Best of 2015 Print/OOH/Design #10: These Billboards 'Evolve' According to How Much You Like Them

M&C Saatchi Experiments With Artificial Intelligence in Outdoor

Published On
Jul 23, 2015

Editor's Pick

Until New Year's we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive (IX)/Integrated/Social as our picks of the day.

At #10 in print/OOH/design, M&C Saatchi London coupled artificial intelligence with outdoor to illustrate how technology could enable advertising of the future to truly become customized to each consumer who encounters it.

U.K. agency M&C Saatchi is experimenting with artificial intelligence in a billboard campaign for a fake coffee brand that it says takes a "Darwinian approach to advertising."

The outdoor ads for the fictional Bahia Coffee will "evolve" according to how users interact with them, using facial recognition to gauge whether people look happy, sad or neutral. The ads will use a "genetic algorithm" to determine which "genes" in the ads --- including elements like copy, layout, fonts and image -- are successful. Elements that fail to trigger an engagement will be "killed off" whereas those that do will be reproduced in future executions. See a behind-the-scenes video here.

In a statement, M&C Saatchi calls this "a Darwinian approach to advertising whereby only the strongest creative executions survive."

David Cox, chief innovation officer at M&C Saatchi, said, "It's the first time a poster has been let loose to entirely write itself, based on what works, rather than just what a person thinks may work. We are not suggesting a diminished role for creative but we know technology will be playing a greater part in what we do."

The campaign, running on bus shelters in London's Oxford Street and Clapham Common, was done in partnership with Posterscope and Clear Channel UK.


Jul 23, 2015
Agency :
M&C Saatchi

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type