Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy News Your Rights Online

Samsung System Tailors Ads To Its Audience 172

angry tapir writes "Samsung has developed an outdoor digital advertising system that tailors ads based on its audience. There are three main components of the system: an LCD display panel, a dual lens camera and a processing computer, which runs the company's proprietary facial recognition software. If the technology identifies several female members in a group, then it can target advertisements at them, for example. Even if the group is mixed, the technology can identify whether onlookers are children or adults. If they're adults then maybe a wine ad could run whereas an advertisement for toys might play for kids."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Samsung System Tailors Ads To Its Audience

Comments Filter:
  • No no no no no! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobVB ( 1566105 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:06PM (#29336161)
    Long-time Samsung fanboy speaking here, but I do NOT want advertisements to see my face. Reading my e-mails is where I draw the line. At least Gmail can't tell whether or not I'm wearing pants.
  • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:07PM (#29336173)

    If they're adults then maybe a wine ad could run whereas an advertisement for toys might play for kids

    And if it's a mixed group of adults and kids, it shows an ad for drinking wine out of plastic sippy cups?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      http://www.tetrapak.com/us/packaging/food_categories/wine/pages/default.aspx [tetrapak.com]

      http://www.slashfood.com/2008/05/17/would-you-drink-wine-from-a-juice-box/ [slashfood.com]

      I'll wait here while you hide your kids.

      There is something very cool about having tailored advertisements. Google's found a way to make it work, and in the AFK world there is evidence of commercial tailoring for sporting events like the SuperBowl. People who watch the SB for the ads (like reading Playboy for the nudes, I suppose) typically enjoy funny and uniq

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 )
        Google's found a way to make it work, and in the AFK world there is evidence of commercial tailoring for sporting events like the SuperBowl.

        Tailoring ads for a specific audience has been the norm for a very long time, not just the Superbowl.
        Finance and insurance during Sunday morning news shows, Coors during football, tampons during Oprah.

        Its not that the audience is more suggestible, but you don't want to spend/waste ad money pointing to the wrong audience.
        • That kind of tailoring is different, and has been used since the very earliest radio shows. It's tailoring based on the nature of the show (in fact, many shows used to even be tailored based on the nature of the ads). On the other hand, TFA talks about a technology to tailor the ads based on the nature of the viewers, which has never been done AFAIK.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Comatose51 ( 687974 )

      "drinking wine out of plastic sippy cups"

      You that's actually not a bad idea. I tend to spill a lot as I get more drunk. Sure I'll have no dignity but that happens anyways when I'm drunk. At least with this I won't have to wash wine stain out of my clothing.

  • by fluffy99 ( 870997 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:09PM (#29336183)

    Say it recognizes specific types of people. Would you really want ads for adult dating sites popping up if it thought a bachlor was strolling by? Or it could detect "that time of the month" and started advertising feminine products. Or how about it pops up porn ads when it only senses adult males in the vicinity.

    • by ihavnoid ( 749312 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:21PM (#29336247)

      Of course, that depends on who the user of the technology (such as, advertisement agencies), not the technology itself. The technology simply detects who is looking at the billboard, and how old the person is. It's entirely up to the ad agency to show adult dating sites or whatsoever on the billboard.

      Thus, I think the ad agencies will end up putting ads that aren't so offensive to any demographic, anyway. Unlike popups from the web, it's intended to be placed on public space.

      • Thus, I think the ad agencies will end up putting ads that aren't so offensive to any demographic, anyway.

        Certainly gender-targeted advertising, in the way they're thinking, seems like it may miss large numbers of potential customers:

        For example, if the technology identifies several female members in a group, then a jewelry, cosmetic, or perfume ad could run, said Samsung. If it were males then shaving products or beer advertisements could be played.

        Apparently, Samsung believes women don't like beer.

        Then again, the GP apparently believes women don't watch porn:

        Or how about it pops up porn ads when it only senses adult males in the vicinity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Speaking as a Black woman in computer science, I would be fairly offended the first time the sign sees me, stops displaying the ad for Dell Computer, and starts displaying ads for chicken and lip gloss. But I guess that's no different from what happens on television.
    • by martas ( 1439879 )
      have you seen giant porn ads in, say, a mall? i haven't (unfortunately). i actually think this is a good thing. say the number of products/services to be advertised in an area in constant. until now, there have been 3 alternatives:

      1) show 'em all simultaneously. problem? information overload - nobody pays attention to anything in particular, but everyone is annoyed. bad for advertiser, bad for consumer.
      2) show 'em all one after the other (on a TV). consumers aren't as annoyed, but the chances of anyone
      • #3 is the current state of affairs (at least IMO), and advertisers aren't stopping or even slowing down.

        You have:

        information overload - nobody pays attention to anything in particular, but everyone is annoyed. bad for advertiser, bad for consumer.

        And:

        ...the chances of anyone seeing anything they're interested in are tiny. bad for advertiser => bad for the world...

        Advertising is another business bubble that has yet to burst, it's just taking a really, really long time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      If adult ads would pop up when males walk by, this would result in an infinite loop when displaying those ads will draw in more males, resulting in overcrowding the area.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:11PM (#29336195)
    I'm wondering what's going to happen when somebody sues because the ad content offends them. A woman that hates girly things or perhaps a black person that likes golf, or possible a gay man that gets sick of the inappropriate ads for jewelry for the wife.

    This sort of technology may be an advertiser's wet dream, but it's pretty screwed up.
    • Why is this screwed up?? It's done today. Magazine ads are placed because of the target audience. Neflicks and Amazon suggest ads based on prior purchases. And yes, they don't always get it right. But sometimes they do.

      This is a way for people to get ads for products that they at least *might* be interested in, and help businesses keep advertising costs down by not showing ads to groups that wouldn't be interested.

      Whenever people get scared of things I this, I chuckle and remember a story my grandfath
      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Speaking of phones, I wish Samsung would tailor their phones to real world text usage. My old Nokias were snappy when it came to texting, but texting on Samsungs (from my budget model to the more expensive models my friends have) equals dropped characters and missed keystrokes.

    • by martas ( 1439879 )
      hey, i'm already annoyed (almost offended!) by the sometimes overly detailed tampon ads on TV, but you don't see me suing anyone. targeted advertising isn't anything new - an advertiser already knows everything about the demographic of a certain, say, town, before showing TV ads on a local channel in that area. it's just that now the ads can be even more targeted. i don't see anything radically new here.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Aren't you trying to invent something new just because it happens electronically? Walk into any clothes store and the sales rep will suggest clothes that he will think fit you, which might be a complete mismatch. Remember that showing ads to people that aren't interested is a complete waste of time for both the advertiser and you. They'd love a customers that says "your ads suck, why can't you advertise about stuff I care about?" and ask "yes, please, how can we know what ads you want?" with $-signs in thei

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather pick my laundry detergent based on the results of independent testing, than based on who advertises the most. Why doesn't the world work that way? Consumers would be much better off.

  • How long until... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <john@@@jmaug...com> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:15PM (#29336215)
    How long until someone comes by and paints over the camera lenses disabling the tailored ads?

    I can see this being a big waste of money that will hardly ever work correctly, and just being an annoying method of delivering ads when it is working.
  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:16PM (#29336225)

    You'd think advertisers would have learned by now how to avoid embarassing themselves. Clearly, they have not. Every year there are advertisements that fail to account for cultural values, context, or placement, and wind up sending an unintended message. Sometimes it's hilarious, sometimes its tragic. You've all seen the jars of Gerber baby food, right? The one with the big baby face on the front? Turns out when they first tried to sell it in rural segments of Africa, it wouldn't sell -- like at all. Turns out that the majority of the population in those markets is illiterate and so the products contained pictures of what was inside the jars and boxes. Well, the locals thought Gerber was selling, achem... baby. Needless to say, the packaging was updated shortly thereafter.

    Here's the problem with advertisements where people are aware they are being targetted: What if the machine makes a mistake? What if it identifies the 18 year old male who's captain of the football team with a couple of his female friends and the machine decides that there are three females in the party instead of two, and spits out an advertisement for tampons or makeup. Perhaps even doing an impromptu photoshop with their faces and a "before and after" shot, with directions to the nearest makeup counter? Well, he might need some coverup then... To hide his suddenly very flushed appearance.

    The problem with mechanical identification of any physical trait in a human being is that it won't ever be 100%, because the meanings associated with those traits are context-dependent. That is to say, the correlations are the problem, and it's true whether it's a matter of sex, race, or age... And when people are aware they are being targeted by those factors, and especially when its misread, and very especially when others are aware of this -- it can have significant social reprecussions. In marketing, context and placement means a lot -- and the only thing saving people from taking it personally is the very fact that they know it's targeted impersonally. When that changes, marketers are going to be in for a real surprise.

    • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:23PM (#29336257)

      What if it identifies the 18 year old male who's captain of the football team with a couple of his female friends and the machine decides that there are three females in the party instead of two, and spits out an advertisement for tampons or makeup.

      What if that happens? Uhhh... it shows and ad for tampons or makeup. Hardly the end of the word. What is this dreamy football captain and his companions doing looking at the advertisement, anyway? Surely there's sodomy to be had, which is a greater priority than some electronic billboard.

      • What if that happens? Uhhh... it shows and ad for tampons or makeup. Hardly the end of the word. What is this dreamy football captain and his companions doing looking at the advertisement, anyway? Surely there's sodomy to be had, which is a greater priority than some electronic billboard.

        Yeah. Well, they're never content with just a display device. It'll have sound too. And if that doesn't work, it'll vibrate and have smoke come out of it too. Marketing is fighting a losing battle and so it is becoming ever-more aggressive in how it infiltrates our lives and tries to distinguish itself from all the other marketing. And the close proximity of these things means that after the average person passes them a few times, they'll be aware of the fact that they're being targeted specifically, becaus

        • Marketing is fighting a losing battle

          Say what? Marketing is doing just fine... probably better than ever.

          • Say what? Marketing is doing just fine... probably better than ever.

            Which explains why the most popular addon for Firefox is "Adblock Plus" and number 5 is "NoScript". A strange coincidence that Firefox' popularity went through the roof after this was released. Also, have you noticed how many people have switched to Netflix and dropped their cable TV subscription? Yet strangely, what are the top-rented items on Netflix? TV shows... on DVD. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be because they can skip the 20 minutes of advertisements per hour and the annoying popups every 3

            • Marketin is not just TV ads, you know. Got any evidence that it's getting less effective? Society seems more consumer driven and "brand aware" than ever. Heck, some people even watch the Superbowl just for the ads.
              • Society seems more consumer driven and "brand aware" than ever.

                Bullshit: It melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

                • OK, so what basis do you possibly have to think that consumerism has decreased, or for that matter, marketing-driven spending?
                  • OK, so what basis do you possibly have to think that consumerism has decreased, or for that matter, marketing-driven spending?

                    Well, there's this recession going on... not that it's related, but I'd definately call it a decrease in "consumerism" and "marketing-driven spending".

            • Marketing is also a war of attrition of sorts. Beyond a certain points, it's mostly a big, black hole you have to plug with money, because your competitors are also doing it.

    • I guess you think advertisers should learn from pretend made up stories?
      http://www.snopes.com/business/market/babyfood.asp [snopes.com]
    • So what? Even I can't tell sometimes if a person is a guy or girl anymore. If your gender is really that hard to tell, then the problem is with you. Get a new hair cut, change your clothes, and choose one side or the other!
    • Perhaps even doing an impromptu photoshop with their faces and a "before and after" shot, with directions to the nearest makeup counter? Well, he might need some coverup then... To hide his suddenly very flushed appearance.

      I was thinking "perhaps they should ask the viewer whether they want to see a mock-up photoshop of them using the advertised product?" There is a computer driving the system, after all. And you know what? This Samsung gimmic + project natal == epic marketing win

      Imagine the system asking you, "Hey! how would you like to see yourself on this hot Levi's? Nod or give a thumbs up for yes, shake your head or thumbs down for no". A lot of immature people would give it the finger or make some other rude gestures, w

    • You're right about false identification. While targeted ads is a nice idea in theory, targeted ads will often overstep certain bounds that generic ads do not - with embarrassing results when they miss. Also, the mere knowledge that an ad is targeted will affect how the audience responds - "they think I'm like that?"
      Sometimes, like when gmail points me to a fine purveyor of Torah scrolls, I am merely amused. Other times, it annoys me enough to block it (I dare say some 90% of the ads at boardgamegeek are for

  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:23PM (#29336255)
    Oh sure, they think they're REAL clever with their little "recognition" algorithms, but let me just ask you this one:

    What happens when the midget convention comes into town, huh? What do you do THEN, smart guy? WHAT DO YOU DO THEN?
    • Display ads for the gnome kicking game next week at some bar?
    • It it's facial recognition, the system could be tuned to deal with that. I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that most forms of dwarfism have quite distinctive facial structure markers. Look for people with short stature and those facial characteristics and you're set to display targetted advertising for a mechanic who specialises in car control conversions or a cabinet maker who specialises in pneumatically or hydraulically raisable kitchen flooring or counters/cabinets (is there such a thing?
  • and add a mask too?
    • I think the tinfoil mask will be a much better way of figuring out what ads to target at you....

  • Sorta Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:28PM (#29336285)

    Truth is, a little harmless digital stereotyping never hurt anybody. I look forward to living in a future where the advertisements on the street are video screens and they adapt their message to who they think is walking by. That's the kind of world people wrote about in science fiction decades ago, or put into movies like Blade Runner. This kind of thing has been dreamed about for decades, and thanks to the hard work of thousands of people, is finally possible.

    Sure, it's not really that "useful" a technological improvement...kind of evil almost...but it sure is cool.

    • Re:Sorta Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by value_added ( 719364 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:12AM (#29337663)

      Truth is, a little harmless digital stereotyping never hurt anybody. I look forward to living in a future where the advertisements on the street are video screens and they adapt their message to who they think is walking by.

      A proud whore.

      I look forward to a future where public spaces aren't blemished by the vulgarity of advertising, arenas and stadiums bear the name of the city and not the name of a corporation, bus benches are attractive places to sit, the notion of wearing clothing and accessories adorned with corporate logos is dismissed as absurd, and all of us can celebrate with pride the world we've made for ourselves.

      Foolish notions? Perhaps. But the way I see it, better to aspire to something than wallow in the shamelessness of an idiocracy... oh, fuck it. Enjoy your electrolytes.

      • Advertising may not be a permanent phenomenon. Right now, believe it or not, economists thing that advertising is a signal to consumers that a product meets minimum levels of quality. It's possible that the information technology will make product "reputation" far more important than advertising, making that component of branding less important. Right now, for instance, ASUS motherboards have a tremendous reputation for quality due to years of positive experiences. Yet, the company has never made a tele
      • It's not all that foolish a notion.

        Society has been "owned" by many groups in the past. First it was tribal affiliation, then religious affiliation, then owned by a king, then owned by an industry.

        It's not too far-fetched that just as we threw off the shackles of religious domination, and as we threw off the shackles of industrial domination, we will also be able to throw off the shackles of advertising domination. What was pervasive in society a hundred or a few hundred years ago has falle

    • I look forward to living in a future where the advertisements on the street are video screens

      Or you could just sin enough to get into Hell, which is what that sounds like.

  • by KreAture ( 105311 ) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:29PM (#29336295)

    In Norway, advertisements directed towards children are banned on TV and radio. Unfortunately this is being circumvented by basing the broadcasting network abroad.
    I just hope this type of advertising can be dealth with by modifying the laws. If not, maby a big hammer will do the trick.

    • by martas ( 1439879 )
      maby not
    • If not, maby a big hammer will do the trick.

      Like the Apple 1984 ads?

    • Disney, perhaps in anticipation of such laws elsewhere, or in response to consumer discontent, are already dealing with in their own way. No ads. But you see, there are Disney characters on that channel...ALL the time...

  • "if the technology identifies several female members in a group, then it can target advertisements at them, for example."

    So I guess they won't be marketing this in fundamentalist Islamic countries where the gals wear burqas?

    • Seriously you don't think identifying a figure in a burqua would be more difficult than identifying a female face?
  • Gaming the system. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nethenson ( 1093205 )

    One problem that i see, is that it can be very easy to game the system.

    Let's say that the advertisers pay a fixed monthly payment. If I were an advertiser and my advertisement were run every time that three women are in front of the screen... well, I'd hire three actresses so that they stay in from of the screen: my ad would be shown lots of times, and adds of my competitors would never be shown.

    If, on the contrary, the advertisers have to pay for each time his ad is shown, and my competitor's ad is sh

    • "Let's say that the advertisers pay a fixed monthly payment. If I were an advertiser and my advertisement were run every time that three women are in front of the screen... well, I'd hire three actresses. . ."

      Wow, that sounds expensive. Ok, here's an idea - if you want your ad shown continuously, just hire a traditional billboard/sign? You're really making things too complicated. The point of such an advertising system is to, on the one hand, reduce costs for you as the advertising client, while increasing

    • and the cost of three full time actresses/actors is going to exceed the extra revenue from your add being shown? Besides, if any competetors were to be targeting the same demographic, then it would have to randomly select from a pool of possible ads. How is it to know that these three girls are to be shown your ad and your ad alone.
  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:46PM (#29336421) Homepage Journal

    I really don't want this thing advertising bed sheets, wrestling, ammo and tractor pulls to me every time I walk by.

  • by YITBOS ( 842292 ) <joseph.w.smithNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @11:10PM (#29336559)
    Now, don't get me wrong... there's a chance I would be able to watch broadcast television live (not DVR'd or torrented) if I would never have to see another commercial about douching (with it's great many suggestions for when to douche...), yeast-infection home test-kits and medicine, and different tampon/pads designed for different flow types, or women in their 50s talking about their overactive overactive bladders...

    But while this may look good on paper... remember: they will have to find something to replace those ads... and being a male between the ages of 18 and dead, you can be sure that every commercial break will be like Spike TV at 3am... An endless loop of Girls Gone Wild commercials occasionally separated by advertisements for erectile dysfunction prescriptions and the latest, amazing super-duper nutritional supplement that will help you drop 50 lbs of fat in 2 days, without exercising or changing your diet*!

    * These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or actually do anything at all besides separate you from your money, fatty!

  • Sure, people complain about loss of privacy and possibly being sued for ads (gay man tired of seeing ads for jewelry for the wife [but if they knew he was gay, he'd sue because they judged he was gay by his walk or something anyway...]), but I, for one, welcome our new targeted advertising. I'm tired of awkwardly sitting through ads for feminine hygiene products.
  • by ignavus ( 213578 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:55AM (#29337009)

    Wear a football top and a skirt.

    Get your fancy dress party guests to walk by the signs.

    Will it recognise the gender of naked people?

    Dress as an alien (outer space alien, not a mere foreigner).

    Suggest that a band of midgets and dwarfs stand in front of the sign.

    Dress up in a kilt.

    Gay pride parade.

    Anyone and any uniform - especially monks and nuns (what do you sell someone who has taken a vow of poverty?)

    • by ignavus ( 213578 )

      That should read "Anyone IN any uniform..."

    • Of course if it ever got to the stage of recognising individuals, for men at least the simple remedy would to grow beards. Even with medium-term advances in tech it seems unlikely that facial recognition will work very well differentiating between bearded people.

    • A big piece of expensive "nothing" of course!

      Slogan: "More poverty, less money! -- iNothing, by Apple" (Who else could sell something worthless by putting a nice logo on it? ^^)

      • I think there was someone in Adbusters who tried that a while back. Nothing(tm) - just what you need. Apparently lots of people called to ask what it was and where you could get it.

        So no, you don't have to be Apple.

  • Am I supposed to hide my face in public if I don't want advertising targeted to me? Oh, wait, in most places you get arrested for hiding your face! Where is my choice? Am I supposed to stay home to avoid it? I don't like this and don't want this -- and I don't think I'm alone in this.
    • by selven ( 1556643 )

      Oh, wait, in most places you get arrested for hiding your face

      You can get arrested for being a Muslim?

  • What will they advertise to women in a burqa? Fabric softener?

    Not racist, not flamebait, just pointing out flaws.
  • ...dog as if it were a child. ...small woman with a stroller as if they were a dwarf with a dog, so that it looks like the woman were a dog. ...hairy hardcore ex-con biker with long hair as he were a black woman, trying to sell pantyhoses and high heels.
    etc.

    • Strange. Someone fixed the "Plain Old Text" and "Extrans" mixup I relied to for the last months/years. And replaced it by "HTML Formatted"??
      The "..." should have gone to new lines.

  • Alarmist and hyperbolic: check!
    Poor grasp of the issues: check!
    Completely one-eyed assessment of the situation: check!

    OK, the "obey" tag is cleared for use!

  • Here is the reason this is going to be annoying: consider TV in general. Commercials on TV are already targeted, as far as targeting is possible. They guess "this type of person watches this type of channel at this time slot" and choose the ads based on that.

    And thus we see the same damn marketing campaign over and over and over and over, and this is annoying as hell, because even if the targeting was right, the commercials themselves are still the jarring attention-grabbing things they always were, because

  • I think this would be a tremendous advantage by not immediately altering the content. If the system is capable of determining viewer attention (ie do they even look at the ad), then its a fantastic feedback mechanism. The ad agency can tell what ads are noticed and which are ignored. The second part of the equation of which ads engender brand recognition or result in an increase in sales is another hurdle.

    Personally face recognition is a bit harder. Anyone have a cell phone? How long before the adverti

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court

Working...