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Coming soon: test audiences for trailers?

The WSJ reports on new technology which will allow more specific measurement of the effectiveness of various kinds of ads, including movie trailers. One company, IMMI (rhymes with ‘gimmie,’ I assume) uses technology which– I kid you not– uses peoples’ cell phones to sample the noise around them, and then transmits those samples to a database where they are identified so as to discern what song the respondent is listening to, or movie he/she is watching. So basically it’s consumer research via electronic eavesdropping. (Anthony Pellicano, we have a job for you!)

Anyway, IMMI tested their technology in Sacramento recently and found that respondents “who were exposed to a particular trailer for the movie ‘King Kong’ went to see the film more than twice as often as those who saw an alternate trailer for the movie.”

I guess if this kind of ultra-targeted market research helps save the movie business from economic ruin, I’m all for it. But it still gives me the willies.

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