Tesco is installing face-recognition software in its forecourt shops which automatically chooses advertising based on customers’ age and gender – as well as the time of day – and then targets them in realtime.
The launch of the OptimEyes system is part of the new five-year deal with Amscreen – the company owned by Alan Sugar – signed last week. It comes four years after Tesco’s own instore TV advertising network – Tesco TV – was axed; it had been running since 2004.
The new system tracks which customers are typically in the queue in 450 petrol stations at certain times, and runs ads based on the data. Dunnhumby will link customer insights into Amscreen’s network to help develop the network’s customer engagement.
The digital network will also provide ad-funded branded content around news, weather and sports, as well as display advertising opportunities.
Amscreen chief executive Simon Sugar hopes the deal will provide a springboard for major growth within the UK retail market. He said: “Yes, it’s like something out of Minority Report but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible. The OptimEyes does not store images or recognise people, but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets.”
The retailer believes OptimEyes will reach a weekly audience of 5 million adults, with ads running for up to 10 seconds on a 100-second loop.
Tesco category director for petrol stations Peter Cattell said: “We’re always looking to work with partners who provide innovative ways to enhance the customer shopping experience. This new dynamic screen product from Amscreen provides the perfect means for us to do this. The ability to tailor content based on time and location means it can be extremely useful and timely for our customers.”
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