The Weather Company, which was acquired by IBM last year, is tapping the cognitive computing power of IBM’s Watson for a cognitive ad product. The first brand to try out the new ad unit is Campbell’s, whose display ads will appear next week on The Weather Company’s website. Unlike typical display ads with personalized targeting, however, the Watson-powered cognitive ads will suggest recipes in real time based on location, what the weather is in that area, and which ingredients they want. Users will be able to tell Watson the ingredients by speaking into their microphones, thanks to integration with the “Chef Watson” API and a natural language classifier.
During its Advertising Week event in New York, The Weather Company also announced that Toyota will be the first auto brand to try out this ad product for a campaign set for the first quarter of 2017. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline is working with IBM on a flu-season campaign to promote Theraflu, in which Watson will answer frequently asked questions and analyze various flu symptoms.
What Brands Need To Do
Compared to existing display ad products, this Watson-powered cognitive ad product takes personalized ads to the next level as it adds natural-language interaction on top of contextual customization. If successfully executed, it should leverage Watson’s cognitive power to create one-to-one experiences for brands and consumers. Brands that want to get in on the next frontier of personalized targeting and contextual marketing should keep a close eye on this as it develops.