Minority Report Advertising (Mini Cooper style)

Posted in Interactive, Marketing at 2:18 am by Curtis J. Morley

"Good afternoon, Mr. Yakamoto," the interactive poster states loudly for Tom Cruise with newly implanted eyes and everyone else to hear. "How did you like that three-pack of tank tops you bought last time you were in?"
Minority Report - Retinal Scan

Earlier in the movie a sign in the subway senses the emotion of Tom Cruise in the subway and says "John Anderton, you could use a Guinness right now." Very similar to what Ogilivy did with interactive billboards in Belgium. Only they had a person in a control booth manipulating the action(see below). In Toronto they are doing a slightly different idea where you can opt in to receive a free ringtone via bluetooth.
Minority Report - Advertising

Jeff Boortz the creative lead for the film and President of 3 Ring Circus had this to say about the content, "Originally, the whole idea, from a script point of view, was that the advertisements would recognize you -- not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind..."

Ogilivy did a great job of creating interactive ads but added the human (or Wizard of Oz) effect in creating billboards that interact with the person in front of the sign. The face on the sign changes and interacts with the person standing in front of it. It is an actor that views the people through a video camera in the sign and reacts to them(and at times makes fun of them).

Ford Campaign in BelgiumInteractive Poster in Belgium designed by Ogilivy

So how is Mini cooper doing this today? They have sent out approximately 4500 RFID key Fobs that are activated when the driver gets within 500 ft of the billboard.  It is getting a ton of publicity and the drivers of the little speedsters are loving the personal attention that only comes by being part of "The Club."
Mini Cooper Interactive Billboard Mini Cooper Interactive Billboard

This is obviously an opt-in style of personalized advertising. But how real is the possibility of "Minority Report Advertising?" In Minority Report "identification of consumers happens via retinal scans, which are presumably matched with names in a global database."

Will we need to wear sunglasses some day or specially designed contacts to prevent the advertising from
announcing personal or embarrassing items. The grocery stores already give you a coupon on the bottom of your reciept that allows you to buy milk at a discount if you bought cereal or salad dressing if you purchased lettuce. I would hate to hear the computer announce to myself and others as I walk into my local Albertsons, "Welcome Mr. Morley, your favorite brand of tampons are on sale." Just because the last time I went shopping I happened to pick up some things for my wife.

So how could they identify us currently?

  • Cell phones - It has a unique number, it is with us constantly and the French are using cell phones to do location advertising currently.
  • Key Fob - Most employees will carry around an electronic key card that allows them into a building these have personal identifiers on them such as name and company.
  • PDA - My PDA has Bluetooth, IR, and Wifi and much personal information.
  • Gaming Device - PSP among others have wireless capabilities. Why not send a simple signal out to the advertising terminal as a kid walks into target to display a companion game or upgrade for the game that is currently being played?
  • Credit Cards - Newer cards are containing RFID and can be scan rathered than slid.
  • Medical Devices - Medical devices are being tagged with personal identifiers in case of theft.
  • Medical ID tags - A simple scan of a necklace or wrist bracelet with a small amount of OCR and the person is easily identified.
  • Cars - GM and OnStar, Honda, Infiniti etc... all have a GPS device within the car. This data can be read and matched with DMV records at any time.
  • GPS Devices
  • Facial Recognition software - The creepy big brother devices that I saw at ComDEX. The camera took a picture of me and from that point on any time I was even close to booth the camera locked onto me and displayed my name and info.
  • Retinal scanners -already at use in some airports
  • Watches - Fossil, among others, are now carrying a bluetooth line of watches.
  • Pets - Most pets are now carrying an identification chip inside of them that could easily be used to change an interactive poster into an advertisement of dog food or the latest in neutering.

How could they identify us in the future?

  • Gene scans - This is a scary thought but some day could be a reality.
  • Drivers License - Technology here continues to advance. Why not embed an RFID into the license so that officers have instant access to your info without putting themselves in danger by getting out of their car?
  • mp3 Players - Go iPhone

So what are your thoughts?

Should we be looking out for "Big Brother" or is this just a natural progression of technology and advertising?
How will corporations and governments start advertising/tracking us in the future?
A great link to a blog by Steve Smith and Phil Leggiere about Behavioral Marketing and Behavioral Targeting


  1. Eric said,

    August 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Minority Report Advertising (Mini Cooper style). Thanks for informative article

  2. Blog Comment Poster said,

    September 1, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Still don\’t get it how all this stuff about Minority Report Advertising (Mini Cooper style) can affect it…

  3. Interactive Billboards equipped with Bluetooth: Good or Bad? « PsychObserver said,

    October 4, 2007 at 4:57 am

    […] of interactive advertising on Curtis Morley’s blog. The post mentions an interesting opt-in campaign from Mini Cooper with references from the movie Minority […]

  4. mini gordon said,

    August 26, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I’d buy a mini cooper just to feel part of the club when I drove by the billboard. it is a shame I mostly drive in a state without mini dealers or billboards.

  5. corey said,

    August 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    i mean this would be awesome technology if used in the right way…


    there is this thing called privacy
    and i, among others im sure would not like it if the government or any other large entity to track me down and my movements via rfid or face recognition scans.

  6. Billboards that know who you are. said,

    August 27, 2008 at 8:57 am

    […] that know who you are. curtismorley.com

  7. mini coopers personally identifiable | Miss Chic Geek said,

    August 27, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    […] greeting them with “Hi MissChicGeek! Looking HOT in that red convertible.” According to curtismorley Mini Cooper sent out 4500 key fobs that activate when within 500 ft of the billboard. Customers get […]

  8. Katie said,

    October 3, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Although many like to be recognized (even if it is only by a machine), this gives a sort of “the nosy neigbourhood” feeling.. Anywhere you go, they know your name, age and what you have in your bag at the moment. Not that appealing.. At least to me… It was fun reading about it, though.

  9. 20 Interactive Billboards | LAB Marketing Blog said,

    February 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    […] Source […]

  10. The 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History | Work Home Journal said,

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