Will the banning of alcohol advertising spell doom for fashionable Franschhoek brands that rely on marketing rather than contents in the bottle to shift product? Is this the real reason SA marketing moguls are trying to monopolize SA food and wine writing through purchase of the two leading guides and a fatwa on freelancers who do not toe their crooked line? Well help for the marketing manipulators may be on hand from an unlikely source: Tesco, the UK supermarket chain that is rejuvenating Pick ‘n Pay at the minute.
The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that “Tesco is installing hundreds of hi-tech screens that scan the faces of shoppers as they queue.” The idea is to select appropriate electronic ads for people as they wait.
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is installing hundreds of hi-tech screens that scan the faces of shoppers as they queue at the till to detect their age and sex for advertisers. The store giant has signed a ground-breaking deal with Lord Alan Sugar’s Amscreen in a move which last night sparked fresh concerns from privacy campaigners about the growing use of “invasive” technology in the nation’s shops. The “OptimEyes” system will be rolled out into 450 Tesco petrol forecourts, which serve millions of customers a week. It works by using inbuilt cameras in a TV-style screen above the till that identify whether a customer is male or female, estimate their age and judge how long they look at the ad. The “real time” data is fed back to advertisers to give them a better idea of the effectiveness of their campaigns and enable them to tailor ads to certain times of the day.
In SA, race too could be detected so a decision on whether to suggest 3 Ships or Van Ryn could be made on the fly. Pregnant mothers could be directed to Appletizer and the under age to sugar-free cool drinks. Lasagne and the remarkable reds from Eagle’s Nest could be offered to moustachioed women while bow ties could be offered bargain Bordeaux. Odd socks could flash up a “welcome Dave Hughes” greeting while bad teeth should send the shopper off to the Sherry section.
Surely technology could make the government think again and keep Biggie Smalls in Ferraris for a while yet. Heck, he could even peddle OptimEyes from the boot of his Ferrari.