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Nov 08, 2016

Spot on advertising, on the spot

by Mary Anne FitzGerald - Client Services Director

Spot on advertising, on the spot

I was waiting outside Leatherhead Station for the shuttle bus to Unilever HQ the other day when my eye was drawn to this nice piece of targeted messaging.

Localised advertising has come a long way since Pearl and Dean’s heyday. Gone are the amateurish end frames and voiceovers encouraging cinema goers to fill their faces at the Tandoori round the corner after the movie.

But the aim remains the same. Deliver messaging to consumers that is relevant to them where they are right now.

British Airways may have blazed a trail with their customised 2013 ads that responded to overhead planes, and last year’s billboards at Westfield for Battersea Dog and Cats Home certainly set tails wagging, but the ability to offer this at scale at out of home (OOH) sites is a 2016 development. With the allocation of a 10-digit code to every OOH advertising frame in the UK, programmatic media buying is coming to a poster near you.

Digital content management systems now allow the right content to be served to the right place at the right time. This means that creative can be targeted according to weather conditions, time, location, or based on live data feeds.

JC Decaux predicts that 50% of its UK advertising revenues will come from digital by 2017. It launched Dynamique, its creative digital hub in January and went on to put their money where their mouths were with a month long campaign to demonstrate the new creative scope. Delivered using their proprietary SmartCONTENT it brought localised weather forecasts and relevant Shakespearean quotes to digital screens across the UK to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Similarly Diageo’s campaign used real-time weather-activated triggers last year to deliver Pimm’s ads when the temperature reached or exceeded 16 degrees. Location was also added into the real-time data mix through a partnership with Taylor Walker pubs. Using a beacon network, the posters counted the number of smartphones at local venues using non-personal anonymised data, to tell potential customers where there were free seats to enjoy a jug of Pimm’s. Clever stuff, nicely executed.

Technology is certainly bringing new opportunities for highly tailored and targeted messaging to our High Streets. The real challenge is making sure that the creative continues to shine. I wonder how this 2004 ad and poster campaign for the opening of a Tesco Metro in London’s Soho would be executed today..?

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