Blown To Bits

The Advertising Screen Watches You

Thursday, August 21st, 2008 by Harry Lewis

A story by Emily Steel in today’s Wall Street Journal, “The Ad Changes with the Shopper in Front of It,” reports that retail stores are increasingly moving to in-store advertising. The declining prices of flatscreen displays explains part of the surge. But of course with a digital advertising screen, the ads can change depending on local conditions. Proctor and Gamble is playing with some interesting ideas (my paraphrases):

  • * Put RFID tags on shampoo bottles. Then when a customer picks up a bottle from the shelf, flash at her some suggestions about matching conditioners.

That one is pretty weak, actually. But the next one is not.

  • * Put a camera at the screen to watch who is standing in front of it. Suggest different hair care products depending on the customer’s appearance. Can’t you just see it? “Hah! She’s graying. Let’s make sure she knows that even a computer notices, and pitch some hair coloring.”

It’s inevitable that these things will be tried. Will they work? Probably, creepy as they seem at first.

And of course a camera at the check-out could match faces and track what people actually buy, as correlated with what they looked at and what advertising they saw …

One Response to “The Advertising Screen Watches You”

  1. i live in australia and often get advertising from government auctioneers? Says:

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