IBM Watson Will Now Answer Your Questions About Ads
The Weather Company, an IBM business since January of this year, has rolled out interactive ads that allow people receive relevant information
“What can I make for dinner tonight?” Normally you ask this question while staring into your cupboard or refrigerator, but soon there could be artificial intelligence standing by to give you suggestions. And not just any AI, but the famed IBM Watson, which will soon be part of the advertising strategies of such companies as Campbell Soup Company, Unilever, and GSK Consumer Healthcare. The Weather Company, an IBM business since January of this year, has rolled out Watson Ads, through which consumers will be able to ask questions about the brands and products they see on their computers, and receive answers compiled by Watson.
For example, if you see a Campbell’s ad and ask what to make for dinner, Watson can make recommendations based on location, time of day, weather (The Weather Company includes the Weather Channel, after all), and even what ingredients you have in your kitchen already. It’s called ‘cognitive advertising,’ and Watson Ads will be accessible through both voice and text interaction. “We are excited that consumers will be able to engage directly with Chef Watson for meal ideas,” said Marci Raible, director of global media and marketing services at Campbell Soup Company.
While advertisers hope to provide more engaging, informative and relevant content to each consumer with Watson Ads, there is of course another side to the coin. Even as consumers learn about the products and brands, Watson Ads gathers data about the consumers themselves, which advertisers can use to better target their marketing efforts. “We’ve embraced big data and leveraged it to improve every aspect of our business, from forecast accuracy to ad targeting. Now we’ve set our sights on cognition. We believe human interaction is the new ‘search,’ and that cognitive advertising is the next frontier in marketing,” said Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales with The Weather Company.
In addition to Watson Ads, The Weather Company is creating the Watson Ads Council, in which the company and associated marketers will search for new ways to innovate and apply cognitive advertising.