Snap Pictures of Women on the Street, Sell Beer
A camera flash goes off in a woman's face. She smiles, laughs and watches a beer ad on the bus stop billboard she had been passing. Men and underage girls are told to keep walking by the man in the digital billboard on the bus stop in Germany. It's Astra Bierre's ad targeting women via facial recognition in order to acquire new drinkers.
"Astra, one of Germany's best-known beer brands," says a man explaining the campaign in a video on The Drum, "has the same problem as every other beer. Women don't particularly like it. We wanted to change that. So we took Astra's primary advertising medium, the illuminated billboard, and reinvented it digitally and developed the first one of its kind in the world to speak only to women."
So Germany, known for its beer, has fewer female ale fans than Astra would like. To acquire customers, the beer brand created 70 commercials for different situations, all meant to target women and to discourage men and children from watching. "There's nothing here for men," one of the 70 ads tells a human the facial recognition technology decided was male. "Beer's for 16-and-overs" says "The Girl Detection Billboard" to two teen-age … girls. (The drinking age in the area where Astra housed the billboard — outside "Zum Silbersack" pub, a dive bar in Hamburg — is 16 and older.)
Conversions were easy as, coincidentally, Silbersack sells Astra for what a Yelp reviewer says is a "very, very cheap" 1.80 Euros.
Perhaps Astra's moved on from the customer retention years — in 2008, BBC News reported "German Beer Sales at 15-year Low" of 10.4 billion liters sold in 2007, down 2.7 percent from 2006. Germans were increasing soft drink intake and diluting their beer with juice, reports the BBC.