Pernod Ricard using facial recognition to reach airport travellers

Pernod Ricard is tapping into its history with Andy Warhol through a digitally focused travel retail campaign in an attempt to drive volume of its special edition bottle.

The digital screen, which has been set up in-store globally in airports including London Heathrow, Copenhagen, Singapore, Thailand and Dubai, detects the faces of passersby and displays their reflections as Warhol-style “selfies”. The pop-art images can then be shared via email and social media.

The campaign, which commemorates the iconic 1986 Warhol painting of the Absolut bottle, is looking to target millennials aged 25 to 34 who recognise this type of technology and are willing to accept innovation in the digital arena.

Libby Wilding, brand manager for Absolut travel retail Europe, told Marketing Week, “With the prominence of smartphones, consumers are more open-minded towards touch-screen technology.”

She added that the airport environment is already very tech-saavy with facial and passport scanning at security checkpoints.

Wilding says the move is an effort to disrupt the flow of traffic in the airport, claiming the brand hopes to target the “two golden hours” travellers spend waiting for a flight.

While the goal of the campaign is to drive volume of the Andy Warhol Edition bottle, Wilding also says it’s about prolonging the communication with the consumer outside of the store environment by providing them with a souvenir.

Shoppers also have the opportunity to enter contests and through downloading the image are sent custom cocktail recipes.

While this is the first time Absolut have used facial recognition in a campaign, the team say they have much to learn from brands such as L’Oréal who have used the technology through mobile to personalise shades of makeup to consumer’s skin tones.