"We targeted images of women, not just celebrity women but women
with beautiful skin, women in fashionable environments," said
Michelle Ryan, VP of marketing for Garnier Skin Care.
The thought here is that when women see an image of a woman with
great skin, they are in the mindset to learn more about products.
"Skin care in particular is a category where women seek out content
before they go to a store and buy," she said.
But image targeting is harder than it looks and in the case of
the Garnier campaign, technology could only take it so far.
Luminate used a mix of technology and human hands that gives a
sense of how tough it is to do at scale.
"Humans will be part of the process for years to come but with
each passing month the percentage of work that must be done by
humans will be reduced as image-recognition software and metadata
analysis improve," said Chief Revenue Officer Chas Edwards.
Luminate indexes images from 7,000 publishers, including Yahoo
and CBS. Initially, the technology throws out images where it
detects porn, violence or hate speech. Then, it looks for women
where the face takes up a big percentage of the page.
That's where the robots and algorithms stop and people come in.
The next step -- finding women with beautiful skin -- is left up to
Luminate's team of freelance screeners, which narrowed down 20
million images of women found by the software, 230,000 were
considered "good look-a-likes" for the campaign.
"The software is not very good at telling you if they have
beautiful skin; we use humans to validate that ," Mr. Edwards
Garnier then attached ads that appear when a reader mouses over the
image. Garnier and other beauty advertisers are big buyers of print
and TV, but more and more, L'Oreal is investing in content that it
can provide to women during the research process, which is what
this campaign is about.
This is a little different than Luminate's first business model,
which was identifying products in images for brands and retailers
like Macy's , Gap and
Norstrom that are similar to once they're selling. Now they're
looking for images that fit a profile and might have little or
nothing to do with the brand, but allows the brand to attach its
message to a desirable image.
"For McDonald's we
located images that express the 'look of winning;' for M&Ms. it
was 'signs of affection,'" he said.