The Wall Street Journal says that Dunkin’ Donuts is experimenting with video screens that use facial recognition technology to figure out your age and gender. The screens then display ads targeted specifically to you.
Dunkin’ Donuts is also tailoring the cash register ads to your specific purchase. If you buy a breakfast sandwich, you can expect an ad prompting you to return “for a coffee break in the afternoon” to “try an oven-toasted pizza.” The system is already in place at two Buffalo, NY locations.
More creepiness from the WSJ:
In a separate test, Procter & Gamble is placing radio-frequency identification tags on products at a Metro Extra retail store in Germany so that when a customer pulls the product off the shelf, a digital screen at eye level changes its message. When a consumer picks out a shampoo for a particular type of hair, for instance, the screen recommends the most appropriate conditioner or other hair products, says John Paulson, president of G2 Interactive, a digital-marketing arm of WPP Group’s G2 Network.
This comes as advertisers are spending more of their ad dollars on in-store marketing. Audience fragmentation and the waning power of television ads are forcing marketers to make their pitches and tout their brands when and where consumers are closer to making a purchase: in the store.
The WSJ says that the companies experimenting with this kind of technology “hope to ward off any potential privacy issues by not capturing and storing any personally identifiable information about consumers.” What do you think? Is this an invasion of your privacy? Or would you rather see more relevant ads?