Life imitates art: holographic advertising

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Science fiction films are often ridiculed for their expectations when it comes to forecasting the future. After all, 2001 passed us by without Stanley Kubrick’s predicted space odyssey to Jupiter.

However, the film Minority Report – Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi drama – may have actually underestimated the rate of technological progress when it showed 2054 as the year when targeted, holographic advertising is used. This week, the PR world is cooing over the success of Lynx’s ‘fallen angel’ campaign, during which virtual angels were digitally projected near unsuspecting commuters in London’s Victoria Station. This was a full 43 years before Hollywood told us it would happen!

The stunt arguably showed the shape of things to come. With the growth in popularity of smartphones, mobile augmented reality – as it’s known – is expected to become a part of everyday life. Thanks to the company Total Immersion, which uses augmented reality software to integrate 3D objects into live video, the day when mobile phones project holographic products could be just round the corner.

Interactive advertisements are an exciting prospect for any marketer who wishes to engage with the difficult-to-reach ‘Facebook generation’, and holographs are undeniably an intriguing concept. But I have my doubts about their practical application. After all, the novelty of TV advertising swiftly wears off, and I can’t imagine that carrying a portable advert machine would appeal to most people.  Especially if one pops up mid-tweet!