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Subject: [IP] more on Coming to TV: ads about you -- 2

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: ip@v2.listbox.com
  • Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 13:00:52 -0500



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	RE: [IP] Coming to TV: ads about you
Date: 	Wed, 23 Nov 2005 12:06:34 -0500
From: 	Bob Frankston <Bob2-19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
To: 	dave@farber.net, ip@v2.listbox.com
CC: 	'Andrew Lippman' <lip@media.mit.edu>



This reminds me of the example given in a talk a number of years ago about
Excite@Home. The example given the talk was that GM would look up your car
records in real time and post an ad for the right kind of new car if you
seemed to be ready to buy a new one.

My counter-example is the morning-after ad saying &quot;you forget something
last night ...&quot;

It's not surprise that we have a new generation of the &quot;placement people&quot;
who used to want to make every element in a movie clickable so you could
buy it.

It's another flavor of going a step too far in a fantasy. I ask people &quot;how
do you get music to follow you around as you walk around the house&quot; and
there are all sorts of high tech solutions for sensing where you are and
playing just the right music in the right room. I used to point out that
carrying a walkman (now an iPod) is a far better solution.

For ads we have some targeting by demographics of a show but why not let
people choose what kind of ads they want. Sure, they won't necessarily make
effective choices -- you have to hear what they mean not what they say. But
that's no different from intuiting what ads they should see from na&#xEF;ve
projections based on reading through their garbage or whatever source you
use.

The good news is that there is a point of diminishing returns on these
approaches as you advertise only to those to whom you don't need to
advertise or miss them altogether because your model determines your
reality.

In a sense this is like torture (or is a kind of) we have the na&#xEF;ve idea
that there is so much value in these techniques that we dismiss the fears
of the consequences and implications because of the pog (Pot-o-Gold) out
there and the need to be very efficient with ad dollars even if the measure
of efficiency is problematic.

Ad dollars can be an effective source of indirect sponsorship but once they
become overly targeted there is a risk of the mechanism becoming
counter-productive.

Or at least so I presume so -- Google does use a form of this in targeting
their ads but they don't really dig deeper -- just use local context (or so
I assume). Perhaps that's closer to sponsoring programs that appeal to an
audience rather than personal snooping.

As Andy points out -- why sneak around when you can just post car ads to
people who may be interested. Asking for Cadillac ads may be too specific
but general categories might actually work better allowing discovery within
an area of interest.

and



I like the idea that maybe advertiser can &quot;just ask&quot;. After all, people do
look at catalogs by choice rather than being finagled into doing so unless
you consider magazines as nothing other than catalog delivery mechanism.

This reminds me of the example given in a talk a number of years ago about
Excite@Home. The example given the talk was that GM would look up your car
records in real time and post an ad for the right kind of new car if you
seemed to be ready to buy a new one.

My counter-example is the morning-after ad saying &quot;you forget something
last night ...&quot;

It's not surprise that we have a new generation of the &quot;placement people&quot;
who used to want to make every element in a movie clickable so you could
buy it.

It's another flavor of going a step too far in a fantasy. I ask people &quot;how
do you get music to follow you around as you walk around the house&quot; and
there are all sorts of high tech solutions for sensing where you are and
playing just the right music in the right room. Why not just carry an iPod
(I used to say &quot;walkman&quot;) which is a far better solution though with
different social dynamics.

The good news is that there is a point of diminishing returns on these
approaches as you advertise only to those to whom you don't need to
advertise or miss them altogether because your model determines your
reality.

In a sense it is like torture (or is a form of). We have the na&#xEF;ve idea
that there is so much value in these techniques that we dismiss the fears
of the consequences and implications because of the PoG (Pot-o-Gold) out
there and the need to be very efficient with ad dollars. It's hard to get
recognize the limits of the toothpaste model of interrogation (squeeze
harder -- get more).

Ad dollars can be a very effective source of indirect sponsorship but once
they become overly targeted there is a risk of the mechanism becoming
count-productive.

Or at least so I hope -- Google does use a form of this in targeting their
ads but they don't really dig deeper -- just use local context (or so I
assume). Perhaps that's closer to sponsoring programs that appeal to an
audience rather than personal snooping.


-----Original Message----- From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net] Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 04:44 To: ip@v2.listbox.com Subject: [IP] more on Coming to TV: ads about you



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [IP] Coming to TV: ads about you
Date: 	Tue, 22 Nov 2005 19:17:55 -0500
From: 	Andrew Lippman <lip@media.mit.edu>
To: 	dave@farber.net
References: 	<43838E82.9080005@farber.net>



For IP, if interested.

With respect to ads about you:

The notion that a broadcaster radiates a signal with no respect for
whether anyone is interested in receiving it is a waste of spectrum,
energy, and time.  It doesn't make sense to my students at all --
some think it is the equivalent of spam.  Personally, I never
understood why over-the-air broadcasters don't listen, but a back
channel makes perfect sense for cable.

When I watched the 2000 election returns at CBS, in New York, by
11:30PM, it seemed perfectly clear that Dan Rather would learn little
more that night, so he simply ought to have told his audience to &quot;go
to bed, and if anything important happens, I'll call you...&quot;  But he
couldn't.

It's also potentially beneficial to narrowcast advertising.  Twenty
years ago, a Peabody, Mass.,  cable system tested phone-in requests
for ads that were then queued on three dedicated channels.  People
did it.  Many ads are both interesting and informative the first time
you see them; some countries used to place them all at the ends of
programs and people willingly remained tuned in.   I might consider
explicitly telling &quot;The Daily Show&quot; or CBS what I wanted my ad
profile to be like.  I'd even write a program to keep it current:
&quot;tell me about energy-saving thermostats real soon...&quot;

It's quite a different matter to monitor what you view from a
recorder, and quite another matter to take information without
asking, and this is indeed an assault on commonly accepted norms of
privacy with respect to television viewing.  There is no reason for
those norms to change or be dictated by the provider.  It won't last
as such when we start watching TV off the internet anyway.

The fix is simple.  Just open the recorder architecture and the users
might make something good out of this.  A back channel can't be a bad
idea in principle.  In this case, it is not the technology that is
awry, it is the business plan.

Andy Lippman
MIT Media Lab


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-----Original Message----- From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net] Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 16:33 To: ip@v2.listbox.com Subject: [IP] Coming to TV: ads about you



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Coming to TV: ads about you
Date: 	Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:12:56 -0800 (PST)
From: 	Gregory Hicks <ghicks@well.com>
Reply-To: 	Gregory Hicks <ghicks@well.com>
To: 	dave@farber.net
CC: 	ghicks@cadence.com



Dave:

For IP if you wish...

Are cable boxes the next target for spyware?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051117.wxhyperads17/BN
Print/Business/

Coming to TV: ads about you
By KEITH MCARTHUR

Thursday, November 17, 2005 Posted at 4:41 AM EST
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

When you watch your favourite program in the not-too-distant future, your TV could be watching back.

Cable companies are preparing to install software on digital set-top
boxes that will keep track of everything you watch. Coupling that
information with your address, the software would estimate your age,
gender, interests and income.

The result? Advertisers could send different commercials to different
viewers.

...

It could be years before the technology comes to Canada, but two U.S.
cable companies are planning to roll it out early next year.

The concept will likely raise red flags from privacy advocates, and its
implications are enormous.

Advertisers would be able to make sure the right ads are seen by the
right people, challenging the old industry saying: &quot;I know half my
advertising dollars are wasted. I just don't know which half.&quot;

Leading the charge is Invidi Technologies Corp., which is finalizing
deals with two U.S. cable companies to install its software and begin
&quot;hypertargeting&quot; ads early next year.

The company, now based in Princeton, N.J., was founded in Edmonton,
where half of its engineers are still headquartered.

Invidi president David Downey was in Toronto this week to promote the
software at a meeting of the Cable and Telecommunications Association
for Marketing.

It's astounding how quickly and accurately the Invidi software can come
up with a demographic profile of a household and its members, Mr.
Downey said during a panel discussion on the topic.

&quot;Our goal is to have this software in every set-top box in the world .
. .&quot; Mr. Downey said. &quot;There's no one else that's doing what we're
doing.&quot;

---------------------------------------------------------------------
I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes.  I will surely
learn a great deal today.

&quot;A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for
lunch.  Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the
decision.&quot; - Benjamin Franklin

&quot;The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they
be properly armed.&quot; --Alexander Hamilton



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