Targeted advertising coming to a commercial break near you

Although Microsoft has patented an advertising "gotcha" to insert fresh plugs into previously recorded shows, Visible World and OpenTV are taking targeted advertising to a whole new level. While the systems have been trialed for some time now, Visible World's variable ad system will hit the mainstream when Wendy's commercials on Fox Sports' NFL broadcasts feature raccoons that seemingly know what just happened on the field. The 'coons will bust out comments about how boring the scoreless match is, how crazy that touchdown pass was, or how miserable that shirtless guy in the front row must be in the below-freezing weather. Eventually, both firms hope to focus ads right down to individual households, claiming that "dog-related advertisements" would show up primarily in dog-owning households, and that Ford commercials could be specifically shown to compete with local / regional competition in a given area. Still, for those programs that we can stand to watch later, we doubt a slightly clever advertisement will keep our fingers off the FF button, but at least this stuff makes those live broadcasts a bit less painstaking.