Japan’s first “Artificially Intelligent OOH Advertising” – digital signage that merges AI with real time data. This service uses sensors to detect passers-by. It visualises data such as traffic volume and audience attributes. It can also measure the number of people who see the ads and their gender. It can even change the content of ads using gaze detection. When I first took responsibility for OOH, the biggest challenge I faced was how to collect data. In the past, because we placed OOH ads where everyone would pass them, we just assumed that people were looking at them but since we couldn’t visualize the data it was difficult to produce proposals or get them approved. Now that we can capture data using gaze detection we can produce more specific proposals, suggest which KPIs to track, and measure the results. Through our collaboration with Shiseido Japan we are able to customize ads based on what the passerby actually looks at. If your gaze rests on a certain lipstick for three seconds, the system will display products or coupons related to that lipstick. I believe this has solved the problem of knowing who the viewers really are. We now know who is looking at the ads, how many people are looking, we know what demographic they are and we can determine whether spending on OOH is appropriate relative to overall advertising spending. And we can do this because we have actual data to refer to. What has made this service possible is the combination of Dentsu’s knowledge of the advertising business, and the Cognitive Services of Microsoft Azure AI – a cloud platform compatible with AI, PaaS and open source software such as Linux and Node.js. Through this experiment with data visualisation we could capture real time data on the age and other characteristics of passersby. Eventually, by accumulating this kind of data over time I think we will gradually be able to create a set of general guidelines or standards for OOH. And since we are a generalist advertising agency we won’t just be designing OOH on its own. We’ll be designing it as part of an overall plan which includes TV, radio, newspapers, digital and other channels beyond OOH. If we keep on going in this way, I believe we can get there. Until now, designers of OOH had to speculate who would be passing each location but in the future, as we gather more and more relevant data we will be able to communicate messages targeted to each passerby. I believe that eventually we will be able to create communications that perfectly match the interests of each and every passerby. Going forward, Dentsu and Microsoft Japan will continue to provide innovative OOH services to meet our clients’ needs.