Digital Advertising Recognizes Your Demographics and Product Choices

New technology called ad targeting is on it's way to your favorite local stores.

Soon, in-store promotions will be based on products the you picked off a shelf, and it's not too long before you'll see ads based on what you look like.

Dunkin Donuts is currently testing the ads in two Buffalo, NY locations. In the morning ads will feature breakfast items at the cash register and lunch items at the pick up station, hoping to prompt a return visit.

But the real 'Big Brother' technology is being tested in Germany, where Proctor and Gamble have inserted radio-based ID tags in key products. If a consumer chooses a product from the shelf, a targeted advertising message is served up on an eye-level, digital screen in front of them. For example, if you choose a shampoo, the screen will suggest complimentary P&G styling products. Convenient, yet creepy.

YCD Multimedia, who provides the digital screens for Dunkin' Donuts, is working to quickly roll-out facial-recognition technologies that can classify people into certain demographic groups by identifying their approximate age and their sex. This technology would use face shape to serve up ads relevant to your identified demographic.

Another interesting application is inventory management. Israeli coffee chain Aroma Espresso Bar is using the screens to encourage consumers to purchase items that they may have overstocked and perishable goods. If there is a large amount of pastries that will go stale that night, for instance, a manager will switch ads on the screen to promote them, says Gali Goldwaser, marketing manager for Aroma.


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