In Central London, ad agency M&C Saatchi has created the world’s first artificially intelligent poster campaign, inspired by Darwinian natural selection and an extensive real-time focus group. The responsive poster advertises a fictional coffee brand called Bahio, using ever-changing creative components that evolve according to audience reaction.
M&C Saatchi’s month-long experiment is powered by a genetic algorithm which analyzes the strength of various elements — including over 1000 images as well as fonts, layouts and copy — via a camera embedded in the poster. The system monitors the facial responses of passersby and their length of engagement, and like natural selection, ineffective components are scrapped while strong elements are reused in different combinations, until finally the ‘best’ advert is produced out of the most effective ‘genes’.
The Bahio campaign is the latest example of dynamic advertising, which uses outside elements to determine content. Other such campaigns include a contagious billboard in Brazil, which is a live action advert that yawns at passersby to make them crave coffee, and a french campaign whose billboards adapt according to current weather conditions.
What other creative elements could be automated to optimize audience response?