Facial-Recognition Technologies Reach Madison Avenue
Gesture- and facial-recognition
technologies, so far developed for security purposes and more recently for
video gaming, are finding traction in the advertising world.
According to an
article in The Wall Street Journal, the technologies
may enable marketers to alter images and messages on a billboard, for instance,
based on whether the viewer is paying attention. It can also tweak that message
based on whether the person is male or female. Other potential applications
include using sensors to customize TV spots based on the age and gender, or
enabling interactive TV commercials based on the viewer.
Many consumers are
expected to first experience facial-recognition technologies through Kinect,
Microsoft’s motion-sensor gaming device that lets people play videogames without
holding a traditional controller, according to the article. It includes a camera,
a microphone and an infrared depth sensor that analyzes a player’s body movements.
applications of the technology have also been tested in stores. At 77kids,
the children’s chain of American Eagle Outfitter, children can stand in front
of a digital screen to try on a virtual outfit.
According to Journal, “The
ultimate application from the industry’s point of view: mirrors in a department
store or a device connected to a TV in a consumer’s home that could calculate
a woman’s dress measurements or a man’s trouser size and instantly place an
Separately, Forbes.com last week debuted a web-based facial
expression reader app. Participants turning on their web cams can view video
ads from Doritos, Volkswagen and Google. Employing technology developed by
Affectiva and the MIT Media Lab, the ads change based on human facial expressions.
A confused look, for example, may trigger more information about a product,
while a look of joy may send viewers straight to the purchase page. Dave Berman,
CEO of Affectiva, told Media Post that his marketing clients want to
know more about how online consumers are responding to ads.
“They’re very interested to know how their customers feel,” Mr.
Berman said of his many clients, “Click-throughs don’t tell you that.”
the Journal article noted that privacy concerns are rampant. The
technology can read a person’s face as soon as they enter the store, then link
that information to a profile of that individual.
“If you want to do something evil with it, I’m sure you could. It is
the same thing with anything else technology-wise,” said Benjamin Palmer,
CEO of Barbarian Group, an interactive-ad agency working on such interactive
- Ad Industry Experiments With Technologies That Recognize Expressions, Gestures – The
Wall Street Journal
- Interactive: Analyze Your Smile – Forbes
- Face Time: New App Reads Facial Responses, Boon To Marketers – Media
How receptive will consumers be to gesture or facial-recognition devices in marketing?