Today's best elevator ads demonstrate that advertising has already come a long way.
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Digital LCDs and ads that graphically redesign the elevator space are wonders of the marketing age – and harbingers of what lies ahead in the world of advertising.
In some ways, elevator advertising is a natural venue for showcasing cutting-edge ads. With a captive audience and a clearly defined space, advertisers have the ability to test technologies and design strategies that aren't possible in publications or street-based marketing mediums. As technology and advertising strategies progress, it's likely that futuristic elevator advertising elements will steadily appear on the scene in the years ahead.
What will those ads look like? It's anyone's best guess. Yet based on the technologies that already exist or will exist in the very near future, here's what we think the future of elevator advertising will look like.
- Floor-specific ads. Digital display technology has opened up a whole new world for elevator advertisers. Currently, digital displays roll ads at specified time intervals. Going forward, it's possible that the entire elevator will be covered in a sort of "digital wallpaper" with ads that change based on the businesses or residents that are located on each floor.
- Individualized ads. At one point, science fiction predicted that we would all be implanted with personal ID chips. It doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. However, PDA and cell phone technology has the potential to provide information that can be used to tailor advertising to specific individuals. Expect elevators to be one of the first places where this ad technology turns up.
- Interactive ads. Elevators are also perfect environments for interactive advertising. Although the average elevator ride is 30 seconds or less, technologies could be installed to initiate a marketing conversation or sales interaction that continues after the rider has left the elevator car. When combined with social media and mobile communication technology, your entire social network could be kept current on the products or brands that are most important to you at any given moment – and it will all start with a simple elevator ride.
- Instant purchasing. We're not far away from a day when you can jump on a hotel elevator, select a cocktail, and have it waiting for you when you walk into the hotel lounge. Instant purchasing on elevators is a no-brainer and is likely to be a reality much sooner than you think.
- Emotive advertising. Airports are already equipped with technology that is capable of reading people's emotions and mental states. Eventually, that technology will trickle over to the advertising sector and elevators will be equipped to run individualized ads that exploit your current emotional state for purposes of persuasion.