I Recognise Your Face…

March 6, 2015

As a marketer, I’m constantly on the lookout for exciting and experimental new tech and marketing methods. Innovative ideas usually combine local, mobile and social, but there’s one thing they tend to have in common: an element of personalisation. As I mentioned in my last post, “micropersonalisation” is fast becoming the new buzzword; and one way of achieving this level of personalisation is through the use of facial recognition technology.

Traditionally associated with security, some still find the concept of facial recognition scary – almost ‘big brother-like’. But privacy issues aside, can it open up a whole new world to marketers? A world full of highly-entertaining, innovative advertising ideas?

It’s certainly a marketing tech that’s on the rise: according to recent stats, the global facial recognition market is estimated to grow from $1.92 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2018.

I touched on last month’s eye-technology campaign from Skoda in a recent post – but here are some other brands that have used it to their advantage:

  • Nike injected some fun into its advertising and increased engagement with its ‘Free Face Off’ campaign. Users were given control movement of the Nike Free shoe (famed for its flexible sole) by moving and scrunching up their faces.
  • Plan UK – a British charity – used facial recognition technology in its clever outdoor ad appearing on London’s Oxford Street. It could determine whether a man or woman was standing before its screen, only allowing females to see the full 40-second ad (the concept was designed to show how women around the world are discriminated and denied opportunities).
  • Virgin Mobile launched a campaign called ‘Blinkwashing’. Its interactive YouTube videos meant that scenes would change simply by the user blinking their eyes. Combining 25 different clips, it resulted in a total of more than two million combinations.

From beauty and retail to finance and medicine, facial recognition technology is being increasingly embraced by a variety of industries and sectors. Will you be adopting the trend?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director