Piccadilly Circus billboard tracks passersby to serve interactive targeted ads
- A 790-square-meter screen in London's Picadilly Circus will track cars and passersby to display targeted ads people can interact with in real time and that also respond to changes in news, sports or weather, according to Wired. The screen, owned by Landsec, is larger than three tennis courts and will use hidden cameras and recognition technology to determine the make, model and color of cars driving by as well as the age, gender and emotions of pedestrians to trigger customized ads.
- Most of the time, the screen will be separated into six sections that can each stream live video and social media feeds. Every 10 minutes, a single brand will take over the entire screen for 30 seconds with an ad, Wired reported. Coca-Cola, Samsung, L'Oréal and Hyundai are the first major brands set to share the screen.
- The digital billboard is reported to come to life in October, but Landsec will not release exact details for fear of causing overcrowding in the already bustling hub, per Wired. Once it's on, the screen will also provide free public Wi-Fi to consumers nearby.
Landsec collecting real-time data on nearby people potentially offers a big opportunity for marketers to serve highly relevant and personalized ads via the digital billboard. Use cases could range from timely promotional offers like lunchtime coupons for a nearby restaurant or retailer or where to find an umbrella when a weather report indicates a rainstorm.
But there are limits on what people will accept. Cameras that use visual recognition tech to analyze the cars and people walking by could feel invasive to some consumers, even though Landsec said it will not store the data. In this case, the customized messaging should remain on the side of helpful rather than unwanted.
The company is smartly focusing on interactivity in its massive London billboard, as a recent study by IPG's Magna found that interactive video ads are 32% more memorable than non-interactive ads and also drive 9x higher impact on consumers' purchase intent. Like Landsec, some marketers are integrating an element of digital interactivity to bolster their out-of-home efforts, including Behr's pop-up house in Grand Central Terminal that used virtual reality and 360-degree video to enhance the physical experience.