Facial Recognition in The Ad World

Facial recognition software has long been (well, since its conception) the source of much contention in the technology world. Especially when used in advertising. Without a 100% accuracy rate, how can any company rely on this newfangled tech-trick to make a statement?

Despite the inherent kinks that this type of software would present in the early stages, one not-for-profit company based out of The United Kingdom, Plan UK, has decided to utilize this novel technology in a groundbreaking advertising experiment.

The £30,000 display is set to promote the ‘Because I Am A Girl’ initiative.

So, fittingly, the recognition software is designed to only show the ad to women. Apparently, the system has a 90% accuracy rate when analyzing a person’s facial features, with the ability to determine whether or not they are male or female based on the analysis.

So, the question remains: Why? What is the message that they are trying to convey?

A spokesperson for Plan UK describes it as an attempt to give men “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away.” If the system determines that the onlooker is a man, he is simply directed to Plan UK’s website where he can then view the ad. However, at that moment, he is unable to view the ad on-site. Tough cookies.

This campaign will run for two weeks.

How do you think this campaign will be received? How do you feel about the implementation of new technologies in advertising? Let us know in the comment section below!


Image sourced from Mashable

  • Kimmy

    This is a really interesting idea for a campaign. Although I do see some problems with gender-based advertising. What kind of reversed message does this send? You take away a woman’s choice, so we take away yours. Two wrongs don’t always make a right. In fact, they almost never do. 

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