In-Store Ads at Tesco Surveys Customers to Make Ads Relevant

Association of Business Training
November 7, 2013 — 1,013 views  

The British retail company Tesco has now developed a cutting-edge offline advertising strategy where they watch customers through cameras before presenting relevant ads. For example, if you find yourself at a gas station owned by Tesco, you will probably see an advertisement for a coffee or a soda as you reach the cash counter.

This innovative advertising strategy uses the consumer profiling that they do through surveillance cameras to determine the preferences and need states of customers at such stations. This means that if you are an adolescent, you will most likely see an advertisement offering you a soft drink or a cola, whereas older people will view advertisements for coffee or tea.

Innovation in Marketing

The company also uses the cameras installed in their various gas bunks to determine the time of the day and relevance of the product they are advertising. For example, it is unlikely that anyone would want a hot cup of coffee on a summer noon, so the ad will show something more apt for the situation.

Critics however say that the retail giant has gone too far and invaded the privacy of its customers simply to ascertain data to help them market products. The company’s executives fight off their critics by maintaining that none of the surveillance taken is recorded. Also, the company refrains from using facial recognition software which could anger customers because of the invasion of privacy.

Other Companies to have Incorporated Such Advertising

Tesco is not the only company, nor the first, to develop such marketing strategy. An Italy-based clothing company was the first to electronically track people who would shop at their store. Almax used mannequins which were equipped with scanners so that they could determine the preferences of their consumers based on physical characteristics.

Slightly different from bionic mannequins, the Venetian casino and resort has also used video monitoring devices to profile passers-by and suggest different restaurants and places for entertainment to them. There are many people who argue against such marketing techniques because of the uncertainty it causes among the general public and the fear of being continuously monitored and watched.

However, the strategy has been in use for a while now and has brought extra sales to a number of such organizations. Tesco’s business strategy seems to be working to their advantage. They have installed such devices in all their 450 gas pumps across the U.K.

Association of Business Training