Plan UK is running a two-week interactive advert campaign on a bus shelter that presents a different message depending on whether a woman or a man is viewing it.
The Clear Channel screen on a bus stop in London's Oxford Street, opposite Selfridges, uses facial recognition software with a HD camera to determine whether it is a man or woman standing in front of the screen. Passers by can opt-in to view the ad and find out more about Plan’s work. Men and boys are denied the choice to view the full content "in order to highlight the fact that women and girls across the world are denied choices and opportunities on a daily basis due to poverty and discrimination."
Women and girls viewing the advert on the other hand will see a 40-second 'Choices for Girls' advert featuring three 13 year old girls, Jasmine from the UK, Bintou (Mali) and Sur (Thailand).
Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to support four million girls in developing countries to have more choices about what they do with their life.
The campaign has been developed by the Create team at Clear Channel, 3D Exposure and CURB Media. They say that this is "a first in interactive advertising" in that "amalgamating facial recognition, touch screen and sound and has never been used as part of a UK advertising campaign before."
How does the advert distinguish between men and women?
The HD camera is used to measure the distance between the viewer's eyes, width of the nose, length of jaw line and shape of cheekbone to compare the data and estimate their sex. The software gets it right in about 90% of cases.
Plan UK's CEO Marie Staunton said: "Although we’re not giving men and boys the choice to see the full add ad on this occasion – so we get a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away – boys and men play a vital role in helping girls to be all they can be. Men and boys are also invited to join ‘the Plan’ to give girls choices. We look forward to hearing the public’s thoughts at #choicesforgirls.”