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Big Brother Technology or Smart Advertising?

by Admin 4. February 2009 09:02

I am always on the lookout for new technologies, especially when it comes to marketing. When I discovered that tracking systems are being developed for use in video screens in shopping destinations, I was very surprised.

The technology is in limited use right now, but according to the New York Times, small cameras can be embedded in screens or hidden around them, tracking who looks at the screen and for how long. The software can determine the viewer's gender and approximate age range and can change ads accordingly. So if the screen determines you're a middle-aged female, the ad will change from lawnmowers to anti-aging cream.

I am unsure how I feel about this. I do marketing here at OfficeClip and I use the web contact manager to manage customers, accounts, etc. in addition to other ways to track potential and exisiting customers. Does something like this go too far? It seems a bit "Big Brother" to me, but on the other side, I can see how companies could really use this kind of information to provide targeted ads  to shoppers.

Would you use something like this as part of your marketing strategy? Would you be ok with this being used in your favorite shopping spots? Share your thoughts.

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