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Google flu prediction model used for mobile ad campaign

Advertising & Marketing

In the US, Vicks are targeting consumers in high risk flu areas with mobile ads for their Behind Ear Thermometer.

During the colder months of the year, consumers will be familiar with the sight of advertisements from pharmaceutical companies offering protection from winter bugs. Now, Vicks — a Proctor and Gamble brand — has used data compiled by Google to specifically target mobile devices in high-risk flu areas with ads for their Behind Ear Thermometer. Google correlated flu-related web searches from 2003 to 2008 with actual data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their findings were used to create a flu prediction model, “Google Flu Trends”. Vicks wanted to market their thermometer to mothers, and, according to the New York Times, employed Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide to place ads within popular apps such as Pandora. All the apps targeted were already collecting basic user data, such as gender and whether the user was a parent. This meant that by incorporating the Google flu data, the ads could be sent only to mothers in areas experiencing high incidences of flu. What’s more, the ads were only sent to those mothers who were within two miles of retailers that stock the thermometer. Tapping the ad revealed a video of the product, plus the closest stockist and directions. According to the New York Times, 53 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 and 64 percent aged 25 to 34 own smartphones. 79 percent of which use them for shopping. How could you use app and search data to reach your best customers and direct them to your business? Spotted by: Raymond Neo



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