AnalogFolk uses facial recognition to test for the ‘Marmite Gene’

 |   Microsoft NZ News Centre

AnalogFolk uses facial recognition to test for the 'Marmite Gene'

“You either love it or hate it” is a phrase that’s been synonymous with Marmite since its creation. In 2017, the brand set out to discover the real reason why the sticky stuff has long divided the nation. The answer lay in science: it turns out its genetics that determine whether you’re born a lover, or a hater.

The brand turned to digital agency, Analogfolk to create innovative sampling web app, TasteFace to help people discover their own ‘Marmite Gene’. The apps invite people to try Marmite in front of the App, which then uses facial recognition technology to analyse their reaction to it. The software builds on the Microsoft Emotion API that recognises facial expressions across eight emotions such as happiness, disgust, contempt, surprise and fear. AnalogFolk developed a bespoke algorithm to convert those emotions into a sliding scale of love and hate for Marmite. After the taste test, the app gives users a rating between 0% and 100%. The app then encouraged users to share the results of their test with a customisable reaction gif for social media.

The project is a brilliant example of using AI in a fun and engaging way.
Grace Wright: Marketing and New Business Director

The campaign was a huge success, as Associate Creative Director, Sara Pouri explains; “When TasteFace launched it beat X-Factor to the top trending spot on Twitter. Jar sales went up and to date over half a million people have taken the Taste Face test. It’s incredible.” Grace Wright, Marketing and New Business Director adds, “The project is a brilliant example of using AI in a fun and engaging way.”The agency’s close partnership with Microsoft brought the project to fruition. “We are not in the business of creating Machine Learning algorithms from scratch, in this case facial recognition. You need a whole division to do that” explains Miguel Alvarez, Director of Technology Services at AnalogFolk. “My experience has been that Microsoft care; anyone that I talk to now I know them by name and last name. The integration between the Microsoft team and our team really does give us an advantage as an agency.”
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