We’re all used to adverts showing more and more frequently before youtube clips - hell, visit a newspapers website and they really squeeze their advertising into everything you can view.

I’ve had a vision of the future of advertising, and it’s based within the videos we watch. We all know that most of the time, adverts work by subliminally affecting your subconscious, helping you make that decision to nip to McDonalds all that much easier.

The simplified version of this concept is straight up replacement of advertising in videos for relevant ads to you:

  • You walk past a shop window in your video and everything is tailored for the viewer.

  • You drink a drink in the video, it’s replaced with a popular drink full of sugar.

  • You have a TV on in the background and the adverts are replaced etc.

In-content advertising. It’s the future.

But… the technical aspects

Tracking things is not hard work, google maps does a fine job of being able to provide captchas with street names well enough, along with blurring out the faces of every man, woman, child and dog ( Find a dog on google maps, you’ll see what I mean). Youtube managed to process a video when it uploads very quickly, especially when you need to edit it on the site and add effects and audio. If they acquire a company that creates tracking software, there’s no reason they can’t apply it on the fly.

So this is how it would work: You upload your video to youtube, enable in-content monetisation. Youtube then analyses your video for available advertising space, lets you know if it’s available then replaces what it can with whatever it can.

Combine this with the deep learning computers that can match paintings to pictures to imitate the style and you’ve got yourself the ability to autonomously match an advertisement to the location the video, the grading etc. Mix in something like Octane rendering for realism of 3D products, and not only do you have advertising that is implemented within the content, but you might also have something that is realistic enough to believe it.

The rise of blogging

The rise of vlogging just means there are more people filming videos in places where advertising can take place. Film a video at home, that picture frame in shot can become an advertisement for the next Star Wars film.

Combine it with the fact some vlogging channels can reach 10 million views in a weekend, advertising on this scale forces the viewers to watch the video to consume the content. No skip button available because it’s seamless. Ad blockers can’t stop this, it’s relentless and in your face.

  • Clothing replaced with logos;
  • Branding splashed over cars
  • Drone footage with football field style graphics

There’s no end to what you could replace…

Ethics and ‘is it still my content’

If you enabled this future feature on your video, do you own the content still? If it’s littered with Pepsi adverts throughout it, does it become a collaboration with the advertisers?

Will vloggers tailor their videos to include advertising space? It’s not hard to imagine having a few tracking marks on your desk specifically designed to help you earn more money per video.

This is the Black Mirror future I’m predicting.

Of course, it’s not something that exists yet, but what do you think? Could it work? Would you be upset by such a feature, would it enhance anything?