I'm Dreaming Of A Good TV Ad

Don’t worry if you're only subscribing to all no-advertising premium streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ or HBO Max: TV advertising could be coming to your dreams.


There are new brain imaging techniques that can capture the core contents of people’s dreams. Along with sleep studies, all this could establish real-time communication between researchers and sleeping dreamers.

Yes, fantasy land. Are science-fiction movies like “Inception” now becoming reality?

Attempting to aid people in sleep, called “dream incubation,” isn’t new. Historical efforts go back thousands of years. This involves techniques using help awake people to help them dream about a specific topic.

Much of this can be used to rid a person of chronic, additive, anti-health behavior -- such as exposing people to the smell of cigarettes or rotten eggs to cure longtime smoking habits. Other efforts look to help PTSD victims from military or other traumatic incidents.

Now, of course, proponents would say any of these efforts would be completely user/consumer approved stuff -- totally opt-in. Near-term efforts surround present-day bedside “smart speaker” technology. Privacy and other concerns are obvious major issues for consumers to consider.

A number of advertisers have been playing around with this -- offline. During a Super Bowl promotion, Molson Coors created a lighthearted commercial that viewers could “see” while sleeping.

The is where participants would watch “a dream three times online” -- one with “refreshing’ images of waterfalls. Then they go to sleep.” The prize: A 12-pack of Coors Seltzer.

But it doesn’t stop there. Now some marketers are moving further -- Microsoft’s Xbox, Burger King and others are reportedly working on “engineering” ads into consumer dreams via video and/or audio content.

Again, this sounds crazy. But consider these efforts will most probably be positioned as lighthearted marketing promotions -- if you could believe that.

Does any of this work? According to reported results, five of 18 people (12 of them paid actors) who watched the 90-second Molson video of waterfalls, cool mountain air, right, before falling asleep, reported dreaming about Coors beer or Coors Seltzer.

A Coors-produced video shown on YouTube about the project was seen 3.1 million times. During the video, Coors even addressed whether the dream was “ethical.. But it didn’t disclose an answer.Somewhat of a “lighthearted” conclusion.

Still, a number of many sleep/dream scientists view this differently. Some 40 scientists signed an op-ed piece saying playing around with our dreams is morally wrong and needs to stop.

Can consumers be teased to get involved here -- with even with bigger rewards and promotions? I’m not sleeping on it.

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