Gin brand Gordon’s has started granting commuters impacted by train delays with free or half-price gin and tonics in the UK. When there are significant delays and enough tweets using the hashtag #YayDelay, the campaign’s algorithm activates the offer during the evening rush hour. Gordon’s initiative debuted this month at London’s Waterloo station, but will be implemented at other locations throughout 2018.
A campaign like Gordon's may seem fun and innocuos, leveraging social media monitoring and real-time transport data to offer discounts, but it is representative of the increase in brands' use of big data to generate customised, personalised and real-time offers. Are societies having the necessary debates about whether society should move in this direction?