Will Our Future be Supported by Ads?

Kindly take a few seconds to look at the picture on the left and let your brain digest the apparent tomfoolery that is going on. This is no tomfoolery my friends... I assure you this is very much real. So real in fact that the person (or people) living in this house, currently have their mortgage taken care of... thanks to advertising. 

This is the business model behind a campaign aptly titled, 'Paint My House' by a company called Adzookie. The idea is simple and it is one that I have already explained to you. At this point you may be thinking one of 2 things: 1. Is this an April fools joke? (Oh... wait, that was 2 weeks ago) or 2. Where does the madness end? 

Allow me to present to the court exhibit number 2 (pictured on the right)... the brand new Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device with 'special' offers.. this of course is $25 less than the regular Kindle device with no such 'special' offers. In Amazon's own words, "Same bestselling Kindle, plus special offers and sponsored screensavers." 

After viewing these 2 examples you may come to the conclusion that the latter is a little more understandable than the former; however, they both work on the same basic model: ad support. Ad support is not a bad thing though is it? After all, it has reduced the price of products (Kindle) and may even allow us to live a comfortable life (Paint my house). Furthermore, we as consumers have become so immune to commercial messages that we are likely just going to tune them out anyway and reap the benefits they provide us with. 

As you can probably imagine the last sentence I just wrote is not something that would be particularly pleasing to a traditional marketer. Good thing traditional marketers aren't marketing traditionally anymore. Digital platforms have given marketers the opportunity to provide consumers with messages that will cause them to tune in, not out. Will our future be supported by ads? I hope so. I hope most of all that these ads will be relevant to us and that the future will bring the customization of messages to such a level that you and I could be holding the same device, looking at the same piece of content, but receiving different ads because you are you and I am me.  

It is certainly going to be an interesting future. Allow me to leave you with this two-part question... what do you think will be the next big consumer good to be support by ads? Once you have your answer... how will this ad-based model affect the future of this product?