IBM’s AI-Powered Interactive Ads to Guide Shoppers this Holiday Season

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Leading Toy Maker LEGO Systems Among First Brands to Activate New Ad Platform

Just in time for Black Friday—the busiest shopping day of the yearIBM is announcing that its latest AI-powered interactive ads will be used by LEGO Systems, Inc. to recommend the right gift set to the right holiday shoppers. The ads will run throughout the holiday season, when the majority of annual toy retail sales take place.

For holiday shoppers seeking just the right toys to buy this year, the experience is both easy and intuitive. Consumers can start a conversation with the AI-powered LEGO ad. After they’ve answered a few questions, they are guided to the best LEGO gifts for their needs.

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The Danish toymaker will be the first brand to rely on IBM’s newest AI-powered advertising solution: IBM Watson Ads Omni. This new solution is an extension to Watson Ads, IBM’s industry-first interactive ad unit that delivers hyper-personalization at scale along with actionable insights. Watson Ads was previously only available on The Weather Channel app and And, today, with the launch of Watson Ads Omni, AI-powered ads can now be deployed on any digital site.

Trained on the knowledge of 35 different LEGO products, Watson Ads Omni allows LEGO Systems to craft distinct, personalized responses to consumers’ specific questions, interests and needs — empowering the brand to have meaningful one-to-one conversations at scale with consumers wherever they may be in their path to purchase.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to cut through the clutter and provide meaningful brand interactions for shoppers. We know that people are looking for guidance in selecting the right gifts for kids during the holidays, so we’re excited to provide a customized approach to gift selection using the new IBM Watson Ads Omni,” said Michael McNally, Senior Director Brand Relations LEGO Systems. “Using the tool, we will provide personalized gift giving solutions while showcasing all that the LEGO brand has to offer for children of any age, interest or building ability, and the reach and relevance that the platform enables make it a compelling opportunity for first movement, especially in the height of toy shopping season.”

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The Value of AI-Powered Ads

For professionals in the advertising industry, calls to cut through the advertising clutter with more personalized, targeted messages across every touchpoint is an often-repeated mantra. Many, however, struggle with how it can best be accomplished. 71% of brands are still just providing generic marketing messages to their customers.

Using Watson Ads Omni, LEGO Systems is able to preserve the relevance and immediacy of personalized experiences while still being able to reach millions of potential customers at once through an omnichannel experience.

Watson Ads Omni gives advertisers the flexibility and control they need to run campaigns,” said Carrie Seifer, vice president and CRO, IBM Watson Advertising. “Using the solution, brands and agencies, including LEGO Systems, have freedom to deploy fully-trained Watson Ads on any digital site—wherever their customers may be.”

In practice, this means brands have the control to connect with customers across any channels or touchpoint that’s within their advertising ecosystem’s reach. As is the case with the LEGO brand, all of its media assets that are taken off-property are associated with a simple creative tag for seamless activation.

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