The Tom Cruise film Minority Report gets a lot of reference in my day job.
Whether it is Tom Cruise’s collation of Big Data, the concept of preventative measures or the general whizzy technologies on display, it’s becoming known as a vehicle of reference.
However one area of the film, where members of the public are identified by retinal scans and directly promoted and marketed to, seems to not be a million miles off either. In the film (I’ll avoid spoilers, having been given one for Skyfall in a recent Guardian interview) Cruise’s character walks through a shopping mall and is greeted with personalised messages as he walks through. Extreme measures later in the film help avoid this.
On my daily commute I am now confronted by adverts for Coca-Cola who have adopted the slogan ‘enjoy a coke with Family’ for the larger bottles and specific names for the smaller 500ml bottles.
Now I am not that paranoid to think that this is direct marketing on a Minority Report scale gone mad, instead what Coca-Cola have done is to get people to buy the bottle that bears their name or a friend/colleague and present it to them. No bad thing, unless you don’t like Coke of course. It’s still a souvenir, and you can use the drink to clean coins with I suppose.
To date I have only seen one with my name; a Coke Zero (what they trying to say?) advert on a bus, while the digital advert doesn’t contain my name.
So while I am not paranoid enough to think that this is targeted now, could it be in the future. If it was in Minority Report it could be, after all, there is the word ‘fiction’ in the genre.
Update: I wrote this on the tube this morning. The photo above appeared about 10 minutes after I had finished writing this, I am now even more paranoid.