Reach Out and Touch Someone – Can advertising get a little more intimate without being creepy?

Following from my previous dismay at having so-called targeted advertising with the personal touch of adding my surname keep calmCosta to a terrible hoodie,  I have had another very dodgy attempt at getting my attention.  This time, same jumper but my first name!  Hideous.  We have been able to get tops with our names on them since the 80’s, really is the best that can be done with our personal information?

I really don’t mean to be negative about tailored advertising because I believe there are good opportunities to build relationships with us.  The problem is these examples where advertisers don’t yet know how to touch us as individual people rather than a group demographic.

I was recently in London and soon got back into the routine of reading the metro newspaper which is free for all commuters, and one of my favourite pieces in the paper are the regular ‘Rush Hour Crush’ and ‘Good Deed Feed’.  These are pages where commuters can talk to each other to either give a ‘thank you or a channel for someone to pluck up the courage to let another commuter know they have a mega crush on them.  People write the most touching and kind things to each other and all of us commuters as a community get to share a snippet of these  personal stories.  Truly I find this an uplifting start to the day and I look forward to reading them in the knowledge that my mood will be raised. Here are just a couple of examples

 “You’re loud mouthed, dark-haired and petite.  I heard you on the phone saying you would love a rush hour crush to be about Rush Houryou.  If you would only glance up from these pages and notice me I could show you that you already have one and maybe we could get to know each other away from the constraints of the commute.  You make my heart skip every time you get on from Surbiton to Waterloo”.

 

 

And on the ‘Good Deed Feed’

“Thank you to the drivers and guards who take the time to wave to my train obsessed two-year old as you go through Earlsfield station.  You make a little boy very happy”Good Deeds

 

 

This is how people connect with people and is a perfect example of a community who use personal information in a way to touch others and build relationships from afar.  Imagine a company who could harness this type of communication with us through better understanding (provided through our personal information and behaviour).  Not only would they connect with us on intimate human level but they would be building a story that others could be part of.  Surely there is a better way than just putting my name on a piece of clothing.

Do you think this is possible?  How do you think companies can connect with us in a more intimate or human way?

 

 

 

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