On Wednesday, May 25, IAB Europe – the European-level association for the digital marketing – announced the most progressive campaigns in 2021. The Anxiety Meter, designed by Croatian Osiguranje Company in tandem with Bruketa&Žinić&Grey agency and Go2Digital, was declared the best European DOOH advertising campaign. The Anxiety Meter is a one-of-a-kind interactive AI-powered ad.
The Anxiety Meter won gold for Digital OOH Advertising and silver for Virtual and Augmented Reality in the MIXX Awards Europe competition. The aim of the Anxiety Meter was to raise awareness about the importance of caring for mental health given the surge of mental health issues in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the earthquakes.
The mental health research conducted in Croatia during the pandemic and after the earthquakes suggests a rise in mental health issues compared to the year before, but also to the rest of Europe. The studies show that 50% of Croats struggle with anxiety, 20% of whom suffer from severe or extremely severe anxiety, yet this issue still remains on the margins.
This all led to the Anxiety Meter, a digital citylight with built-in cameras and AI-powered software for facial expression analysis. Based on machine learning, Google face mesh and automatic facial emotion recognition (FER) software and algorithms were used to analyze facial muscles and identify combinations of eight emotions classified as anxiousness.
Passers-by would stand in front of the ad, and give their consent by waiting 5 seconds for the application to begin screening their face. The most stressed respondents were referred to a free preventive check-up at Croatia Polyclinic in Zagreb.
“People used to read ads, but now ads read them back too,” Marija Jakeljić, Marketing Director at Croatia Osiguranje Company said.
“The Anxiety Meter proves that the Croatian advertising industry has the know-how, creativity and technology which, in some segments, excels even the most developed European markets,” Davor Bruketa, Creative Director at Bruketa&Žinić&Grey agency said.
“Nowadays Croatia boasts one of the most state-of-the-art digital OOH advertising networks in Europe. Croatian advertisers clearly know how to leverage everything Go2Digital can provide,” Dean Udatny, Marketing Director at Go2Digital said.
From time to time throughout the campaign citizens would wait in a line to have their anxiety level tested. A third of passers-by would linger in front of the Anxiety Meter, implying that 8% of the Croatian urban population had their anxiety level checked, whereas Croatia Polyclincs boosted their preventative check-ups by 31.22%.