems.

But then, several months ago, I noticed their introduction of “vote for this commercial.” (A simple yes or no lets the viewer share with the site if the commercial they are watching is relevant or not.) And after the third commercial, while watching Bones, of course, it hit me: “It is happening! How brilliant! Hulu already saves my TV watching trends and now they will save my commercial ones, too.” Basically, they will learn a specific viewer’s (or viewers) demographics by simply letting them interact with their computer screen. And who does not like giving their peace of mind (feedback) to their computing device, right?

I knew Internet-based TV was an obvious transition in the “future,” but I did not know the future was already sold in the market. This is where IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This come in.

My research and reasoning told me the future was going to be in personalized advertising with the help of Internet-based technology, but while reading the book this morning, I learn IPTV is very much an “out there” thing.

Months ago, I was all excited telling my wife where I thought advertising was going and how exciting I was for it because it was going to be a whole new way of thinking and sharing products and services. But, then I found Mr. Sullivan’s example far too compelling to not share. Plus, he has a successful copywriting career and a published book, so he has more credibility than this guy.

At any rate, this is where I think, feel and know advertising will go in the not so far future. (Unless our economy takes a compete shit and all of these cool opportunities are limited to only über rich folks.)

You know how Amazon.com sometimes sends a message that says, “Hey, Bob, because of your last purchase, we thought these new titles might interest you”? Well, it’s now the same thing on TV but with commercials. Say Bob lives in Chicago. And your client is a cruise line out of Miami. Maybe they co-op with the Weather Channel. So when Chicago’s temp goes below freezing, Bob gets a commercial extolling the virtues of Caribbean sailing intercut with the frozen silhouette of Chicago’s skyline. The spot ends with a special offer for snowbirds freezing their asses off in Chi-town with a cruise price that includes the exact airfare out of Midway. Bob clicks “Select” on his remote, his TV goes from the Weather Channel to Travelocity.com, and he books the trip.

When the Haiti earthquake tragedy happened, I realized where advertising was going, at least after I invested my money in the Red Cross. See, when I first heard the terrible news on the radio, and then heard that simple number I could text a $10 donation to, I did it in a heartbeat. I did not think, process or even considered my bills or gas that day. I felt it, and I did it.

Clearly, this cannot be compared with buying your favorite jeans or booking a vacation, but the strategic thinking and approach will be the same, I believe.

This is why I am actually excited this will be the future in advertising because 1. we will be interrupted to learn about the things we like, want or need. And, 2. as an advertiser, we will have the split second heart buy, which we only currently have via text messaging and maybe while online shopping in our PC devices.

Not that people are going to completely stop buying in store fronts, God knows I love going out shopping, but I find myself spending  far less when I am out shopping than sitting at home. Odd perhaps, but I believe is where we are headed.

As a copywriter, this will be the coolest challenge for me to think about neat integrated forms of advertising to capture that split moment of “Damn, I am freezing my ass off and a cruise in the Bahamas sounds pretty freaking great right now.”

That is my thought for today. Like always:

Stay cool, stay connected, stay balanced

~A~

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