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Sonic advertising - like it or not

newtley (1014583) writes | more than 6 years ago

Privacy 1

newtley writes "Advertisers are determined to get into your head by one means or another, and Holosonic Research Labs has found yet another way of invading your privacy in the name of forcing you pay attention. You're walking down a street in New York when all of a sudden, 'Who's that?' — whispers a woman's voice. 'Who's There?' No. You weren't having a schizoid episode. You were being subjected to 'sound in a narrow beam, just like light' without your permission. It was coming at you from a rooftop speaker 7 stories up. Don't want to be bombarded by sonic ads? Tough. Wear ear-plugs."
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1 comment

It will solve itself: it won't work. (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21711394)

It will solve itself, because intrusive ads don't work.

Over the past few decades there's been an arms race to "cut through the clutter" with more and more novel, attention-grabbing, intrusive ads. They only work for a very short time. The first time you see an ad on a placard inside a supermarket cart, it grabs your attention. Then you tune it out. Lately the local supermarket have gone to putting ads on the floor, in some kind of tough plastic laminate. The first time you see it, it grabs your attention. Then you tune it out.

A few years back, they had little discount-coupon vending machines hanging off the shelves, flashing bright LEDs at you. I notice they're gone now. They probably worked for a while, then people tuned them out.

These will be a seven days' wonder, then advertisers will start studying the results, and I already know what they will find: the devices will be expensive to put in place, expensive to maintain, very effective for a short time at getting people to talk about the ads... and very ineffective at getting people to buy the product.

What's the "unique selling proposition" here? What, exactly, is the difference between reading "Ask your dermatologist about Enbrel," hearing someone tell it to you on a TV set, or hearing it inside your head as you walk down the street?

The unspoken assumption is that hearing the sound localized as coming from inside our heads will somehow turn it into a command hallucination and force us to obey. It won't. Not any more than "subliminal advertising" did. Not any more than using electronic echo effects, or making it sound like Darth Vader, or a "voice of God" echo effect would.
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