Movie: Minority Report (2002)
Sitting somewhere between the current advertising landscape and the brave new worlds of Prometheus and Blade Runner is Minority Report's near-future retail blisstopia. Unwittingly, policeman-on-the-lam John Anderton (Tom Cruise) stumbles into the single worst environment to go incognito, as intelligent billboards hail to him from across a packed shopping concourse promising all manner of retail delights. "John Anderton! You could use a Guinness right about now" blares an ad for a certain Irish stout. He could now.
|"Would a Gap ad ask how your extra large pants are working for you? No, a brand would want to avoid embarrassing customers or declaring to the world who you are. But many of the things in this sequence are already happening. Advertisers are working to target their ads better because they don't want to spend money putting a commercial in front of eyes that don't want to see it. What becomes oppressive here is the fact that everything is directed at this one man. Narrow-beam technology means we already have directed sounds, so you could have the same advert talking to different people walking down the same street, and we also have facial recognition. Technology like Google Glass and, in two or three decades, Google contact lenses, means that as I walk down the street an advert can be put in my field of vision – just targeted to me. For me, a real-world version of Minority Report is 20 or 30 years away, but focused targeting is just around the corner.|