Page 1






S&® Website

Consumer Empowerment? The Brand Strikes Back with

Facial Recognition Marketing by Andy Sellers MIPA MCAM, S&® the brandvertising agency

All marketers would acknowledge that power has shifted from the brand-owner advertiser to the consumer over recent years, with technological innovations encouraging the latter to select what, when and how they consume media, and the advertising messages they wish to be exposed to. This has even led to consumers creating their own entertainment with blogs and YouTube videos - referred to as Consumer Generated Media - and ultimately to Consumer Generated Advertising, where the public are invited by some brands to submit advertising ideas for commercial production.

and compares them with photographic facial images already held in a database. The scanner records the structure, shape and proportions of the face by measuring the distance between eyes, nose, mouth and jaw. More sophisticated FR surveillance techniques involve 3-D scanners, facial thermography and skin texture analysis. Now Facial Recognition Technology is being put to commercial use, with brand-owner advertisers and retailers employing the technique as a marketing tool in what is being called Facial Recognition Marketing, or FRM. Finally, The Brand Strikes Back!

Brand marketers had to find a way to regain control of the situation. And now they have a marketing tool which helps them do just that in Face Recognition Technology - it enables the advertiser to identify the demographics of the potential customer in an instant, and to customise the choice of ad displayed to appeal specifically to the prospect. If you’ve seen the futuristic film Minority Report you may remember Tom Cruise’s shopping mall scene? (You’ll find it on YouTube). Well it wasn’t just filmmakers fantasy - we have the technology and now it’s for real!

Privacy issues are being raised as a concern, but the commercial applications of FRT differ to those being used by law enforcement agencies in that brand owners, at least for the present, are employing anonymous facial detection, pinpointing a demographic based on age and gender, not identifying individuals.

Face Recognition Technology is commonly used by the authorities in the fight against crime and to identify terrorists at airports. At the basic level a hidden spycam scans the suspect’s facial features

Here’s how it works … when a potential customer approaches a digital advertising hoarding, kiosk or vending machine an optical sensor becomes aware of their presence from up to 25 feet away. The camera

2 >>


then scans their face to take certain measurements and identifies - with 90% accuracy - their gender, their age within five years and their disposition smiling or otherwise. In less than 100 milliseconds the most appropriate advertising message for the so-defined indivdual is automatically selected and displayed. Effectively, the advertising message is targeted and self-optimised in real time - it’s the ultimate in personalised marketing. Here you can see it in action …

And Kraft Foods are experimenting with introducing face-scanning technology into their freezer cabinets so they’re able to suggest an appropriate meal for the type of customer identified. Some banks use FRM to identify younger customers most likely to be opening their first account. And FRM works with crowds too - some bar owners in Chicago use the technology to measure and reveal the male/female ratio and age mixes of their customers in real time so anyone planning a night out can first log-in with their mobile apps and check out the venue’s crowd mix.

The Artificial Intelligence software learns as it goes along, in real time choosing to display the ad it considers most likely to prove effective for the particular audience. It can also provide analytical reporting of ad performance against specific demographic groups based on audience attention time, immediacy of interactive response, eye-tracking, and so on. More information about the technology and its capabilities can be found at … www.

NEC, who makes the FRM interactive display screens, is predicting that within two or three years 10% of all digital signage will employ facial recognition technology.

At present FRM is happening mostly in Japan and the US, but it won’t be long before it hits the UK in a big way. Adidas are already testing it on UK digital street hoardings and on interactive shopping mall screens.

Technology has empowered the consumer in recent years. So perhaps it’s fitting that through technology the balance of power may now be returning to the brand marketer? The future’s looking good for marketing - keep a watchful eye open for further developments … If you’d care to comment on this article you can email Andy at


I have lost count of the number of times that following the conception of an idea which is seemingly flawless to those behind its creation, the question of funding is met with the immortal words, “we’ll find a brand to pay for it”. I hold my hands up. I’m guilty of having considered this response myself. It’s at this moment in the creative process where content producers can forget that the ‘bank of brands’ doesn’t really exist and nor is it a brand’s sole purpose to bankroll our ‘great’ ideas. Branded content at its core has to be about the marketing of a product, with a concept developed to achieve this end goal. Speaking earlier this year regarding the launch of

Yahoo’s digital fashion channel Style It Light (in conjunction with Coca-Cola) James Wildman, the MD and VP of Sales for UK and Ireland at Yahoo said, “We firmly believe that branded content is the future of online advertising … this type of exclusive and innovative site is a great way for brands to reach, engage and interact with consumers. Exclusivity, reach and engagement are the key elements here. Branded content at its best is about understanding exactly who is going to consume it, how they are going to consume it and where they are going to consume it.


3 Branded content might come in the shape of long form audio such as a radio show. It might be short form audio such as podcasts. It might be a series of videocasts. It might be a blog. It might be an app. In most cases, it probably needs to consist of a multitude of these things. Ikea in their recent ‘Happy to Bed’ campaign have ticked all three boxes. The ‘Playfight’ advert was a simple 60 second piece of entertainment featuring a couple throwing pillows, socks etc., at each other. Naturally the play fight consisted of various domestic backdrops, decorated and perfectly lit to show off the products available in Ikea stores. Beyond this, ads are running on Channel 4 to remind people to go happy to bed; Ikea has sponsored the Absolute Radio evening show which will feature tailored content; they’ve developed an app that works like an alarm clock for bedtime; and they’ve invested in a journalistic blog about various factors to do with bedtime and sleep.

SMALLER NICHE BRANDS CAN USE CONTENT TO ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS Branded content also offers smaller and niche brands a cost effective way of engaging with its consumers. Blogs and podcasts, for example, aren’t expensive and are relatively easy to produce. By appealing to people’s passions brands can piggy-back off the back of consumers’ social media use. In the online world, individuals want to own their space. Facebook and Twitter allow people to post links and share content to their friends and followers. Endorsements between friends can offer a powerful free marketing tool. Compelling and engaging content offers unique opportunities for brands of all sizes, which have to be founded in clear strategies that understand the objectives of the brands, the attitudes of the consumer and the reach of the platforms. Sam Gregory, Director, Round 2 Creative Content Production

Welcome to the 20th edition of Brand News, published by us to stimulate debate and interest in brand marketing matters - we hope you find it an interesting read. If you’re new to Brand News, we’d better introduce ourselves. We’re S&® - aka Sellers & Rogers the brandvertising agency. We build brands through distinctive, creative advertising and marketing communications. We give a brand a voice that’s more distinctive, more engaging than that of its rivals - and help our client’s business prosper. Brands build business. And our business is building brands. That’s why we’re known as the brandvertising agency. S&® Services Offered: •

Communications Strategy

Research Management

Creative & Art Direction


Design & Artwork

Web design

Social Marketing

Print Buying

Media Planning

We also offer a free no-obligation review of your present marketing communications to anyone considering placing a project with S&®. If we can help you with any of the above, do call or email: Andy Sellers m: 07836 256465 e: Skype: andysellers



At the core of our new book is the thesis that people and brands now live lives which are intertwined with the ‘media flow’. To bring this idea to life, picture a dry landscape in the 19th century with infrequent watering holes where people could drink. Then imagine it evolving during the 20th century to become a wetter world with many more lakes and reservoirs where it was possible to take a drink a bit more easily. And now in the 21st century we are living life alongside and increasingly within a media flow which we can step in and out of with remarkable ease. Media have become all pervasive. In this world the task of planners is to create a matrix of media channels which puts their brand into the flow in such a way that it has the best possible chance of engaging customers.

The power of the new digital technologies that have created the media flow which now envelopes the life flow is prodigious. For example, whole nations have skipped fixed line telephony and leaped straight to mobile communications. This new environment provides customers and citizens with huge benefits in terms of news, information, entertainment and of course commercial communications, which introduce new products and services and help people make purchasing decisions. The media flow enables multiple ‘touch points’ at which customers can make contact with brands, and vice versa.

People, too, are in a more or less continuous state of flux within their life flow and they move from nonbuying to purchasing mode and back again very frequently. Indeed, leading consultancy Dunnhumby, who work for major blue chip clients including Tesco, Macy’s, P&G and Kroger, estimates that the average household makes about 150 purchases a week, with the main grocery shopper buying an average of 16 Me items daily! People are far more mobile now and ‘boug will travel further and more often, whether for work, socialising or entertainment, using media tools to c make the arrangements and sat-navs to get them there. The life flow is becoming inextricably linked to the media flow. For centuries media have touched people’s lives but only at certain times; however, nowadays their ubiquity, accessibility and utility have made them an integral part of people’s existence. Human beings can now step in and out of the media flow effortlessly and at remarkably low cost. And this media flow is ‘on all the time’, presenting advertisers and commercial communications with huge challenges and opportunities. There are seismic changes occurring in the world of media. ‘Old’ analogue media are being challenged by new digital media, and in the United States there are even worries about the survival of such venerable publications as The New York Times, as other leading cities lose their once-powerful print titles. Yet despite so many pundits declaring its death, TV viewing is on the rise in the majority of markets, including the UK and USA, both in its traditional form and also via new platforms for audio-visual content such as mobiles, PDAs, laptops, games consoles, digital posters and in-car navigators. Hardly a day goes by without news of some innovation – last year everybody was talking about Facebook, then about Twitter too, and now the buzz is around location-based and group-purchasing platforms such as foursquare and Groupon.

edia are now not only

ght’ and ‘owned’, they

can be ‘earned’ too.

5 These new communications channels are having fundamental effects on the way consumers are using and producing media—over half the UK population is now on Facebook—and these behaviour changes are in turn challenging the accepted ways of using media investment to build brands. Historically media owners were large corporations with specialist skills, particularly in the production of content. Now brand owners and individuals (in their millions) are becoming media owners in their own right and self-publishing through websites, blogs, and e-newsletters. Additionally, social networking has created a whole new communication infrastructure, giving customers access to a vast range of information and views from other like-minded consumers and adding e-power to word-of-mouth. This is presenting marketers and their agencies with a bewildering array of new opportunities: media are now not only ‘bought’ and ‘owned’, they can be ‘earned’ too. This means that the new art and science of media planning is all about the interweaving of these three media strands within the inter-mingled life and media flows that customers swim in today. In the pre-digital era the media planner’s skill was all about using a limited number of media to try to intercept customers at various points along their journey from not buying anything particular to purchasing something specific. This process was conceived as a ‘purchase funnel’ with the different categories of media coming into play at different points along it. Typically, display advertising is deployed when customers are not necessarily in the market, and uses its share of voice to make the brand’s presence felt. It can also use creativity of content to reward the reader, listener or viewer for their attention to a message which they’re not necessarily in the mood to receive. In a sense, display advertising sugars the pill of commercial information. Then, as the customer begins to research a purchase, informationladen media come into their own, and this includes classified, directory or search advertising which people seek out when they know they need or desire something and want to find out more about it. So the media stretch from the big thematic picture of a TV commercial, all the way down to the small print of the product packaging, with many points in between. But in the old world the cost of media was relatively high and brands could not afford to be present all the time. This limitation gave rise to copious volumes of analysis and theorising as to how best to square a brand’s circle of need – ideally, a brand would be with actual or potential customers all the time, and present at all points in the purchase funnel, but could never have the funds required to achieve this ideal. However, the new world of the digital media flow is changing all this. Already, individuals can be targeted with ‘addressable media’, which uses interest-based

advertising that relates closely to their needs or desires as indicated by their online behaviour. So a person looking at a review of a new camera can be presented with a display advertisement of the very same model, and that ad can switch immediately into an information-laden one at the click of a mouse. Technology is allowing the brand to be in the same media flow as its potential customers at an increasingly affordable cost, with ever greater accountability, and thus cost efficiency.

Reproduced by permission of Diageo

In the media flow the boundaries between the various media channels are becoming ever more blurred—if you are watching a short film commercial projected onto wall of a station, are you a user of the outdoor, cinema, TV or digital medium? The retort is, of course, “who cares?” as long as the advertising is effective. Even so, it is still very important to understand and appreciate how the individual media operate in order to produce the best mix that will create the optimum communications flow for a brand. Thus, we have invited contributions from leading practitioners as to the merits of the medium they’re expert in. These ‘elevator pitches’ are designed to summarise the characteristics and benefits of each of the main media and help enable practitioners to come to their own view as to how each one might fit into their brand’s media mix. Overall, we hope this book will be useful to those who either work, or want to work in media, whether within a client company or a specialist agency, but it may also appeal to people who have a general interest in advertising and marketing communications. And, of course, to anyone who lives their lives increasingly immersed in the media flow. Taken from the Introduction to ‘Spending Advertising Money in the Digital Age – How to Navigate the Media Flow’ by Hamish Pringle and Jim Marshall. To be published by Kogan Page, January 2012.



Apps take ‘mobile market research’ to a new level Market research at events doesn’t need to be complicated - here’s how you can achieve great results without breaking the bank … Live event specialist companies like ourselves are continually exploring new ways to deliver return on investment for our clients to keep them coming back for more. The latest addition to the arsenal of ammunition we think every successful marketing team should have is undoubtedly an iPad with a custom App. The iPad opens new doors to us in the world of live events, not only because of the relentless love everyone has just for playing with its glossy interface, but also because it brings the customisable App directly into the events arena, all guns blazing. Never before has such a tailored system been available to marketers who, with a little bit of help defining objectives for their next show or campaign, can really pull a rabbit out of the hat in front of their competitors, especially when they arrive with their preloaded iPads and start flashing their special offers, quizzes and photo galleries under the noses of keen delegates. Better still, App platform flexibility now allows us to achieve over and above what was possible in previous years. Custom platforms developed for exhibitions and events enables short development timescales, meaning you don’t need to think it’s too close to the event to start, or that development of these things takes weeks. To put that in perspective we were recently approached by a major brand who hadn’t considered using Apps at events until a few days before their roadshows were due to kick off. Due to the versatility of both the hardware and the App itself we just took a brief, worked up the App and simply went onsite

and added it to their exhibition solution with some sleek looking brackets. Development time on that App was less than 48 hours but results went through the roof with 100% increase in customer feedback - so remember it’s never too late to embrace its power. Another nice touch is that suddenly internet connectivity is not an issue – so no more outrageous Wi-Fi charges, or events lacking in technology because they are being held in a field – these Apps will run just as well on or offline, problem solved. Tie all of this in with a ‘win one of these’ graphic on your home screen and you’ll have delegates handing over precious marketing data and interacting with your brand faster than you can throw out your antiquated PC and wireless keyboard. With the iPad’s sub £330 trade price too, it’s a cost effective promotion guaranteed to please. Once you’re done with the event a nice benefit for busy teams is that you can do away with time consuming and costly data entry from paper based research - just download a spreadsheet from iTunes containing all your clean and directly entered data - it couldn’t be simpler. Over the years we’ve experimented with a wide variety of alternative methods of managing live market research, but this is the first time we have found one that demands writing about! David Lister, Director, Spinning Clock Ltd.





reasons why clients should only employ an agency

Reproduced by kind permission of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising 1. Market leaders

IPA agencies are proven leaders in their fields of expertise and are responsible for over 85% of all UK advertising spend.

2. ISBA recommended ISBA, the voice of British advertisers, recommends IPA agencies and a significant proportion of the Government's agencies are also in IPA membership.

3. Professional competence IPA agencies must demonstrate high levels of professional competence in the eyes of their peers, clients and suppliers in order to be elected into membership.

4. Professional development IPA agencies are committed to the development of outstanding staff talent through examined qualifications, craft skills training courses and the Continuous Professional Development standard.

5. Financial stability To become a member of the IPA, agencies must demonstrate financial stability and be clear of any insolvencies or other voluntary financial arrangements.

6. Standards It is mandatory for IPA agencies to uphold the industry’s legal, regulatory and ethical standards, including the IPA Rule Book and the EACA Code of Ethics.

7. Best practice The IPA champions best practice guidelines on topics such as Finding an Agency, Briefing an Agency, Evaluation, Agency Remuneration, Judging Creative Ideas and Communication Strategy.

8. Proving effectiveness IPA agencies and their clients continue to outshine the competition at the annual IPA Effectiveness Awards, the world's most rigorous effectiveness competition, where entrants have to demonstrate the payback on marketing investment.

9. Legal checks IPA agencies can rely on receiving expert legal advice to ensure their work is legally and regulatory compliant, as well as guidance on client and supplier contracts.

10. Information and intelligence IPA agencies have access to news, data, statistics and research, as well as over 1,400 IPA Effectiveness Awards case studies, all of which can be deployed for the benefit of their clients.


Definitions you weren’t sure of, but didn’t like to ask Television advertising terms …


Audience Profile The percentage of a main audience category by sub-group - e.g., if a programme achieves an Adult AB profile of 30%, then 30% of adult viewers were AB social grade, and the other 70% were C1, C2 or DE Adults. The profile can be indexed against the relevant population profile.

This is our 20th Brand News! Over 20 editions of Brand News S&® has frontedup with a range of brand-related subjects, from Celebrity Brands to the F-Word, from the E-spot to Stealth Marketing, and much more inbetween. And if you missed any, all back issues are available for free download from

CPT - Cost per Thousand The cost of one thousand commercial impacts against a specified target audience. CPT is referred to when purchasing and measuring the efficiency of ad campaigns. Frequency The average number of times a commercial is seen by those within the target audience who see it at all. Frequency is often referred to as average OTS. GRP - Gross Rating Point A measure of the overall weight of an advertising campaign. One rating point is numerically equivalent to one per cent of the target audience. Impacts One impact is one member of the target audience viewing one commercial. Impacts are added together to give the total impacts delivered by a particular spot or the gross total achieved by an ad campaign. 10 impacts could be achieved by ten people viewing a single commercial, by one person seeing the commercial ten times, or by five people seeing the commercial twice. OTS - Opportunity to See Total OTS of a television ad campaign is the total number of impacts delivered by that campaign. Average OTS is often referred to as frequency. Reach The net percentage of the target audience to have at least one opportunity to see the campaign. Reach is often used in conjunction with frequency to produce an overall measure of campaign exposure. Spot One individual appearance of a commercial. TVR The measure of the exposure of an ad by comparing its audience to its population. One TVR is numerically equivalent to one per cent of the target audience - e.g., an ad achieving a Housewives TVR of 30 in Central means that, on average, 30% of all housewives in the Central region watched it. The overall weight of a TV ad campaign is often assessed by adding the TVRs of its individual spots to produce a Gross Rating Point total. Universe The total population of a particular audience category, or target group, based on television homes.

Sellers & Rogers Ltd t: 0115 969 6480 e: Nottingham: Century House, 15-17 Musters Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7PP London: 18 Soho Square, London W1D 3QL

Designed, produced and published by Sellers & Rogers Ltd. © 2011

Brand News 20  

We publish Brand News so we and guest contributors from across the industry can make known our views - also for us to show off our understan...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you