Advertising 3.0???


A friend asked me about where I think advertising is heading.

Here are my far to hastily dashed off thoughts:

I would say that things to talk/think about in terms of future trends in advertising are:

  • mobile advertising (right now very similar to the early days of the web... banner ads, etc., but it's going to be HUGE)
  • video ads (no one has really figured out how to make money on video... the standard model--pre and post roll--sucks, and there is a lot of experimentation with lower third style ad placement etc., Google is monkeying around with adwords in Video, but the industry is still waiting for the big new idea.
  • branded entertainment There is a lot of experimentation with advertainment (folding advertising messages in with entertainment--also known as branded entertainment or content) and my gut tells me that that's where some interesting new ideas are going to come from, but nothings hitting big yet.
  • enhanced behavioral targeting new ways to behaviorally target web ads (for example, showing more and more detailed ads as a user refines their search for a car) right now behavioral targeting is pretty simplistic--based on keywords, etc.--but if the advertisers can get users to opt in and allow their entire browse history to be used, the targeting can become much more focused.
  • Google radio & tv ads (ad agencies should be terrified of this...)

So, if web 1.0 was about experimenting with traditional business models (selling products--Amazon) online, and one of the big underlying stories of web 2.0 was the fact that Google basically became an alternative to the traditional ad industry, to me web 3.0 is going to be about several things in terms of advertising:

  • Targeting using algorithms--using a user's browse behavior to present the user with the right content in the right context automatically (so ads are going to be valued much higher than they have been because they will be targeted much more precisely. (the old TV/Radio interrupt model will die))
  • Ads being presented to users across a variety of platforms--computer, TV, radio, mobile, etc.
  • The lines between ad and content becoming more and more blurred
  • Ads becoming even more interactive (perhaps we'll see more alternative reality games as ads.)
  • And continued opening up of advertising (TV and Radio) for those who can't afford to advertise under the current model.

So what do you guys think? Where do you see trends headed?