Remember that brief period in the ‘90s when it was trendy to wear T-shirts sporting logos ranging from Juicy Fruit gum to Coca-Cola? It was like showing off your brand-name clothes (whether Nike or Chanel), but taken to a new level. (Today, you can just show everyone what companies you like by “liking” them on Facebook.)
We always knew that was just a hint of the writing on the wall. One day, we were going to end up as walking billboards for all kinds of products. One day, we were going to be so immersed in advertising that we’d almost literally be unable to look away except in our sleep.
With the official reveal of Apple Watch on March 9, that day might have finally arrived. Experts predict that Apple may very well do for wearable ads what the original smartphones did for mobile ads. Only now, we would no longer be able to put those ads down; we would have to literally take them off.
Thousands of apps have already been created for the Apple Watch, which is the first step on a long road of advertising opportunities for the new device. One, for example, allows you to check in for a flight on your way to the airport. Another lets you order a car based on your proximity to an available driver. You’ll be able to see which of your friends is nearby while you drive around town, right on your wrist. And your watch will become a digital key for things like your garage door or even your hotel room.
And those apps introduce the advertising possibilities when features like geotargeting come into play. If your watch is always sending out signals about your location, you might receive ads for stores and restaurants even as you’re walking past them. And what happens after that? Resting directly against your skin, all day every day, will your watch monitor your steps and heartrate, like a FitBit, and show you ads for medicine or health supplements?
It’s definitely going to put us in an interesting new reality when wearable ads quickly become the norm, and marketers will strive to leap ahead with innovative ways to make the most of this literally-under-your-nose placement. But, thankfully, until they can project commercials under our eyelids, or infiltrate our dreams, we don’t need to be worried about full immersion into a world of completely borderless marketing. For now.
What do you think about the prospects for the new Apple Watch? How can your company take advantage of the world of wearable ads? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.