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  • Writer's pictureKanhaiya Maheshwary

Marketing in the age of AI - How Dairy Milk just created India's first mass hyper-personalized ad!

About 3 years back, right around this time, when I was writing my applications for MS programs in US, I remember having written an essay on how I envision the future of marketing to be. In my view, it was a heavily tech driven world (obviously) wherein I made some radical projections around hyper-personalization. To be honest, I was not only super close to some of the things we've seen happening, but also believe that even the rest will come true at some point. Before diving into the incredible feat Mondelez's Dairy Milk has achieved through its latest advertising campaign, let's have a look at an excerpt from that essay:


Blending Online with Offline - VR/AR enabled Outdoor Advertising

Facebook has invested heavily into Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality. But how it will use the same is yet to be seen. As a premise to the next idea, I foresee a time in the very near future where online advertising and offline advertising will work in conjunction. I believe that during such a time, Facebook will reinvent the wheel and change the Outdoor Advertising ad totally.

It will use real time location tracking, your interests, and AR/VR glasses in order to generate highly individualized ads on outdoor hoardings as you pass these Facebook hoardings. Essentially, outdoor hoarding boards will be blank, and by donning a VR headset, what you will see on the outdoor hoarding will be different from what the person sitting next to you will see.

On a very related note, I envision a time when a lot of vehicles would have turned into advertising mediums, with their exterior acting as digital screens. Advertising on the exterior of vehicles will work in a similar manner as the outdoor hoardings, i.e. based on your location, and interests. If you have updated a status stating that you and 3 more of your friends (who are tagged in the status) are on the way to enjoy a concert, a vehicle passing by may display an ad featuring customized band artist tee-shirts!


Dairy Milk's 'Iss Diwali #AapKiseKhushKarenge' Campaign

Dairy Milk has been one of India's greatest advertising brands. The way they've constantly defined and redefined their positioning through memorable ad campaigns is a lesson for many others. And what's great about the brand is that despite knowing how well they reinvent the advertising wheel, they still never cease to surprise. That's why yesterday, when I received an ad on one of my MBA alumni groups, I was astonished.

The Premise

This has been a tough year for everyone around the globe, especially small and medium businesses. Mondelez India came up with plan to support local businesses and stores by featuring them in their ads. But that's not all - the way these local shops were selected was driven and served by AI, in a hyper-personalized fashion.

The Technology

Mondelez India's Dairy Milk brand team and their ad and media agencies Ogilvy and Wavemaker used AI to curate a list of 180+ pin codes and then over 2500 associated local retail stores near those pin codes which mapped to the things they had shown in the ad. The ad featured different Diwali presents like a pair of spectacles, jewelry, saree etc. and then mapped a list of local businesses such as an opticians, jeweler, boutique etc. to go with them.

The Execution

The ad was hyper-personalized and served to audiences based on their pin codes. Pin code is a commonly available targeting criteria on various advertising platforms like Google's ad ecosystem and Facebook. This ad execution meant that someone staying in Rajouri Garden in Delhi would see a different set of retail store names in the ad as compared to someone in Mahalaxmi area of Mumbai. People would see the retail stores nearest to them.

Context AV:

Example 1 - Someone in Golf Course Road, Gurgaon will see this ad:

Example 2 - Someone staying in Powai, Mumbai will see this ad:

Dairy Milk has since long positioned itself as a sweet of choice during Diwali. In fact, I have written an extensive blog on just Dairy Milk's presence in the Indian culture and its brand communications. With this ad, it goes a step ahead by getting directly involved with the local community with an earnest attempt to try and help small and medium businesses. There's no denying that Ogilvy and Dairy Milk together just know how to capture hearts and minds alike. And with this campaign, they have opened the floodgates for hyper-personalization by demonstrating exactly how it can be handled at a large scales, which has been a battle that a lot of brands have spent time thinking over.

Also, coming back to my essay, I wasn't too far off, right ;)


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