Do you remember the passage from Minority Report when Tom Cruise walks across a shopping mall bombarded with “targeted” video advertising? It looked quite creepy and, to be honest, not very efficient. It was some sort of advertising flood: too many conflicting messages, too many images. Ad nauseam.


Actually we won’t have to wait for 2054 to deliver personalized advertising, in a much more efficient – far less creepy – manner. You’re probably familiar with web retargeting, made popular by Criteo and a series of other adtech companies. It’s been around for a while. The concept is simple: you visit a website and get a cookie on your computer, which triggers targeted display advertising on other web properties, attempting to win back your attention.

Even if retargeting ads proved to be slighly more efficient than the old school first touch promotions, the problem is that very few people click on traditional banners (across all ad formats and placements, ad CTR is just 0.05%), which is due to a phenomenon widely known as “banner blindness”. Website visitors intuitively avoid display ads when browsing their favourite destinations. Been there, seen that.

banner blindness minority report

Yahoo recent redesign

This banner blindness (along with the impact of ad blockers) explains why native advertising, i.e. commercial material subtly woven into the editorial fabric, increasingly becomes an advertisers’ favourite to improve conversion rates. But, on a website, native ads remain just one click option among a multiplicity of browsing paths. The probability of getting a click, be it on a banner or on a native ad, remains pretty low.

But there is another editorial context where native advertising can enjoy an optimal placement: newsletters. Using a solution like ividence (programmatic email advertising), you can deliver a personalized message to every recipient, along the lines of what you saw in that Minority Report extract, but in a much more gentle / far less creepy way, natively integrating the marketing message in the email body, which makes it very efficient! 

“Done right, personalization enhances customers’ lives and increases engagement and loyalty by delivering messages that are tuned to and even anticipate what customers really want.” (from Digital Personalization at Scale, McKinsey).


ividence personalization minority report

example of a newsletter powered by ividence


In terms of efficiency, the newsletter format resembles a social feed, with short pieces of targeted content naturally stacked one upon another. Which gives advertisers a very controlled opportunity to grab the reader’s attention in a one-on-one connection, provided that their content resonates with the recipient’s interests. With targeting power comes personalization responsibility!


great power great responsibility



Featured image: Minority Report, 20th Century Fox