New Plan UK facial recognition charity poster cuts out men

That’ll learn ’em (us).

Plan UK is a charity promoting the education of girls in impoverished countries and it’s the first UK client to use new ‘facial recognition’ posters that can tell if you’re a man or a woman (or a bear, possibly) and tailor the poster accordingly.

So women who look at its poster on London’s Oxford Street will see a 40-second video about Plan UK’s activities while men will just see a message directing them to the website. The charity says this is to show men what it’s like to be excluded. Actually they’ll probably just think it’s a boring poster.

The campaign is costing Plan UK £30,000 but it reckons it’ll get much more than that in ‘free’ publicity for its ‘Because I am a girl’ campaign. The posters use similar facial recognition technology to that used in Microsoft’s Kinect XBox 360 gadget.

So is this the start of a brave new world for ‘digital out of home?’ Well it might be but excluding people is a funny way of going about it. What happens if a mixed sex couple look at the poster at the same time?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.