Coca-Cola Is Using Facial Recognition Technology On Fridges In Australia To Sell More Drinks

The new digital fridges are already having a positive impact on beverage sales. Image: Supplied.

Coke is trialling biometrics and facial recognition technology to increase its drink sales in Australia.

Teaming up with creative agency TKM9, Coca-Cola Amatil is trialling 50 interactive fridges across Australia which can serve ad campaigns, collect sales data and detect customer interaction via a clear LED digital screen on the front door and a camera.

CCA said the digital coolers are expensive but they’re already boosting beverage sales by about 12 per cent compared to CCA’s drinks in standard fridges.

The fancy fridges are a marketer’s dream because they’re capable of collecting a huge amount of data so the company can continually refine its campaigns to improve customer interaction, brand loyalty and of course sell more beverages.

“Interacting with the coolers using touch, gestures, augmented reality and their own mobile phones, customers are provided with content and experiences that have already been shown to boost sales and brand loyalty,” TKM9 CEO Mark Hodgens said.

The fridges incorporate a cloud analytics platform so factors like geo-location, facial recognition technology, social media input and weather can all be taken into account when displaying ads and content to the customer gazing into the fridge. This means the fridges are capable of crunching data to offer up content or ads that are personalised to an individual in real time. Spooky.

It feels like something you would see in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi movie Minority Report, where the inhabitants of the city have personalised advertising targeted at them on public transport systems thanks to retinal scanning devices.

While using data to target content and ads at individuals isn’t a new idea – it happens on Facebook and around the web everyday – bringing it offline and into your everyday corner shop is still in its infancy.

CCA Frozen Beverages Strategy Manager, Stuart Port said the company now had the ability to deliver personalised, targeted content to its customers and can fine tune campaigns as they go.

“We didn’t want just a locked-down white box,” Port said.

“We wanted an interactive interface from the consumer’s perspective. It’s not just about delivering digital content, it’s about doing it in a more targeted and relevant way.”

The company is also looking at deploying geo-location software on mobile phones to map out the routes customers take through a store or shopping centre before they arrive at the fridges.

Hodges said this information can then be used “to create heat maps that optimise cooler placement and the display of other store products”.

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