IBM Watson has become for many a household name, complete with appearances on "Jeopardy" -- and in an earlier iteration, the defeat of the chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
Watson has recently made a foray into consumer marketing, including initial relationships with Campbell’s, Unilever, GSK and Toyota.
At Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX event on Monday, IBM demonstrated Campbell’s Watson ad integration with The Weather Channel app, previewing a voice-activated interaction with the user.
Jeremy Steinberg, head of sales at IBM subsidiary The Weather Channel, speaks directly into his phone, asking the Campbell’s ad to find him a meal with “chicken and avocado.”
After a moment the interactive ad comes back with pictures, a recipe and other options with similar ingredients. Users can also interact with what others are creating in their homes based on the Campbell’s ad.
“This one-to-one communication between brands and consumers at scale is what Watson enables marketers to accomplish,” explained Steinberg.
Over time Watson will learn from users, and tailor the meal suggestions to each individual consumer. This, in turn, can help the brand direct its marketing strategies.
This controlled beta relationship will last for the next 12 months or so, as IBM develops partnerships with other brands expanding in the CPG space, and enters into retail.
Still, Watson won't be evolving into a Hollywood-like sentient being anytime soon, according to the CMO of the Watson Group, Stephen Gold, who got the IBM presentation underway. “Watson won’t love you back,” said Gold. Watson will, however, jumpstart a new era in digital advertising, where personalized interactions become the norm.