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Cab rides get personal with geo-targeted digital marketing

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In the equipped taxis, a prerecorded Steve Wynn greets passengers.

If Steven Spielberg ever predicts the end of the world, I’ll start sweating. In 1999, when he began production of the neo-noir thriller Minority Report, he invited more than a dozen experts in fields ranging from architecture to computer science to imagine what the world would look like in 2054. Most of us were still marveling at AOL Instant Messenger reached through dial-up back then, which makes it even more mind-blowing that Spielberg’s think tank envisioned so many real technological advancements.

From retinal scanners to robot insects, many of the film’s wonders have been or are being realized. And thanks to Wynn Las Vegas, we’re a step closer to the über-personalized advertising that interacts with the inhabitants of Spielberg’s fictional future—advertising that not only recognizes who they are, but also knows their states of mind.

Wynn’s not quite there, but last week, it kicked off a new mobile interactive campaign spanning 1,000 taxis equipped with Show Media’s proprietary system of high-definition, touch-screen monitors running on Google’s Android operating system. Here’s how it works: A visitor enters a special cab. A “geo fence” targets him within a 300-foot radius. The voice of Steve Wynn provides a custom greeting, and a location-specific, interactive tour of the city begins.

Through a partnership with Show Media, Wynn has exclusive rights to content, which will update constantly and promote the property’s dining, entertainment, attractions, shopping and nightlife. And when visitors return to the airport, Wynn’s voice hits them with his signature “hurry back.” No doubt it will make tourists feel special and more connected to our city, and it will be interesting to see how other Strip properties respond to Wynn’s throwing of the sci-fi gauntlet. Now if Weekly could just find a way to get in on that self-updating newspaper thing ...

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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