Oreo maker Mondelez International will introduce video display units near checkouts that estimate a person’s age and gender to deliver targeted advertising.
The idea is to encourage impulse purchases, but has been branded by the Washington Post as “creepy” and similar to the levels of surveillance for personalized advertising in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report.
Mondelez: It’s completely anonymous
A Mondelez spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: “Smart Shelf is about better understanding shopper behavior at the point of sale. Privacy is of utmost importance, so Smart Shelf is completely anonymous.
The technology compares a person’s facial features to proprietary algorithms to determine gender and approximate age.
“People’s images are not saved. We only track gestures to pick up products or what products have actually been picked up.”
The spokesperson added that the smart displays only targeted adults.
What do you make of the technology? Is it one step closer to Big Brother state or marketing genius? Is there a danger that targeted in store advertising based on sex and age could appear sexist and ageist?
Here’s some of the reaction on Twitter:
Another reason to avoid supermarkets...Snack foods company to use technology to watch you at supermarkets http://t.co/m3lsuVqwin— goodbyesupermarkets (@byesupermarkets) October 15, 2013
Custom tailored video ads meant to spur impulse purchases while you shop? No, that won't be annoying at all. http://t.co/QjE6lT460o— Kohen Dormer (@KohenD7) October 15, 2013
If this happens we need to all start taking things off shelves and putting them back in the wrong place the way... http://t.co/8lUCzhPFbi— PLink (@MajJackDowning) October 15, 2013