This App Can’t Take You to Cannes Lions, but It Can Help You Feel Like You’re There

Cognitiv uses machine learning to create Rosé/Not Rosé

The Cannes Lions festival is still continuing virtually, beginning June 22.
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Cannes Lions, the glitzy celebration of all things advertising, had been set to take place next week. But when Covid-19 hit in the spring, advertising’s biggest event of the year was canceled for 2020. But that hasn’t stopped ad-tech firm Cognitiv from celebrating the festival’s signature tipple.

A tribute to HBO hit series Silicon Valley’s Not Hotdog app, Cognitiv created its own Rosé/Not Rosé app to detect whether the drink in a user’s hand is indeed rosé. The app, set to be released next week, draws on machine learning to pick out the beverage’s light-pink hue—or lack thereof—from a user-submitted selfie.

But while the app itself offers a bit of levity, the underlying programming was far from simple, Cognitiv CEO and co-founder Jeremy Fain told Adweek. “It’s one thing to train a deep-learning algorithm to identify wine. It’s totally another level to develop an algorithm that can accurately discern between rosé, red wine, white wine or water.”


Fain hopes the app, trained on nearly 1,000 photos, can demonstrate how Cognitiv’s technology might help marketers sift through reams of data. “We build these neural networks for our clients that are constantly buying large amounts of advertising every day,” Fain said. 

Though France’s southern beaches will not be graced by Cannes’ corporate-sponsored yachts this year, the festival is still continuing virtually, with the weeklong Lions Live event kicking off June 22. The virtual conference will feature keynotes from NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway and Chelsea Clinton, among many others.

While Adweek could not test the app with an actual glass of rosé, we were able to trick it with a pungent glass of Pompeian red wine vinegar.

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