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Thought Leadership

“Body to Mind” — what you wear will impact how you think about advertisements

This is a guest post by Ira Schloss, longtime friend of The ARF and Chief Explorer of Opportunities. The topic was inspired by cool new technologies we saw at #CES2016.


“Wearables” include smartwatches, sensor-based clothing and other health-related gadgets that are increasingly becoming a part of consumer wardrobes and lifestyles.

At CES 2016, attendees were bombarded by scores of new companies from around the world who were presenting their latest products in these growing categories.

New apps that seem to appear almost hourly have the ability to mine big data that can track, record and analyze when, where and how often specific content (e.g. music, news media) is consumed by the wearer along with information about vital health statistics (heart rate, steps walked or distance run).

In addition, the combination of wearable fitness clothing, smartwatches and similar devices (e.g. jawbone, fitbit) will make it possible to know precisely when — and for how long — a user has exercised (and in some cases, specifically whether one was biking, hiking, playing tennis, dancing, or doing some other activity).

smartwatch wearaables 1

So What?

DMPs (Data Management Platforms) enable the programmatic delivery of targeted messages to these latest and smallest “wrist screens” based on one’s personal interests and body’s unique behaviors.

Now, when you consume content via your smartphone, ranging from business publications like the WSJ to music on a popular channel such as Spotify, your personal information will enable advertisers of specific products and services to deliver timely and relevant ads and promotions to you in real-time, e.g. financial investment options at a nearby bank, an upcoming local concert by an artist you listen to, or coupons for nutritional foods or drinks.

Even when you are sleeping, some of your wearable clothing and devices may continue to keep tabs on your behavior and habits — so as soon as you awake you may be greeted with another personal (and hopefully informative) ad for something that might make you even healthier.

Now What?

More and more fitness-oriented consumers will be purchasing athletic clothing equipped with sensors that monitor a multitude of body functions. As such, advertisers may gain access not only to personal, but also to aggregated data from apps associated with more people that interact with wearables. This will not only open a new channel by which to promote healthier foods and beverages, but to “micro-target” each person with a unique message tailored to their needs.

Among other trends, companies like Pandora will no doubt want to “sponsor” apps that allow them to collect user data — in return they offer “freemium” services that offset any cost to consumers.