Last month, New York Fashion Week brought thousands of editors, celebrities, influencers, everyday people, and more from all over the world to attend shows and events from fashion’s most coveted designers. Over the years, New York Fashion Week has turned into a marketing frenzy with brands doing everything they can to be seen and recognized during this iconic week for fashion. This year, New Balance joined in on the madness and used artificial intelligence to spot unique fashion sense and promote their “Be The Exception” campaign.

On the first day of New York Fashion Week, New Balance set up a booth in Soho with cameras facing every direction. These cameras scanned the thousands of people who were wandering the streets dressed in their best looks. As the cameras scanned the crowd, New Balance used artificial intelligence (AI) to decide whether someone was dressed like everybody else, or if they were dressed in unique style. Once a unique person was spotted, their photo was cast onto digital billboards with the caption “Exception Spotted.” The person was then rewarded with a new pair of New Balances for standing out from the crowd.

To pull this off, a team of computer scientists took cameras out to the most popular streets of New York in the weeks leading up to New York Fashion Week. During these weeks, the team collected data on what people wore every day, including styles, patterns, cuts, colors, and more. When the booth was set up the first day of Fashion Week, AI used the database, and when it detected something that deviated from the norm, it alerted New Balance.

Digital technology, like AI, is revamping traditional advertising mediums. Through AI, New Balance found a new way to interact with consumers on a more personal level instead of just putting an image on a billboard. Although AI and other digital technology is still in the beginning stages, we should not underestimate the effects it may have on advertising in the long run, possibly turning out-of-home advertising into a more creative and powerful tool.

Check out the AI billboards in action in this video from Mashable!