Monetising out of home engagement - what's next?

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 28 July 2016
Ooh!Media Excite panel.

In this four-part series, AdNews explores the brave new world of outdoor.

Imagine a billboard that interacts with individual pedestrians, offering them compelling content to complement a sales message and then allows marketers to track the user journey from footpath to transaction.

Such technology, as alluded to by MEC’s, Claire Butterworth, is close to becoming a reality in Australia.

Contact Light, a subsidiary of Cross Track Digital (XTD) is developing tech that allows billboards to interact with pedestrians’ mobile devices, opening up a world of possibilities for marketers to expand on attention grabbing street furniture in the privacy of a smartphone app, known as Embark.

While there have been some high profile examples of billboard interaction these have required the use of QR codes, facial recognition or near field communications technology, where people need to be relatively close for interactivity.

Contact Light’s solution uses beacon technology, which means it can send messages from a distance.

“We’re looking at how you can commercialise or monetise the engagement you have out of home.

So, it’s taking a message that is broadcast to many on a digital billboard and then transmitting it to an individual who you can further engage with,” Mike Boyd, Contact Light CEO, said.

“For example, how can Village Roadshow promote the movie Nice Guys on a billboard and then as users go past the screen it allows them to see content on their personal device screens?”

This could take the form of a static advert or short video on the billboard, which would prompt a passer-by to look at the full length trailer on their phone and book movie tickets at their local cinema.

“Out of home at its core is still very much a branding medium, it hasn’t yet got that direct response aspect,” Boyd said.

“That engagement piece for us is where it becomes incredibly valuable because as an advertiser you start to see some real value around time of day, location, and who the person is using the device. This is information advertisers in outdoor haven’t really had.”

It is this power to gather better data that makes this technology so compelling, allowing advertisers more opportunities to engage with an audience and far richer insights into campaign effectiveness.

See Part One: Signs of the times - the brave new world of outdoor and Part Two: Out of home media buyers bare all and Part Three: Media owners nominate the seven best outdoor campaigns.

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