We’re watching you: Mondelez ‘smart shelves’ detect facial features for targeted ads

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelez hopes to encourage impulse purchasing with personalized video ads at checkouts
Mondelez hopes to encourage impulse purchasing with personalized video ads at checkouts

Related tags: Twitter

Oreo maker Mondelez International will introduce video display units near checkouts that estimate a person’s age and gender to deliver targeted advertising.

The idea is to encourage impulse purchases, but has been branded by the Washington Post as “creepy” and similar to the levels of surveillance for personalized advertising in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report.

Mondelez: It’s completely anonymous

A Mondelez spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: “Smart Shelf is about better understanding shopper behavior at the point of sale. Privacy is of utmost importance​, so Smart Shelf is completely anonymous.

The technology compares a person’s facial features to proprietary algorithms to determine gender and approximate age.

“People’s images are not saved. We only track gestures to pick up products or what products have actually been picked up.”

The spokesperson added that the smart displays only targeted adults.

Twitter reaction

What do you make of the technology? Is it one step closer to Big Brother state or marketing genius? Is there a danger that targeted in store advertising based on sex and age could appear sexist and ageist?

Here’s some of the reaction on Twitter:

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