Petrol station ads measure customers’ info in real time

Val Morgan’s DART 2.0 system uses machine learning to measure customer demographics at service stations. Image: Supplied

Val Morgan’s latest offering in consumer measurement, launched late last year, is now operating in numerous service stations around Australia and New Zealand.

The DART 2.0 system (standing for Digital outdoor Audience in Real Time) is capable of tracking people who view Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) screens and measuring demographic features such as age and gender, as well as when the audience viewed and how many people viewed across the advertising campaign period.

Val Morgan said that around 2 million Australians were tracked by the system in real time, offering the “prized” metric of viewer engagement in a quantifiable and meaningful form to agencies and marketers.

VMO managing director Anthony Deeble said the company was incredibly proud of how it had advanced the DART system.

“Using DART 2.0 to deliver content dynamically to the right audience at the right time is a giant leap in effectively targeting audiences in out of home environments,” he said.

“The benefit to the advertiser is simple; less wastage.”

With 8,500 screens operating across VMO’s trans-Tasman network, that figure is expected to rise to over 10,000 in 2017, a move which VMO believes will see their ad campaigns reach more than half of the Australian population.

“Our ultimate objective is to give brands more meaningful insights and greater accountability on audience. VMO is proud to lead when it comes to innovation in audience engagement and technology that delivers results for clients,” Mr Deeble said.

The DART software uses facial recognition principles, as well as “machine learning” to identify features like glasses, beards and moustaches, or even to report the consumer’s mood: In principle, the system teaches itself.

Dart was originally launched in 2014, and was the first system to use Audience Measurement Device for real-time reporting.

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