The world of OOH advertisements is shifting to a whole new arena. Digital out-of-home specifically has changed the face of outdoor advertising.
Before we get into what a Bitcoin is, let’s talk about what a blockchain is. A blockchain can be thought of as a collection of blocks and in each block is a collection of transactions. Because all the computers running the blockchain has the same list of blocks and transactions, and can transparently see these new blocks being filled with new bitcoin transactions, no one can cheat the system.
Coming to Bitcoin, it is a relatively novel currency that was created by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. The 12-year-old currency’s value has risen dramatically. Transactions are made without intermediaries like a bank!. Bitcoin is different from fiat currency, as it is distributed, traded, and stored with the use of a decentralized ledger system, known as a blockchain.
There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger that everyone has transparent access to. All bitcoin transactions are verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite it not being legal tender, Bitcoin is very popular and has triggered the launch of hundreds of other cryptocurrencies, collectively referred to as altcoins. Bitcoin is commonly abbreviated as “BTC.”
People use Bitcoin to book hotels and shop online, however, what makes it unique is that one can be affluent just from trading it! The Bitcoin price skyrocketed into the thousands in 2017. In February 2021, the currency surged to an all-time high of $49,951 late Monday, just inches away from the $50,000 level, according to data from industry website CoinDesk as of today, 4:50 p.m. one BTC worth $36,087.00 USD.
“The reason why it’s worth money is simply that we, as people, decided it has value—same as gold,” says Anton Mozgovoy, co-founder & CEO of digital financial service company Holyheld.
Bridging The Gap Between Media, Advertising, and Technology
According to Open Media Today, Rob Thomas, inbound marketing executive, says that Blockchain has the potential to change the digital outdoor advertising landscape as it has the ability to provide any brand with the tool to gain a big data insight into their customer demographic by facilitating and encouraging consumers to engage with their digital location-based advertisements (e.g. taking a picture and sharing it on their social profiles) in return for a customer reward – a process known as tokenization. Leveraging location-based data can make a big impact on digital out-of-home advertising (OOH ads). Fundamentally, allowing brands to tailor their campaigns to a specific audience, at a specific time and with a specific purpose really makes a difference.
What is even more interesting is that the technology goes beyond location-based advertising. Blockchain allows a form of mutually beneficial tokenization to occur between a brand and its consumers. For instance, imagine a digital display that promotes users to interact with it by taking a picture and promoting the advert on their social media handles in return for a fixed amount of digital (crypto) store credit. In return, this would allow a brand to create micro-targeted adverts as they would acquire specific and invaluable data about their consumer demographic
Moreover, consumers can ensure that their information is secure because the distributed ledger technology is powerfully encrypted. As the name suggests; each transaction represents a ‘block’ and all the blocks are connected to the next creating a chain. Since this chain is distributed to every peer in the network and not controlled by a central administrator it would make it incredibly difficult for any hacker or third party to interfere with the data.
How Would This Digital Currency Change The Digital OOH ads?
Dan Dawson, chief creative technology officer, Grand Visual, predicts that Bitcoin will change the world of advertising. Some media agencies started utilizing blockchain smart contract technology to provide 100% transparency for clients. It’s clear to see that the transparency and security that the Blockchain can offer as part of a media buy could help brands seeking value from their suppliers and agencies. Dawson suggests that we would see changes in the following areas:
– Data management: the DOOH space is rich in data, so it gives the advertisers the benefit of not moving screens, and therefore they are able to build a holistic data picture of the location, and the changeable conditions and audiences. Moving this all into the blockchain could effectively mean smarter planning, targeting, buying, execution, distribution, and measurement across DOOH screens.
– Audience targeting: increased data sharing through the blockchain will fuel omni-channel and omni-screen campaigns with much smarter cross-platform audience planning. With more electronic devices in everyone’s pockets, connected, cross-platform digital platforms campaigns will become a programmatic reality.
-Media buying: DOOH will be more automated, smarter, and more transparent using blockchain technology. The use of smart contracts between parties makes the whole integration process seem very appealing for most parties.
-Content distribution: For those of us in the content creation and distribution world, it could be even more important. If a campaign is bought in this way, it really should be delivered and reported on with the same level of transparency.
-Playback reporting: The ability for brand managers to see real-time, independent third-party verification of campaign play out is essential. The industry needs to provide this level of transparency and accountability for the programmatic future of digital OOH.
OOH Advertisement Campaigns For Bitcoin
In September 2020, the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong – an organization with more than 5,000 members – started a massive bitcoin awareness initiative called the Bitcoin Tram campaign. Various ads featuring three Bitcoin trams and 20 matching billboard ads were scheduled to run between Sept. 11 and Oct. 8. During that time, three doubledecker bitcoin trams of various lines cruised the east and west tracks on Hong Kong Island, each plastered with the Bitcoin logo.
The association said, “The educational campaign is an initiative from the Hong Kong Bitcoin community, The campaign is financed with donations from the community.” With the goal to foster and promote bitcoin and its technology in Hong Kong, the association has held more than 250 events since its launch.
There are five different billboard ads. One says: “Warning: Your bitcoin is your responsibility. There will be no bailouts or quantitative easing. You can verify the total supply of bitcoin with your home computer on the blockchain.” Another ad says: “More U.S. dollars have been printed in 2020 than were in existence in 2009. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin.” The third message reads: “Scarce. Divisible. Transferable. Verifiable. Tamper-proof. Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold.”
The fourth ad quotes writer Stewart Brand, who said in 1987 that “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” The fifth quotes FCC Commissioner T.A.M. Craven, who said in 1961 that “There is practically no chance that space satellites would be used to improve phone, telegraph, TV and radio service.
Martin Baumann, the co-founder of CMCC Global, commented: “Love this initiative – perhaps the biggest bitcoin campaign to date, globally. Hong Kong’s financial district is fully covered in bitcoin today with panels along with all bus and tram stops and bitcoin trams circulating Hong Kong’s financial district.” Twitter account Asia Hodl wrote: “Bitcoin advertising right in the heart of Hong Kong’s office district. And right in front of HSBC’s headquarters.”
There are two aspects here, the first one is that Blockchain has the capability to flip things upside down in the DOOH Ad world by offering huge data insights to advertisers about their target market’s demographics and that is by urging them to engage with the digital ads through posting their pictures and sharing it on the social media. That can make an impact on the DOOH ads, which will allow brands to customize with a certain purpose and time as well. Moreover, this social media interaction between brands and consumers will allow brands to gain an immense amount of data that will help the process of tailoring the message to the audience. The second aspect is that it is predicted that it will have an impact on the advertising arena as some companies have lately been using blockchain as a smart contract tech to offer transparent and secure transactions for their clients. The change will reach areas like data management, audience targeting, media buying, playback reporting, and content distribution.