Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ads Targeting Viewers

Even creepier technology is on the way. Story via Media Post and Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. When stuff shows up on my screen, it seems intrusive, much more so than fliers and letters filling my mailbox or reading ads in print.

Can or will newspaper Web sites match this?

This is why I always lie when I can about demographics information when filling out a web form.

Pols Seek To Customize TV Ads
Associated Press via Yahoo
Political candidates have long used databases covering everything from which fliers to send to a specific voter to whether to send someone to knock on his or her door.

But now, new technology that can send individualized ads to cable boxes could give candidates the ability to get into living rooms while altering their voice, appearance and policies to best suit each viewer.

In other words, factors such as race, income, marital status and favorite brands might well determine exactly what individual voters learn about candidates while watching cable TV.

While the technology of "addressable advertising" is not yet widely available, some large cable operators are getting it ready with Comcast Corp., which plans to roll it out within two years.

The system is already in place on some TVs, but Comcast won't say how many, so it is unknown what--if any--impact it might have in 2008. "In whatever medium we can, we want to talk to voters in as individualized a way as we can," says Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who worked on John Kerry's 2004 campaign.

For instance, a candidate could emphasize a position on global warming to an environmental activist while giving health care plan information to people without insurance. And it could also allow for adjustments to mannerisms, speech patterns and appearance.

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