We’ve been talking in class a lot lately about how recent media developments have created huge opportunities for advertisements. I was reading the news and came across a story that I thought was an interesting example of this.
There is a new interactive outdoor advertisement at a bus stop on Oxford Street in London. The ad has a high definition camera that scans the faces of people at the bus stop and determines if they’re male or female. It does this by measuring the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose, length of jaw line and shape of cheekbone. The technology has a 90% accuracy rate.
The aim of the ad is to show a 40-second advertisement to only women and girls. The ad was purchased for 30,000 pounds by Plan UK a not for profit organization that works “with the world’s poorest children so they can move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.” If the camera scans a male, the screen will direct him to Plan UK’s website instead of showing the 40-second clip.
The full advertisement shows three 13 year old girls from the UK, Mali and Thailand talking about their lives. The ad highlights the issues of women and girls in developing countries who face poverty and discrimination. Marie Staunton, chief executive of Plan UK says the purpose of showing this ad only to women was to show men “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away.”
None of the data gathered is stored, the charity assured. The ad will show for two weeks and Plan UK hopes to raise 250,000 pounds over four months to provide access to education for girls from poor families.
I think that this is an interesting and clever new form of advertising. This is a way for the advertisement to not only show their cause about gender discrimination but also to demonstrate it. Not only will this ad work in the traditional way of attracting attention by people waiting for the bus, but it is attracting attention by the news. News sites are reporting about the technology and the new idea of showing the advertisement to a select group only. Advertising on the internet can very easily only show their ads to a preferred demographic but this hasn’t been seen in outdoor ads. I think that this was a creative way to prove a point and to get more people to talk about the charity and spread the ideas of Plan UK through word of mouth.