Watson could sort out advertising woes

Dr Watson and Sherlock HolmesBiggish Blue has turned its AI supercomputer Watson onto the small matter of advertising and will actually go live with a service.

The Watson-infused ads, initially announced in June, are rolling out on The Weather Co. properties such as its mobile app. Already Andy Warhols’ favourite Campbell’s Soup  is using it to market based on weather patterns, location and other attributes.

Jeremy Steinberg, global head of IBM’s The Weather Company, said Big Blue is pondering various business model for the Watson cognitive ads.

Unilever, GSK and Toyota are expected to follow. Steinberg said that IBM is trying to figure out a long-term model. Subscription is a possible as is advertising as a service.

What makes Watson ads interesting is that they are about engagement not necessarily clicks or CPM. They are about engaging customers and driving action.

Watson can deliver recipes based on Campbell’s soup based on its knowledge of cooking. Watson has had extensive training with chefs. Watson will also integrate what other users are making. Add it up and one benefit of a cognitive ad is that it can serve as a focus group to some degree.