I can now stick your name into a video commercial and target not just a particular audience profile, but a single user- YOU. Hold on… read that again- your name in a branded message? Wow!
What happens to your emotional state when I place your identity into an environment I’ve created specifically to cause you to react? Can you imagine having an experience before its even occurred? I’d argue that it generates a stronger response than the one created when you see actors enjoying a lifestyle, product or service that you have an affinity towards? You no longer have to imagine yourself as them.
Here’s a simple execution idea intended to get you to make a reservation at a luxury hotel in Hawaii…
Scene opens from the subject’s POV (you) approaching the airline agents’ window and presenting your ticket with your name on it; on the plane the airline attendant personally greets you by name; upon arrival, the chauffeur is holding up a placard with your name and finally, you a welcomed by the Regency Hyatt concierge, “Hello Mr. Erdman. Your party is waiting for you on the beach. Your tee time tomorrow is at 10am.” Perhaps the whole “experience” concludes with the bellhop handing you a set of keys (with your name on the key fob) to a room with a stunning view of the breaking surf.
Boy, no more need to use your imagination!
Personalization has long been a word in many industries from one-off manufacturing to internet services and even consumer products with custom labels. In the physical world, it took flexibility in the manufacturing process to overcome margin concerns on small volume orders. In the digital world, the possibilities are endless. Digital content production is cheap and our visual culture is responsive. Our brain bridges the gap between virtual and physical more quickly than ever.
So here’s the sample the initiated this post. The following “breaking news” story has been customized to add my name at key parts of the narrative. It looks real, it smells real, it feels real… must be real…