How out-of-home advertising is innovating through the use of data integration

There’s some interesting work going on in the out-of-home advertising space that’s seeing data being increasingly integrated in billboards to provide real-time creative solutions for passersby.

Net-a-Porter recently introduced a campaign in London that showcased purchases being made on the luxury e-commerce site live as they took place around the world.

Hosted on an Ocean Outdoors screen in Canary Wharf, the initiative was an extension of the Net-a-Porter Live project hosted online. It presented the shopper trends through imagery of the exact pieces being bought as well as the specific country the customer was transacting from. There was also a live count of shoppers online.

Last year, British Airways launched a campaign called “Look Up” that was quickly referred to as “magical” by the press for its clever application of data to identify airplanes flying overhead. Hosted in London’s Piccadilly Circus the ad showed a young boy standing up to point to the airline’s planes as they passed above him (see the video below). Doing so would identify both the flight number and its destination.

The billboard used custom-built surveillance technology tied to flight data in order to achieve the real-time illusion.”We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination,” said Abigail Comber, head of marketing at British Airways. “The clever technology allows this advertisement to engage people there and then answer that question for them. We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.”

In an industry currently obsessed with the use of big data and real-time insights, there’s a nice reminder here of the virtue in that wow factor for consumers. Out-of-home might not be the kind of scale most retailers are looking to, but a focus on ‘surprise and delight’ through data visualisation (stats every business has at its disposal today after all) has enormous potential in the store space too.

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