In an interesting advancement in advertising technology, a bus stop on a London street has an advertisement with gender recognition technology. As you approach, the ad recognizes whether you are male or female. Females get to see the entire ad while males are sent to a website. The technology is reported to be right nine out of ten times – with no apologies to the one out of every ten people who are misrecognized. This development carves new ground in targeted advertisement. In the future such technology might be used to reach customers in new and varied ways. If your clothes appear out of style of worn, you could be directed to shops or sales. If it’s near the dinner hour and you’re waiting for a certain bus, you could be directed to places that offer take-out dinners. And well, the possibilities are numerous for anyone with a healthy imagination.
The current advertising is for a non-profit organization that’s trying to raise awareness and money. Females get to see a message for the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign that promotes sponsoring a girl in a “third-world” country so that she can receive an education. Men won’t get to see the campaign so that they can get an understanding of what it feels like to be left out – the way whole societies exclude females from participating fully. Conventional wisdom would suggest that males need to see the ads as much as females do, especially so that more money can be raised. Additionally, it could be argued that it is the males in the exclusionary societies that need to be educated about the rights of girls. But for now, it’s this latest advertising technology that stands out.
- Facial Recognition Billboard Targets Only Women in UK (gadget.com)
- Face-Recognizing Billboard Only Displays Ad To Women (techcrunch.com)
- Facial Recognition Billboard Only Lets Women See the Full Ad (mashable.com)
- Plan UK uses facial recognition technology for latest outdoor campaign (londoncalling.co)