gps

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Humor.

I have a presentation on Fast Twitch Media and Twitch Point Planning that asks the question are our brains evolving bigger or smaller?  Larger, posited Timothy White back in the 80s when I asked a question about evolution during a John’s Hopkins symposium, but I’m not so sure.

As software takes over decision making for us, it seems we have to think less. That is, unless we’re deciding which GPS to use — the Garmin or the Android phone app. (They are not perfectly in synch! Oh my.)

One of the things coders and engineers cannot do very well is humor.  It’s not that they are genetically indisposed to humor, but humor can’t be programmed. There is no algorithm. And therein lies the value of the creative mind.  

Humor is a wonderful tool in society and well valued in content creation that surrounds marketing.  I still giggle each time the BBDO/ATT “flash mob gone wrong” ad appears, though it is wearing out. Humor gets noticed and it disarms.  It is an elixir that helps a sales message get consumed. Branded utility is the rage these days in mobile apps, but soon that utility will become commoditized and we will need to smile as we tweak our media and our apps.  Might as well begin now; add a spoonful of humor to your digital selling and see what happens. Peace!

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I watch a bit of TV and one of the technologies that pops up from time to time is facial recognition.  A digital recorder scans the face of an unsuspecting villain comparing facial features to a database  generating a “hit” which ties the person to an abundance of data.    

Does the technology sound expensive?  Sure. Is it?  Probably not.   

As mobile and GPS technologies become more common and applied commercially – always in an opt-in fashion, of course – do you think facial recognition apps are far behind?  Let’s say they start out as a security thing, confirming that your credit or debit card is really yours.  Not so bad. But how about if you walk into a store and are recognized as a big spender by the software, and an special customer care alert goes out to the sales dept?  Smart from the store’s viewpoint.  If a NYer who spends $10,000 a year at Macy’s visits a branch in Chicago, wouldn’t the store want a heads up before check out?

It sounds intrusive, yes. But let’s face it.  We’re bugging ourselves in lots of ways. EasyPass records where our cars have driven. ATM’s track us. Credit card transactions track us. Traffic cams record our car license plates. Soon our smart phones will know more about us than we do.  (Mr. Poppe, you are listing to port.)

I for one, think facial recognition will provide neat commercial possibilities. Time will tell. Peace!

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My geeze is showing.

There has been much talk about mobile phone advertising over the months and years, but none more disturbing to me than that on the subject of ads being served up in realtime to phones based upon where the phone owner is geographically. For instance, if you are walking down the street approaching two competing donut shops one might “feel” you coming and server up a promotional ad.
 
CBS and Loopt a social network with GPS technology are dabbling with this application, which sounds like a major nuisance. The only way this can work will be if ads are served up on an opt-in mobile channel, but I’m guessing not enough people will opt-in to an ad or deal-centric channel to make it worth the while. So expect it to be served up in an intrusive way.
 
Call me a geeze, but I don’t want ads on my cell phone. I don’t want to be telemarketed on my cell phone and, frankly, I don’t want to be called on my cell phone to chat.  “Hey Steve, I can see your house from here.” If I’m not near a land line, I’m doing something. 
 

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