Digital Signposts

The Out of Home ad is no longer measured in pieces of paper, but in interaction and pixels. British Airways have often tried to lead in this space, such as when they were managing the opening of Terminal 5 and updated the digital adds regularly to keep people informed.

In their latest attempt, their billboards on the A4 flyover out of Chiswick (on the way to Heathrow) and in Piccadilly have taken interactivity on a step. They just have rapid update times to keep the information fresh, they interact with their environment. As a place goes over the locations, the figure of the child points and the flight number and destination or embarkation point is displayed. It’s real time, contextual advertising; it’s no longer the preserve of social media that has to have people responding, now you can get it automated too.

British Airways Digital signs (used with permission, from British Airways)
British Airways Digital signs (used with permission, from British Airways)

The Chiswick board has not pleased local residents though. A group is protesting that it breaks the planning guidelines for the displays and could lead to accidents!

Contextual advertising in non-digital forms is not new; it just generally takes more lead time. Congratulatory ads in papers after sporting success have always been common. Today, the PS4 launch also used the method. In a brilliant media takeover, the console has taken over Page 3 of The Sun, replacing the usual topless models. For many, this would be a welcome change. However, the terminology has raised some eyebrows, with the double meaning of the word Players.

Image used with permission of @AndrewBloch

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