- Clear Channel Outdoor, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc., is installing dozens of high-definition screens around high-traffic areas of San Francisco so brands can target dynamic ads to passersby, according to a press release by the company. Fifty screens went live on Nov. 20, and the next 50 will roll out in the first quarter of 2018.
- The “Digital Urban Panels” use technology to let advertisers tailor messages by leveraging travel patterns and real-time data from mobile phones, including changes in weather, traffic, pollen count and time of day. The screens can also display content such as sports scores, breaking news and social media content.
- At the same time, the company plans to integrate the screens with its existing out-of-home (OOH) print and digital efforts in San Francisco through Radar, its audience segmentation and targeting platform. The integration aims to boost effectiveness of brands’ campaigns and let marketers better measure the impact of their OOH efforts. Overall, the network promises an audience of more than 1.8 million adult ad impressions weekly, per the release.
As OOH advertising revenues continue to swell, digital signs like Clear Channel Outdoor's are likely to get more sophisticated in their use of technology. This time, the company’s new 55-inch screens in San Francisco reflect a more aggressive push to get brands’ messages in front of consumers, as the signs are positioned just below eye level along sidewalks and roads in highly populated parts of the city.
The company is smartly using dynamic, attention-grabbing displays over traditional static media, as consumers could respond better to more personalized content based on real-time conditions and surroundings instead of tuning out messaging as they go about their day.
Clear Channel Outdoor’s panels cycle through different displays about every 8 seconds, which means every ad is displayed more than 1,000 times per day. One upside to this feature is adaptability: The messages, which have no audio, can be changed at a moment’s notice and can be tailored to display certain content at specific times or locations, depending on the audience segment the advertiser is targeting.
There are some risks associated with a real-time approach — a negative or inappropriate tweet or social media hashtag might slip through the cracks — but for the most part, it's a novel way to bridge digital marketing with the real world.
With the ability to integrate the screens with existing OOH efforts, brands can flex their marketing muscle and elevate a campaign’s reach. This comes as consumers are growing increasingly fatigued by digital ads, forcing marketers to develop engaging ways to grab consumers’ highly sought-after attention.