Why Facial Recognition Is the Next Big Thing in Marketing

Why Facial Recognition Is the Next Big Thing in Marketing


giphy (1)

If SnapChat’s new Facial Filters are any indication, facial recognition technology is looking to make a big impact on how consumers view and create content, because lets face It (see what I did there?) who doesn’t want to be able to barf rainbows or face swap with their significant other?

While the Facial Filter feature on “the Snap” is the latest iteration of mainstream facial recognition technology, it could also be looked at as a precursor to how marketers can use the technology to better connect with consumers.

Below are a few examples of how brands have recently used facial recognition technology for their own brand campaigns:

While these campaigns were innovative and effective, they focused more on the side of experiential marketing and seemed to be borderline gimmicky, “one and done” type tactics. What marketers need to begin to look at is how to incorporate this technology into their long-term approach when connecting to the consumer.

Think about it. Every modern computer or smartphone has a built in camera that looks right at you. Combine that with the amount of consumer data collected through third party services and you could create an environment where every digital ad is tailored to an individual consumer based on the unique features of your face, no matter what device you’re using. Cookies and IP addresses would no longer be the sole way to identify a consumer.

If this sounds a bit like that scene in Minority Report, then you’re on the right track.

While facial recognition technology is available for brands looking for a competitive edge, consumer privacy issues have stagnated the growth among mainstream marketing strategies. A First Insight survey found that 75% of consumers would not shop at a store using face recognition technology for marketing purposes. However, that same report found that more than half of consumers would be open to the use of the technology if incentivized properly, such as given a discount or other promotion.

How do you feel about the rise of facial recognition in advertising? Does it feel too “Big Brother” like? Or would you welcome more relevant advertising?

Leave a comment below!

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Recently I was having a conversation with a Hispanic friend who informed me that other than at work, he hardly ever uses a laptop and doesn’t even own one for personal use. 10 years ago this would have been out of the norm; however with smartphones becoming relatively inexpensive compared to laptops, rates of Internet usage and smartphone ownership have skyrocketed among minority groups.


While he may not know it, my friend is a part of the 18% of Hispanics that do not own a desktop or laptop computer and strictly rely on their smartphone to access the Internet. To marketers, this represents a seismic shift in how to effectively target minority groups online.

African-Americans and Hispanics are also much more likely to make mobile purchases than their white counterparts, which puts even more pressure on marketers to ensure that their e-commerce sites are mobile-friendly and easily accessible to a variety of cultures. That may mean making sure your messaging is available in multiple languages or ensuring that the creative used in your campaign is sensitive to other cultures.

Pepsi learned this lesson the hard way when they realized that their new slogan, “Come Alive With Pepsi” translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

As the popularity of mobile marketing increases, professionals should know that they are speaking to an increasingly diverse audience and that the same messaging that was effective before, may not play out as well a few years down the line.

Virtual Reality Advertising Is Virtually A Reality

Virtual Reality Advertising Is Virtually A Reality

In the minds of marketers all over the world, digital advertising seems confined to two spaces: desktop and mobile. However, these same marketers realize that more and more consumers are becoming numb to seeing banner ads, annoyed by pop ups and disinterested by video. The same can be said about many of the current advertising mediums that exist. Marketers have long been searching for the next frontier of advertising and may have found it in the form of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

Last year, Facebook made waves in the advertising world after purchasing VR startup, Oculus, for a cool $2 billion. After the news was official, the floodgates opened and big-hitters such as Google, Apple and Coca-Cola quickly made exploratory investments into VR advertising. These companies realized that VR presented the next level of engaging content by making their messaging fully immersive.

Coca-Cola provided a great example of how branded content can be taken to the next level by implementing VR technology, when they utilized it during the World Cup, with the Coke World Cup Experience.

VR technology provides several real-world advantages for marketers:

Fully engage the target consumer, without having to worry about competing messages

John McCrea, CMO of Media Spike, saw first-hand the potential that lay in VR advertising after doing a demo campaign for “Despicable Me 2” on the Oculus platform.

“Integration of brands into this new medium will create some of the most compelling and effective digital advertising ever, because it will be immersive and experiential,” McCrea wrote on his website after detailing the campaign’s capabilities.

Below are images from the demo that illustrate how brand content can take form in the virtual world, ranging from flat, banner-like ads on “billboards” to video spots shown on the virtual town’s “movie theater” and even an example of a higher-end ad such as the branded blimp.

MediaSpike_VR_Outdoor_Movie MediaSpike_VR_Blimp_Above

Message reach can be accurately tracked

Instead of wondering whether consumers are paying any attention to that display ad or if your video ads are greeting distracted viewers, VR allows marketers a sense of relief by knowing that in order for a user to avoid ads, they would physically have to remove the headset and disrupt their whole AR experience.

Next-level consumer data analytics

In virtual world, marketers can track exactly what a user is looking at, where a user is looking and for how long the consumer is looking. Being able to have access to detailed eye tracking data will help in the advancement of virtual advertising and potentially bring valuable insight to other digital advertising platforms

Final Thoughts

The fully immersive nature of VR advertising adds a whole new dimension to digital marketing. Not only will the technology help brands stand out but it will also help advertising shed the “nuisance” tag it sometimes receives by allowing content to feel naturally engaging and emotional. As more and more consumers grow disoriented from normal digital advertising tactics, it would be of no surprise to see brands implement VR software to take their content to the next level.