Dispatch from an advertising future #205

How to redress agencies’ London-centricity


His guide was waiting for him as he got out. He looked around as he checked the locks. She waited patiently. They always did this. Never sure they’d done it. Never convinced it was enough. She knew the sort. Not bad, just ignorant, out of his depth because he was so far out of his comfort zone. “Awright, lah!” she said, exaggerating her accent. Smiled. She always played that trick. He clutched his tablet even tighter, tried not to look around. He didn’t want to be noticed but knew he would be. “Let’s start over here,” she said. “A pub”.

Dispatch from an advertising future #203

Amazon is opening a real-world clothing store with high-tech fitting rooms


The fitting room’s lights shifted hue as the hatch slid open and she took out the outfit. Pristine. Folded. The ribbon’s bow smiled up at her. The playlist she had planned for the party sounded softly around the space. Not background, just environment. As she touched the fabric – such a strangely real sensation – and the response data was logged, a scent wafted gently around the room. And, yes it did match the texture somehow. She acknowledged and added. As she slipped the dress over her head, the sound of wineglasses played with the music. She nodded and added six bottles.

Dispatch from an advertising future #203

The titans of the metaverse have a bandwidth issue


When she stuttered, they laughed. That made the stutter worse. The more they piled on, surrounded her, sharing jokes, making memes the more she stuttered. It wasn’t her fault. She’d stuttered since she was a kid, in primary school, when she’d been playing with the other kids. Apparently it used to be very common but then rich families had found ways of curing it… for their kids at least. She remembered the day Chris turned up in class: confident, clear. Chris’ family was in the right scheme. She looked at the bandwidth calculator in her feed and s..s..sighed.

Dispatch from an advertising future #202

Walmart is quietly preparing to enter the metaverse


School’s about fitting in. It always has been, my dad says. Apparently he had a tough time because he didn’t have the right shoes or something. He begged gran to get him the right model. At least he knew which shoes he needed. If all the lads had them, and he got the same… But now, look. No two are the same. I can’t get the same one Chris has. There isn’t one. If I want to fit in I have to be unique but if I’m unique, how do I fit in? What if I get the wrong one?

Dispatch from an advertising future #201

What the new normal looks like: Google data


He’d never thought about therapy in The Before. He’d had ups and downs of course but that world that was now long gone seemed to just carry him along. But he’d realised in the latest wave that he needed help. He remembered, as he sat in the waiting room, saying to his partner: “I don’t talk about my feelings”. “You don’t have to,” she’d said. “The therapist has them all in front of them. Ready” So here he was. The door opened. He went in and lay down. “Hello,” the therapist said, it’s LED eyes a restful shade of blue.

Dispatch from an advertising future #200

Jeff Bezos’ Montessori-inspired free preschools will expand to Texas https://www.geekwire.com/2022/jeff-bezos-montessori-inspired-free-preschools-will-expand-to-texas/

The school bag was packed and waiting on the step as they left the house. She looked inside as the self-drive drew up. The nutritionally-balanced lunch was perfectly personalised to that morning’s readouts She couldn’t help feeling disappointed the hack hadn’t worked. Still low sugar. Her band buzzed cheerily and gave her a preview of the new books on her tablet. What was waiting for her. The targets had been adjusted after yesterday’s “slip”. An extra quiz on a new text. The target time wasn’t punishing but was enough to nudge her. Maybe she shouldn’t have let herself daydream yesterday.