Pervasive Advertising

Power to the People (Symmetric Communication) 
Classical advertising follows a mass media approach in which a small number of advertisers distribute their advertisements to the masses. This unidirectional communication model produces an asymmetrical distribution of power. All the power is  concentrated  in  the  hands  of  advertisers  who  decide  which  ads  to  show  when and where. At best the audience has the option to ignore, protest against, or vandalize  the resulting  ads.  For  some  people,  such  an  asymmetrical  distribution  of power creates a feeling of being at the mercy of advertisers. Since pervasive computing is interactive it offers the opportunity to transfer a significant degree of power to the audience. This fundamentally alters the unidirectional  communication  model  by  allowing  the  audience  to  communicate  opinions directly to advertisers and other audiences. Companies must treat customers as equals. This can benefit both consumers and companies since a closer bond is created between the two and because it allows companies to learn from their customers  much  faster.  Practical  examples  include  the  ability  of  the  audience  to choose the content they like and even to submit their own content. Eventually, this may  lead  to  a  democratization  of  advertising  and  the  look  of  public  spaces…

Source: Müller, J., Alt, F. & Michelis, D. (eds) Pervasive Advertising. Springer, 2011

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