Media Media Planning and Buying Future of Media

From supermarket aisles to the moon, media is being reinvented


By John McCarthy | Media editor

December 16, 2021 | 6 min read

Welcome to The Drum's weekly Future of Media briefing from media editor John McCarthy.


Media buying on the moon

2021 was the year sci-fi's cautionary tales were unironically brought to life, largely minus the caution; be it Facebook's domineering of the metaverse, Google (GOOGLE!) determining what consumer privacy looks like, or out of home giants deciding Blade Runner's ad-bombed dystopia looks pretty cool actually.

So naturally, that brings us to out of space ad opportunities. The final frontier. Spacecraft naming rights, decal logos, branded media, and the ability to dump products in the quickly filling space junkyard are all now up for grabs.

Other potential activations include:

  • Stamping logos into the moon’s surface.
  • Placing a brand flag on the surface of the moon.
  • Building out 5G from the moon for communications purposes.
  • Offering VR 360 experiences from space in real-time.

On the one hand, Ads. EVERYWHERE. On the other, if we can convince marketers to put all their ads in space and in the metaverse, we can sleep easy at night knowing no one will ever have to see them again...

Read it here.

Google on child privacy

Following allegations that it collected children’s personal information via its educational products and allowed app developers to gather children’s data without consent, Google reached a settlement with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office on a new project to promote children’s online safety, education and privacy.

A slew of concessions have been made to better protect children in the Google ecosystem. Kendra Clark also explored the news that Meta and Snap may be able to skirt Apple's privacy restrictions.

Retail's media play explained

In recent weeks, we've used Tesco's big media play (recap: Tesco is restyling itself as a media owner and has almost as much inventory as outer space) as a lens to discuss the opportunity retailers have in media now that first-party data and the shopper mindset is the hot new thing.

VCCP’s head of retail Rob Sellers is not impressed.

Blocklists still failing minority media

As part of our deep dive into marketing and marginalized communities, I checked in to see if advertisers got any better at reaching minority media after it emerged over the last few years that said titles were being deprived of valuable ad revenue due to bias cooked into how ads are bought.

Interviewees report still seeing keyword blocklists numbering up to 10,000 terms as well as still prejudiced (and ineffective) blocks against words like 'Hood' - coded terms targeted against very obvious communities.

I explored the benefits of reaching minority media audiences and shared the latest guidance from the EACA for buyers.

Read the last Future of Media briefing.

Subscribe to our other briefings. Please share with curious friends or ignorant colleagues... and don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter, Linkedin and email.

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