Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

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.

'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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

"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%

Story continues below advertisement

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

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies