Advertisers Try To Get Some Face Time

New facial-recognition marketing efforts are cropping up. What might make for a good plot twist in a Sci-fi novel is actually detailed in The Wall Street Journal.

Dunkin’ Donuts is among the first marketers in the U.S. to begin testing the technologies, at two locations in Buffalo, N.Y. People ordering a coffee in the morning can see ads at the cash register promoting the chain’s hash browns or breakfast sandwiches. At the pick-up counter, customers see ads prompting them to return for a coffee break in the afternoon and try an oven-toasted pizza.
In a separate test, Procter & Gamble is placing radio-frequency identification tags on products at a Metro Extra retail store in Germany so that when a customer pulls the product off the shelf, a digital screen at eye level changes its message. When a consumer picks out a shampoo for a particular type of hair, for instance, the screen recommends the most appropriate conditioner or other hair products, says John Paulson, president of G2 Interactive, a digital-marketing arm of WPP Group’s G2 Network.

It would be even creepier if they told me I needed acne medicine or that based on my facial features I was too ugly to need any condoms.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    I find this paragraph from the WSJ article a bit disturbing:

    The company powering the screens for Dunkin’, YCD Multimedia, is in the midst of deploying facial-recognition technologies that can classify people into certain demographic groups by identifying their approximate age and their sex.

    Here’s an idea. How about employing a courteous person to ask shoppers if there’s anything they’d like?