One possible technology of the future that was presented on the “Future Of” is Immortal Avatars. This featured 3D technology that would create extremely life like computer versions of any given person. Among other things, their avatar would have the ability to match their speaking and facial patterns once properly recorded. Not only could this work to keep friends and loved ones close when they are far away or gone, but also it could serve as a learning tool where students can hear about historical happenings directly from the person who experienced it.
One marketing technique that could be used for this product is the idea of emotional branding. Much of the “Future Of” segment focused on the idea that people could still keep loved ones close after death. So, emotional branding would be an ideal approach for this target market. If the idea of Immortal Avatars is marketed as a way to deal with loss and help someone through a time when they are weakest, this would be extremely appealing to those having similar feelings. The brand must make an emotional connection with this market because the point is not to prey on those who are fragile, but rather to make a difficult time easier. Also, this approach does not necessarily have to focus on those who have lost loved ones. It can instead focus on those who cannot be near their loved ones because they are far away for things such as work, school, or the military. In general, it would appeal to a group of people who miss someone close to them, no matter what the circumstance. I believe this could be done through print ads or television spots that effectively convey the emotional connection this brand is trying to make with them. Overall, these ads could do this by presenting the problem of greatly missing a loved one and then providing a solution to always keep them close by having an immortal avatar of them created.
A second marketing tactic that could bring success to this product is narrowcasting. This product could have more than one target market, but they would have very different reasons for wanting to support it. As stated above, every day citizens would have an interest in the product because it can keep them close to those they care about, even when they are far away or deceased. However, there is another group of people that may be interested in the product. Teachers and students would take an interest in Immortal Avatars because it could enhance classroom experiences. For example, it may be informational to hear about a speech that was given by someone several years ago, but if it is not documented on video tape one cannot receive the full experience. Even if a video tape is available, the student cannot fully picture being there. However, if this person had an immortal avatar, a teacher would be able to enter the speech so the entire class could see the person, in 3D, delivering it. This would provide the true experience of witnessing the original speech. So, it is clear that these two potential users could never be targeted in the same way. This is why narrowcasting would be an important tool to use during any advertising campaigns. If certain information or ideas about the product were revealed to each market and not the other, each would feel like they are being understood and have a stronger connection to the product. For people who are missing those close to them, advertising can focus on the idea that Immortal Avatars will perfectly replicate all the small nuances of their loved one. This is something that would be important because they will already know the little quirks of their loved one. For the classroom setting, it is more important that the person will be in 3D and sound like the real person. This is because it will better provide the feel of actually learning from someone in history or a speaker who could not attend the class because they are too busy.
In general, these new and inventive marketing techniques fit well with this potential product of the future. As technologies become more advanced and possibly more difficult to understand, advertising must also advance to help people understand why it needs a place in their lives. Emotional branding and narrowcasting would allow this to be done for the Immortal Avatar, which can serve to emotionally or educationally advance the lives of those who use it.