Digital Ads Match Online Models’ Hair Color

Digital Ads Match Online Models’ Hair Color

New ad platforms can infer your age, location, hair color and more.

Rachel Pincus
  • 9 june 2014

In an information age where many people have realized Google is a treasure trove for beauty tips, ad platforms have now caught up with users, including one company in particular called GumGum, which has been around since 2008. If you’re curious how hair-color ads seem to match the hair color of the model or celebrity in photos across the internet with seemingly no editorial intervention, that’s GumGum at work. The inventively targeted ads are appearing across more than 1,000 news and entertainment websites, including Tribune Co. news websites, the New York Times, and TMZ.

The process works entirely in real time and collects no browsing data from users, only from images on the page – a relief to those of us who have been pursued around the web by the vestiges of our online shopping history. The real-time aspect means that the advertising can change focus to hair or makeup or outfits according to the interests of the newest advertiser. Thus images, instead of just serving as page-filler or clickbait, are finally coming to be appreciated by advertisers for some of the same intuitively appealing characteristics that keep readers poring over red-carpet imagery.

This approach fits in with the trend toward hyper-targeted advertising that has pervaded online media in the past few years. Instead of relying on input that customers are, perhaps, becoming more skeptical about, GumGum instead takes interest in a certain image as a potentially useful bit of data. The approach is good for business in that it grabs people who aren’t necessarily shopaholics. And it’s good for any and all ad-supported online media; platforms can hope to charge more for their services with innovative methods of targeting like this and therefore better monetize digital advertising and the websites that rely on it, such as news websites.


It’s interesting to note that the Ombre product itself was also produced through some unorthodox digital research. When the brand research and innovation team at L’Oreal noticed a lot of celebrities using highlights that started at the jawline. A Google research and social listening project mostly focused on YouTube then helped the company refine the product, Malena Higuera, senior VP-marketing for L’Oreal Paris, told AdAge. This is a new age of advertising indeed – one that marries information with customers’ desires.


[h/t] AdAge, BusinessWeek


Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

Arts & Culture
Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Travel Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Conner Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Related Expert

Adam Saewitz

Film Maker, Videographer

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Arts & Culture Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 12, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

The Simpsons Is Stepping Into The World Of VR

To celebrate their 600th episode, the animated family sitcom created a virtual reality version of their opening gag

Syndicated Yesterday

Museum Exhibit Celebrates Strange Architectural Contraptions

Artist William Heath Robinson's peculiar genius is on display in this recent show with wiggling ducts, jumbles of planks and coils of cable

Food Yesterday

This Sensor Will Help You Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

42Tea is a small device that guides you through every step of the brewing process, even identifying the type of leaves being used

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Norwegian Mountaineering Center Mimics A Snow-Capped Mountain

The structure's exterior is clad in a uniform surface of pixels to create a unique climbing experience

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Shopping Bag Turns Your Hands Into A LEGO

Designers from the School of Visual Arts thought up the Playbox Bag for a competition

Sustainability Yesterday

Giant Coffee Cups Encourage People To Recycle Their Morning Cup Of Joe

The Hubbub Foundation has created a set of themed bins meant to inspire recycling on a large scale

Home Yesterday

Small Device Creates A Personal Weather Station Inside In Your Home

Netatmo's new sensor is a standalone air quality monitor that can measure humidity, purity, noise and temperature

No search results found.