Each term we do a Digital Marketing convention for all our students which is an opportunity for tutors to research and present an emerging topics within Digital Marketing. This term I looked into Facial Recognition Advertising. 

Personalised advertising is nothing new, we are being followed around the internet by cookies and pixels. Read my previous blog about Facebook Pixel and Re=marketing.In order to re-market people we need to collect data, these can be in the form of geographical data, device usage or more personalised data such a age, gender and Facebook keywords.

But the data which we are now collecting is biometric data such as heart rate, finger prints, iris prints, eye movement and faces. 

It was TVNZ’s Seven Sharp who did an amusing introduction to facial recognition, drawing my attention to a local (Auckland) example of the marketing change. Click the image to watch:

Case Studies

Facial recognition is already here in the form of security cameras, iPhone X and passport control. Examples include a Japanese security camera which claims to read the emotions of a potential shoplifter identifying them before they steal! Click here to read more. Also FKC in China is experimenting with face recognition to predict you order based on age, facial features and gender. Click here to read more. 


It is worth questioning the ethics of this, just think what health insurance companies could do if they got your heart rate or sleep patterns data from your Fitbit. We are innocently using services such a Ancestry DNA and sending our DNA swabs and allowing them to be stored on databases, which could solve crimes around the world using our DNA but not just for us but for family members! Nothing is private and our laws need to be updated to match this.


The Future – Emotion Detection Advertising

For Marketing the future of facial recognition advertising is emotion detection advertising. The ability for the advert to adjust to you based on your mood e.g. if you look tired it’ll suggest a coffee, if you look cold it will tell you were to buy a jacket, if you look hungry it suggests food.