Next time you're in London and you see an ad at a bush shelter for Bahio coffee and think "Ah this ad sucks," don't worry about it. It will probably change tomorrow.M&C Saatchi has created the first ever artificially intelligent poster campaign in the world, which evolves the ads depending on your reaction to it.
The technology works by using a genetic algorithm that tests different executions based on the strength of their various features or ‘genes’, such as copy, layout, font and image. By installing a camera on the posters, M&C Saatchi measures engagement in real-time, based on whether people look happy, sad or neutral.
If the ads don't trigger engagement, they'll swap them out. Those that do trigger engagement will be reproduced. It's basically a real-time focus group with Orwellian overtones. But just to keep it interesting, a few of these ads will just randomly "mutate," over time, just to see if the improvement can become automated, too.
All that for a cup of coffee.
David Cox, Chief Innovation Officer at M&C Saatchi, said: “This innovation is breaking new ground in the industry because it’s the first time a poster has been let loose to entirely write itself, based on what works, rather than just what a person thinks may work. We are not suggesting a diminished role for creative but we know technology will be playing a greater part in what we do.”
No diminished role for creatives, eh? Tell that to the shareholders. And the client, for that matter. "You mean we can fire the creative department and just automate this stuff? Then you can start charging you less!"
The artificially intelligent ads will run at bus shelters on Oxford Street and Clapham Common starting until July 24th And then again from August 10th – 21st. So you know which times to tell your friends to stay the hell away from them.