In Some Retailer’s Eyes, You’re Not You, You’re A Data Point

George Orwell argues in 1984 that Big Brother is watching you. I’ve long held that in reality we are watching Big Brother, but I’m willing to concede we’re watching each other.
According to The Wall Street Journal, NEC Electronics Corp. has designed a method for digital signs to track the age, gender and number of pedestrians that walk by them, providing advertisers with a more accurate reading of the potential audience.
NEC sells flat-panel monitors that display ads, commonly found in stores, airports and other heavily trafficked public areas. It also provides the software to manage and distribute advertising content to those screens.
“We think this is a very clear value,” said Takeshi Yamamoto, vice president of NEC Corp. of America’s IT software group. “For sponsors, they’ll know which ads to display at what times and place.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.