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An internal camera can scan customers’ faces to estimate their age and gender. It will then use that information to show the ad most relevant to that person.
An internal camera can scan customers’ faces to estimate their age and gender. It will then use that information to show the ad most relevant to that person.

Tesco to use face scanners for targeted advertising Add to ...

‘Most ads are dramatic. We want them to be traumatic.’

Chris Hirsch, creative director at Toronto advertising agency John St., making fun of the trend of using pranks in ads to give them more impact.

The video spoofing the trend, “Exfeariential,” is the latest in a series the agency has made to poke fun at the ad industry. It was unveiled at the Strategy Magazine agency-of-the-year event on Tuesday night.

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The video mocks what is known as “experiential” advertising – stunts that sometimes include pranks, such as LG’s fake armageddon, a “Pub Loo Shocker” in Britain, a coffee shop promotion for the movie Carrie, and a crazy test drive in a video for Pepsi.

In its spoof, John St. takes it to the extreme. The fake campaigns include stealing women’s babies (a direct parody of a German deodorant campaign) and a home invasion with a happy ending (a beer ad).

Spending is in the eye of the beholder

British retailer Tesco PLC is rolling out a new kind of surveillance, placing face scanners in its gas stations to better target advertising to customers while they wait in line.

The deal with the digital-sign maker Amscreen will see Tesco install screens at checkouts in about 450 locations. An internal camera can scan customers’ faces to estimate their age and gender. It will then use that information to show the ad most relevant to that person.

The system, called “OptimEyes,” also uses information such as the time of day, and what each customer is buying.

Amscreen CEO Simon Sugar told the U.K. trade publication The Grocer that the company hopes to expand the program to more supermarkets.

“Yes, it’s like something out of Minority Report,” he told The Grocer, “but this could change the face of British retail.”

A Tesco spokesperson said in a statement that OptimEyes will not keep any of the images or use facial recognition technology to personally identify the people whose faces are scanned: “This is not new technology – it is already being used by other retailers.”’

‘Customers are cognitive misers ...’

From a recent Canadian Marketing Association report about “content marketing,” or the practice of marketers trying to create websites, apps or other vehicles to get their brand messaging across while also creating something valuable, useful and/or entertaining for customersto grab their interest. According to a CMA poll released this week, 73 per cent of the marketers surveyed said they will include content marketing in their plans for 2014.

Marketing by the numbers

20%

Average proportion of marketers’ media spending in the U.S. that is currently devoted to “multiscreen” ad campaigns – those that play during the same time period on two or more screens, such as TV, computers, smartphones and tablets.

50%

Proportion of advertising budget that will be spent on multiscreen campaigns by 2016.

73%

Portion of respondents who want a single methodology of campaign measurement across all media types

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