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Watch Out, Big Brother! Any Dummy Can Be a Spy
By: Emory Brown
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For years we have been afraid that personal privacy will be taken away from us at the wink of an eye by the almighty “Big Brother." The movie “Enemy of the State” reinforced this idea by showcasing what “Big Brother” really can do when he’s after you. Fortunately for consumers, the government isn’t ready to invade their shopping habits as viciously as the retailers that they spend loads of cash with every year.

Last week AdAge (November 26, 2012) ran a brief called “Data-mining mannequins are no retail dummies." Almax, a leader in mannequins and display forms, has created a mannequin that uses the technology utilized to identify criminals at airports to spy on shoppers who are either gazing into their window displays or perusing the aisles. Just think...you’re standing at a window display drooling with desire to buy the item that has captured your heart’s desire. You manage to escape with your budget intact because you have other budgetary needs to attend to at the moment.

Suddenly, your cell and emails are instantly attacked with advertising about the item. You’re rushing to the door and a salesperson stops you in your tracks, saying, “We know what you want and you can have it. Use this discount card or sign up for a new credit card and get 20% off your next purchase.” You think to yourself, “How do they know these things?  They are watching my every move. Who knows my one true weakness?” Then the mannequin steps down from the display, put its arms around you, and says: “I know you want it. I have facial recognition technology that analyzes your facial features as you pass by and I also collect statistical and contextual information that is useful in the development of target marketing strategies that are going to get you sooner or later. So just buy now and save yourself the trouble."

All this time, we thought the "Old Navy Mannequins" were cute and innocent. Almax is taking over the “Sweet Spot” for only $5,072. These mannequins are quickly becoming the strategic partners of planograms. Retailers and brands that are already utilizing the technology are quickly rethinking the way they execute their store plans, promotions, and displays. Watch out, world; Ethan Hunt impersonators are the least of your worries. You have to watch out for the pretty plastic lady in the window.


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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