Minority Report comes to posters

Innovation in marketing is often driven by the cutting edge of what’s technologically possible – many brands and reputations have been built off the back of being first to embrace a new platform and disrupt a marketplace using it. Here’s one that’s straight out of Minority Report, ripe for the right brand to implement a playful and insightful idea.

Japanese billboard manufacturer Comel, backed by Yahoo Japan, have produced some electronic signage that photographs passersby, analyses it using NEC’s facial analysis technology, and guesstimates a viewers age and gender.

This allows tailoring of both brand message and tone of voice – a great creative opportunity for many categories – you sell insurance to people in their 30s very differently to those in their 60s, and products for reducing wrinkles are usually of little interest to 20somethings.

The actual face image is then erased, saving only a record of the passerby’s age and sex. It’s a little big brother, but no more than cookies in web browsers, I think.

There’s a piece in The Sun about it here (with a quote from yours truly).