Digital Advertising – The next Investment Bubble?

We’ve all heard of the dot. com era, when over a span of roughly six years, most of us investors made some money in strangely named stocks and then lost money when the bubble finally burst in 2001. Back then, a simple e- prefix to a company’s name or actually having. com at the end was a guarantee that the stock would shoot up and we scrambled to be involved. When the dust finally settled were left shaking our heads at the madness of it all.

However, the dot. com era was only the last of a long line of technology booms on the stock market. We can tracecar advertisement in los angeles. similar bubbles back as far as the mid 1800’s with the railroad stocks cars and radio’s in the 1920’s, transistors in the 1950’s and home computing in the early 1980’s. Biotech also had its day in the early 1990’s but it was a bit technical and confusing for most and was soon out bubbled by the emerging potential of the Internet where we didn’t have to understand anything much other that e-,. com and buy, buy, buy.

So, what’s next, now that we’re in 2009 and having recently witnessed the insanity of the banks and mortgage markets, surely, slightly more sanity? We can but hope.

Well Gold is flying again. Oil shot up, then fell, and may well come back again, and there is a growing market for trading debt… well there is so much of it about, isn’t there.

However, I’ve been looking about for what could be the ‘next big thing. ‘ Something just over the edge of the radar that i could get into before the stampede and madness begins. Jumping back into Gold or oil would be just following the rush, so what’s quietly breaking the mould, emerging from the darkness of obscurity, where can i make some serious money still?

Back to the digital.

For years, advertising and those over-excitable executives that populate the industry, have peddled television, newspapers and magazines as the only way for multi-nationals to promote their products and services. But now, with technology allowing us to record our programming simply and easily so we can fast forward through those annoying adverts, this form of blanket advertising just isn’t working and the advertisers know it. The modern generation is so accustomed to seeing advertisements that now days we… simply don’t see them at all.

Digital advertising is a term that covers everything from those huge screens of flickering neon that have taken over every major city centre in the world, to the ads on the side of your computer screen, possibly appearing beside this very article.

However, the sector that really interested me recently is the advertising and programming we’re seeing more and more of where a screen is placed right at the point of a buying decision. The screen showing a beer commercial in the beer isle of the supermarket for instance, or the screen I saw recently in the waiting room of the car tyre dealership that had me asking, after watching some interesting programming, for new wiper blades and an oil and filter change.

These screens are popping up all over the place. Doctors waiting rooms, opticians, my gym and even in the lift of a hotel I recently stayed at, extolling the virtues of the hotel restaurant and spa facilities. In each and every case that i have come across, I have been a captured viewer; entranced like I never am at home in front of my own TV. This was different.

…. and it doesn’t stop there. Did you know that you’ll soon start to notice a small black dot on the screen. This, I am reliably informed, is the next wave of the digital revolution. The dot is a camera capturing data. It relays back, via an Internet connection, who is watching the ads. It will record if the viewers are male or female, give an approximate age, and even offer a basic demographic like oriental or occidental. It will relay what time these people were watching and for how long – amazing.

If two women are in front of the screen, it will play a suitable add for that audience – cosmetics or jewellery perhaps? Three men watching may elicit adds for male biased consumer items, like Swiss watches, single Malt whiskey and fast cars – incredible to the extreme. This, of course, is good for the advertiser because they place there ad in front of the right kind of consumer, often at a time when a purchase decision is actually being made and get data returned to them showing how the ad is being received. Tied into the cash registers of a store and it will show how the ad is influencing sales. But it’s good for us too. We only see ads for the goods and services where we’re most likely to have an interest.

But, to my mind, far more than all that, it has to be good for the investor. Because I think this may well be the start of one of those bubbles, it may be an exclusive one, but its an investing bubble never the less from which we may possibly gain massive returns if we can locate the right opportunities.

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