Here’s a high concept for you: could a data algorithm eventually lead to the obsolescence of
video editors and help create thousands of customisable adverts tailored to target an
incredibly specific audience?
Recent leaps forward in data technology could make this a reality. Picture the current
method of video production for a social media distributed ad: client and video producers
meet, they corner the key message of the product and the broad audience they want to
target, the producers then go off and shoot a video, edit it together, post it online and wait
to see how much of that audience they can reach. While some of the audience will be
reached most of them will drop off in the first few seconds, few will even engage at all.
That’s just the nature of advertising, you can’t target every single person – except industry
insiders and data analysts are beginning to challenge that notion.
The content creation industry is experiencing a massive digital disruption in the form of
algorithms that analyse – and then predict – the viewing habits of social media users. This
algorithm has the potential to radically change the method of video production. Now,
producers could shoot hundreds of different versions of the same ad. One could feature an
actress instead of an actor, that actress could be African-American, or Indian, or Chinese.
They could wear different clothes, be in different locations, have different accents, it could
be raining. An algorithm would cut the video together in a matter of milliseconds, then
would present it to the appropriate user based on past viewing habits and clickthroughs.
You could be French doctor taking the bus to work in the rain and see an ad on your phone
immediately reflecting your own experiences. You could have an interest in architecture, or
like watching 80s teen movies and ad could pop up referencing those specific likes.
This isn’t science fiction, agencies around the world are starting to implement technologies
similar to this. Netflix has used this type of algorithm to target their shows specifically to
each user, even changing their own advertising to fit users’ specific interests.
While this type of content creation is still in its infancy, many industry insiders predict we’ll
be utilising it as soon as 2020. In world crammed with noise and distraction, creating an
advert that captures the attention of a viewer is an increasingly difficult task – this
technology could be an incredibly exciting way to do that.