Ten years ago, the sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise, Minority Report, hit the big screen, leaving audiences in awe of the potential possibilities of the future. In the years since its release, the below scene has remained front-of-mind for advertisers and marketers everywhere:
As you can see in this video clip, John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is recognized through an eye-scanning system, which allows ads to directly target him based on characteristics such as his name, gender, age, interests and buying trends.
No doubt, this type of advertising in the real world would have a profound effect on all companies and their ability to target primary audiences. Just imagine what cosmetic companies could do with personalized advertising campaigns if their ads were able to recognize and react to characteristics such as a person’s sex, age and skin type?
There have been many developments since this famous scene in Minority Report, developments that have gotten advertisers closer to being able to virtually recognize and target audiences with their products. For example, according to Time Magazine, the Venetian resort and casino in Las Vegas launched an ad campaign that recognized the genders of viewers and recommended restaurants, entertainment and clubs based on their demographics.
Even more recently, according to a recent Mashable article, a non-profit organization, Plan UK, which works to help children in third-world countries, recently launched a bus stop outdoor advertising campaign that scans a person’s facial features, determines their gender and provides the individual with a customized ad based on if they are male or female. According to reports, the scanning feature has a 90% accuracy rate.
View the video below to see how it works:
Of course, both of these examples deal primarily with gender recognition, as opposed to individual recognition found in Minority Report. But, who knows how long it will be until other types of recognition (such as your name, age, address and purchase history) will surface?
This subject has many consumers uneasy, claiming invasion of privacy. And, because of this, as recognition advertising continues to evolve and become more readily available, companies will need to be careful about not being too blatant with their targeted ads. By being too obvious, it might scare certain customers away, leaving them wondering, “how did they know that about me?” or ”how did they access that information?”
No matter your stance on recognition advertising, one thing remains certain. Technological advances continue to provide advertisers with the means to reach customers like never before. And, being in this industry, it is crucial for all of us to stay current on the very latest possibilities and not be afraid to take a creative risk to try and sell our products!