Remember the billboard ads in Spielberg's Minority Report? The ones where the ads start addressing the potential customer (John Anderton) by name? We're a long time away from that projected future (2054) but we've known for awhile that one-to-one marketing was getting well, funky. This technique is technologically feasible using SMS, for instance, but until now it didn't take it to the point of actually using the name of the person on outdoor ads .
Now it's being done. Two strong cases have shown up.
1. Mini Cooper, USA is using RFID that gets customer participation. It's an interesting case of looking like an intrusive ad, when it's not. Why? because the customer has to register on the site, receive an RFID key fob, and carry it when driving, which triggers off the messages
2. Wilkes University (as reported by NY Times today) is taking it one step further, by targeting the students on billboards and posters, without their consent --just like direct mail. Apart from the risk of investing so much in a handful of potential students (where there is no real guarantee that these few would respond to the message) they have built other one-to-one elements into the effort. Such as giving the students being targeted in the ads the contact information of current Wilkes' students who had attended the same high school.
So much more refreshing than the the wasted efforts in mass targeting, a la Super Bowl ads, that are repeatedly proving to be inefficient.