Advertisers descending on the Association of National Advertiser’s (ANA) “masters of marketing” conference in Orlando, Fla., will receive a whole bag of typical conference tchotchkes — pens, chapstick and phone chargers. But, as reported by a Wall Street Journal blog, they can also walk through a futuristic RV souped up by the guys who refurbished cars on MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.”
Undertone has set up shop on the curbside outside the conference with its “Future Proof Labs RV.” Eric Franchi, co-founder of the ad network, says that his company purchased the vehicle last year to give marketers a glimpse into how they might use new technologies to sell their products.
Walking by a mock candy shelf in the RV, for instance, brings up a Twix ad on a smartwatch thanks to “beacon” technology, which can beam ads and promotions to shoppers’ devices as they stroll down aisles of a store.
Franchi said that the RV’s beacon station has sparked the most interest among marketers. Indeed, a handful of retailers, including Lord & Taylor, have recently experimented more with beacons.
Another station in the RV calls up a profile on a would-be mall kiosk screen.
While the RV, which was outfitted with the help of West Coast Customs of “Pimp My Ride” fame, helps marketers learn about the level of targeting smartphones and beacons can provide, the jury is out on whether consumers find these technologies too invasive.
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