The era of non-personalized billboards is coming to an end. For decades, drivers have been used to seeing out-of-home (OOH) advertising techniques by brands in the forms of billboards. Brand advertising would be displayed across 14 feet high, 48 feet wide of highly engineered vinyl or digital screen. Hundreds of these would line the roadside of motorways and rural roads trying to capture the attention of passersby.
This method of OOH advertising is changing and the future of billboards is bright.
Targeted Ads: Coming Soon To Billboards
Advertisers in the UK designed a new form of digital billboard advertising. Digital screens with built-in cameras will use computer vision software and dynamic ad technology to analyze approaching vehicles and serve them pre-programmed ads aimed at who they believe is sitting at the wheel of that car. The computer vision software is capable of capturing the make, model, colour, fuel type, age and manufacturer of the car that you are driving. For example, a silver Mercedes C-Class Coupe may trigger a different ad to that of a black Chevrolet Cruze.
Billboards with this technology may also be able to synch with an individual’s digital breadcrumbs soon. Information such as smartphone activity and geo-location could push more targeted and personalized ads.
Examples of Targeted Billboards in Action
Porsche recently ran an OOH advertising campaign in Melbourne, Australia using IBM technology to send targeted messaging to Porsche drivers. Cameras were able to detect and pinpoint when a Porsche car was approaching the billboard and displayed the message “It’s so easy to pick you out in a crowd.” for 10 seconds.
Porsche’s digital billboard campaign using targeted messages for their drivers (OohMedia!)
As mentioned in AdNews, the director of marketing for Porsche Cars Australia said, “The power and flexibility of digital technology today is a real winner for high-value brands to reach just the right audience.”
Women’s Aid ‘Look At Me’ campaign used facial recognition to send targeted ads
A similar form of targeted advertising using facial recognition technology was used in campaigns by Women’s Aid and Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. These digital billboards were able to detect the behaviour of a passerby using contextual information and advanced facial recognition software to activate the targeted ad.
For example, at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport digital screens featuring images of people detected behavioural and contextual information about an individual as they were passing by and responded by having the eyes of the people on the screen follow travelers.
What They’ll Mean For Advertisers & Brands
Using recognition-based technology in OOH advertising methods like this will open doors to a new and improved way of targeting individuals in a more personalized and audience-centric way. It will give, both brands and advertisers alike, access to a wealth of knowledge about their target audiences and will ultimately provide their customers with a more relevant and effective brand experience.
The opportunities and benefits that digital billboards with this technology can offer advertisers, brands and tech giants are endless.
The Future of OOH Advertising
Marketers have been experimenting with OOH targeted advertising for years. From BMW’s Mini using more of analog approach to capturing the attention of drivers in 2013 to that of the more recent Women’s Aid campaign that is mentioned above.
The high profile technology that is being used as part of digital advertising in today’s modern era marks a new frontier for out-of-home advertising. And it’s evolution has only just begun.