I've noticed outdoor advertising as the home of some of the best dynamic marketing of late.

Now that digital billboards are well established in cities like London and advertisers are accustomed to dynamic technology, campaigns are becoming less gimmicky, more effective.

I wanted to pick some examples of exciting digital outdoor campaigns that show what the medium can do.

Before we get stuck in, I think it's worth pointing to an article by Mark Ritson about AI and predictive marketing. In it, he says that, paradoxically, mobile media may be increasing the value of more traditional advertising. As people use mobile more, they become less amenable to interuptive marketing on their smartphones. TV, though, still finds people slumped on their sofa and listening(ish). Outdoor, too, has the ability to cut through with bold creative, often getting the full attention of the consumer.

Yes, AI may improve personalised marketing, but I suspect the power of outdoor advertising will remain great, particularly considering the increased ability to deliver more contextual creative. What's great about the examples below is they don't take long to explain or understand, and that's the mark of great advertising.

Most of these are UK examples come via JCDecaux - other digital outdoor networks are available.

FMCG brands use April Fools creative at ASDA

A really simple idea and one that demonstrates the power of digital outdoor. Several food brands were able to create fictional ideas for products, in order to amuse (or fool) shoppers outside ASDA on April 1st.

Only digital dynamic outdoor ads could enable ASDA and these brands to show this creative on one specific morning only.

Products included ‘McVitie’s Jaffa Cheese Cakes’, ‘Strawberry Cheesecake Mini Cheddars’, ‘Meh-mite’, ‘Pot Noodle Twister’ and ‘Quorn- the power of Quorange’.

april fools ad

Strawberry Cheesecake Mini Cheddars

The FT targets transatlantic travellers at Heathrow

The Financial Times is able to use digital billboards at Heathrow Terminal 5 to target only passengers travelling to six pre-selected US cities. Fairly obviously, this requires an ad system that taps Heathrow's flight data via an API.

JCDecaux sells this ad space based on number of passengers that come through the relevant gaterooms.

ft airport ads

Skoda tells people how quickly they can escape the rat race

My colleague Nikki Gilliland recently wrote about these ads from Skoda. Digital billboards tell passers-by how long (based on live traffic and location data) it will take them to get to one of four beautiful locations in the UK.

It's simple creative that plays into Skoda's 'Do Something Different' campaign. I personally think the ads are a bit easy to misinterpret and perhaps are using tech for tech's sake - does the consumer immediately understand that the time given is accurate and does the live data enhance the creative?

However, the ads are perhaps a nice undercutting or update of the cliched 'shiny car in beautiful location' ads that car manufacturers are famous for.

skoda ad

O2 targets digital radio listeners that pass outdoor ads

Not a dynamic billboard now, but a use of tracking and geofencing to target people who have passed an outdoor ad.

O2 partnered with Dax and Mobsta to log device IDs (via Bluetooth) when people pass an out-of-home (OOH) site. These IDs were then used to see if a particular user subsequently visited an O2 store, where their device ID would be tracked. 

In addition to this tracking tech, O2's campaign for the Samsung S8 handset also used geofencing to target ads on digital radio, Soundcloud and Deezers at people within 500m of the OOH site.

This implementation shows how outdoor ads can be used in a multichannel campaign.

More via Campaign Magazine

digital outdoor ads o2

Digital outdoor ad creative from O2

B&Q changes product ads based on local weather 

From April 2017, B&Q has been running dynamic outdoor ads powered by weather data, allowing the hardware retailer to push fine-weather products like BBQs or patio furniture when the sun is shining.

This is the sort of tactic that has been used in PPC for a while, and in outdoor media will help to ensure relevance whatever the weather.

b&q ad

Guinness directs people to pubs to watch the 6 Nations

Carat and Posterscope devised a dynamic campaign in London that allowed Guinness to direct RBS 6 Nations fans to nearby pubs to watch the tournament.

The dynamic creative alerted people to an upcoming match and its kick-off time, as well as the distance to the local pub.

Participating pubs then used sensors to capture footfall data and, if they got too full, would trigger a change in creative to direct fans to alternative venues.

guinness ad six nations

More on out-of-home advertising:

Ben Davis

Published 23 May, 2017 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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