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PSI publish their 2018 Global Travel Predictions

2018 looks set to be another roller-coaster year for the global travel industry.
In this piece, James McEwan, Managing Director of PSI, identifies some of the political, economic and technological factors that will impact the way consumers travel this year.
Read More….

Flying Start – Federica Fattorusso talks to Campaign Magazine – Middle East.

Flying Start …  The aviation industry, like almost all other industries, has not been immune to the momentum of the digital revolution, changing significantly due to the increasing prevalence of technology in all aspects of travellers’ daily lives. When considering that last year young tourists alone spent $217bn on travel, with millennials seeing travel as more important than buying a home or paying off debt, we face a huge global trend that will only continue growing. Our region has not been shying away from this trend, but is riding the wave with full force. Dubai International airport is the world’s busiest for international travellers, with a 6.3 per cent year-on-year (Aug 2016 to Aug 2017) cumulative traffic increase. And 9,353,368 passengers were recorded during the first eight months of the year. Similarly, Abu Dhabi airport, the UAE’s second-busiest commercial hub, handled 10.1 million passengers in the first five months to May 31, an increase of 1.8 percent compared with the same period last year, which is in line with the prediction it will handle approximately 25 million passengers in 2017, compared with 24.5 million last year.
Read More …..
Federica Fattorrusso – Business Development Director, Posterscope MENA

I don't want another human in my home: What to expect at DMEXCO 2017

 

It took me a little while to unpick the DMEXCO theme for this year, ‘Lightning the Age of Transformation’. Its nod to the constant evolution of new technology was what really caught my imagination.

We’ve seen this time and time again over the last year with technology quickly outpacing its predecessor and the rate of consumer adoption accelerating. TomTom, then Siri and now Alexa, they’ve all become not only our best friends but household names. Technology is changing our lives – and changing them at pace – and the question we are often left with is ‘how do we keep up?’

Often this conversation is framed with the word ‘humanising’. If we humanise brands, we should therefore humanise technology, right? But I don’t want another human in my home! And this is why…

Humanising brands implies a mutual benefit between brand and consumer, but if we humanise technology, how can it continue to evolve our capabilities if we’re simply replicating our current strengths? Technology benefits our lives as an enabler, but if we simply replicate human traits in technology, we’re not advancing our capabilities, we’re just replacing ourselves.

Much of the debate around whether machines will replace our jobs hinges on this: do we create machines to help with capabilities we don’t have, so we can work more efficiently, or do the machines take over? Especially if we invite these technologies into our homes and give them names… I’m calling the intruder alarm.

For me, the most exciting advancements that tech will bring are not benefits for brands to communicate with audiences, but the improvements in the processes to get there.

Therefore the thing I’m looking forward to seeing most out of DMEXCO is twofold: I can’t wait to hear ideas and see some tech that hasn’t only been developed to advance our marketing objectives or our way of life in a siloed way, but that takes both into consideration concurrently; I also can’t wait to see some new developments that benefit brands but, more than that, develop our abilities as strategic marketing professionals.

This article was written by Harriet Swinburn, Account Director for the Multiply Team at Posterscope.

Why in the future all advertising will be experienced

Emerging tech is causing advertising to become increasingly multi-sensory and fully immersive as it moves off screen. Michael Brown, Managing Director of MKTG discusses with Campaign Magazine.

Technophiles the world over are looking forward to a day when all forms of content are freed from its present confinement within the four edges of a screen; to be fully multi-sensory, 360-immersive, and at some point beyond the far off horizon, indistinguishable from the real world. The message will not be contained by the medium.

How far are we from such a horizon, and are we sprinting or strolling there are questions that a lot of clever people in white lab coats are posing.

VR may take us a few tantalising strides closer. Some will groan heavily at yet another mention of this particular tech, but if we move our focus away from the headsets and instead look at how the content can be deployed and enjoyed, then interesting signposts emerge.

Earlier this year I was at the launch of the Allianz-sponsored Drone Racing League. A world championship heat will be taking place in the capital as part of London Tech Week this June. Sky were also present to announce their ownership of the broadcast rights. They intend to show the proceedings from an entirely different perspective; those with a heavy dispensation towards all things geek will already know that drone racers pilot their craft through goggles linked to a Go-Pro camera mounted on the drone. This means that home viewers with a Sky package and VR headsets can get closer into the action in an immersive sense – a pilot’s eye view.

Can’t get a ticket to the Champions League Final? Experience it at home through the headsets from multiple immersive perspectives; as a player, the referee, from the dug out, in the crowd.

Home viewing of sports is set to become a little less passive. It should also open up new channels for a broadcaster to sell to individual brands. A brand taking a behind the scenes approach may wish to sponsor the home dug-out experience for instance. Another, wishing to build on their brand ambassador program may look to extend their sponsorship rights to create an immersive viewing experience using the footage from a micro camera mounted on their player.

Such a way of viewing sport would be very intriguing technologically as you could mix live footage with VR as an exclusive to the home viewer: One could easily imagine Antonio Conte virtually tapping you on the shoulder during a live broadcast telling you to get your boots on.

Meanwhile, there are tech companies who have taken an active dislike to those clunky goggles. Globally there are circa 200 companies developing goggles-free VR to achieve a more inclusive, mass participatory approach.

Dassault Systèmes has long been a pioneer in 3D experience. At its Paris HQ, the Cubic Immersion Room offers an experience where every surface, including the floor, is a screen. The technology, known in the business as a “Cave” (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), required that users wore a headset featuring several antennae which calibrated the graphic render on the screens with every movement around the room to more accurately create the illusion of perspective. When I visited, I was able to walk, with several other colleagues, around an unfolding render of Paris, stroll up any boulevard, go into any building, take the stairs or lift and walk into any room – the experience fell just short of being able to order a croissant.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the French giant has been doing interesting integrations with VR headsets and Immersion Rooms. This includes advancements that are far superior to commercially available VR such as the ability to see your own body. Users can recognise and interact with other people also wearing the headsets in the Cave. Not in an atavistic sense either; you can meet a colleague in the room and recognize that it is your colleague and not a graphic construct.

The practical application of this technology is being used in a myriad ways; an architect through to a product designer can construct, test and more importantly collaborate and discuss their grand vision with their colleagues in the Cave before a single foundation stone is laid, or a patent applied for.

This is all very well for the present day, but there is an emerging technology whose potential has had VC investors and technology gurus foaming with enthusiasm: Lightvert’s Echo technology is a light-triggered illusion capable of creating large scale graphics, seemingly in empty space. The images exist only in the user’s eye and not in reality.
The roll out of Echo displays is not limited by user uptake of wearable and mobile tech, or in fact the current planning laws and policies that currently govern Lightvert’s primary target customer; the out-of-home advertising industry.

Chief executive Daniel Sidden believes the world is now ready for Echo, citing that emerging mobile tech will enable interaction with the digital realm on a more natural and fluent level.

Sidden argues that: “Visual and audio based mixed reality technologies, such as HoloLens and Google’s new audio assistant technology will become ubiquitous and the opportunities for digital OOH in this area alone are clearly phenomenal.”

As this technology becomes yet more sophisticated, we should begin to see exciting developments for advertising. Technically any surface, or gesture, or motion sensor could be used to trigger content while people are out and about in the built environment or any open space.

That content might be an evolution of Echo’s static graphic renders into moving imagery, and from there, a further evolution into 360-immersive micro experiences. Sidden is unequivocal about the ability of content to break out from its present day limitations. “Media that was once previously confined to screens will be integrated into our every day actions and be capable of working with us and for us at all times, eliminating the barrier between physical and digital engagement.”

There you have it folks: the day is not far off when all advertising will be experienced.

Via: Campaign Live 

Ad Week Europe 2017: Remembering the big picture

By Rachel Taylor, Strategic Manager at Posterscope
I was lucky enough to spend time at this year’s Advertising Week Europe to listen to all of the fantastic speakers debating the key questions for our industry. The core contemporary pillars were well covered; programmatic, content, mobile and agency structures stood out as key themes. However, there also seemed to be a growing focus on wider socio-cultural events, such as Brexit or Trump’s election, which sit outside our industry but still impact our decisions.
Whatever form Brexit takes, it will have implications for both client marketing budgets, be that positive or negative, and for consumer attitudes and spending power. Consequentially, there are still debates and big questions for the advertising industry to be involved in. Thursday’s ‘Open Minds, Open Boarders’ debate aptly highlighted the issue of junior creative talent and the need to maintain diversity if we are to grow London’s creative community. However, I feel one of the most interesting underlying conclusions of this talk was that the implications of Brexit on the industry are all still uncertain and there is nothing we can stick our teeth into until the dust begins to settle.
A strong theme this year was the role of emotion in technology and data as well as remembering the human element at the centre of advertising campaigns. Ravleen Beeston of Microsoft looked at technology’s empathetic potential, demonstrating chat bots which can anticipate and mitigate potentially fractious moments such as splitting a drinks bill. Interestingly however, the debate around these kinds of innovations kept returning to the warning that we should not allow ourselves to fall into a bubble and design campaigns around technology consumers aren’t ready for.
Indeed, the ‘Future of Tech and The Millennial Consumer’ stage profiled businesses which were all firmly rooted in their audience understanding, be that to alleviate the struggling care industry or redesigning dating for queer women. In the case of Grabble, the business completely pivoted based on the new audience understanding that their audience wanted more boutique labels and they needed to appeals to a consumer with more disposable income than their original student target. A great example of audience truths designing the product rather than fitting an audience to the platform.
Certainly, the advertising industry now places great focus on ensuring messaging is rooted in audience understanding but this was a good reminder that the same is true for innovation. While some technologies may have become commonplace in media land, we should not get ahead of ourselves and always root design in the human experience.
In as much as we should be remembering the wider world experience effects our consumers, the broader world picture also effects our relationship with our clients. While we are good at watching the competitor environment and market forces which will be shaping client pressures, Rory Sutherland made a fantastic point when he argued we are limiting ourselves when we only speak to our clients about MarComs. That is certainly where our specialism lies but the power of our data and strategic thinking can stretch must further, answering at least wider marketing questions.
Indeed, Posterscope have started pushing beyond the bounds of OOH media to employ our location expertise in wider location analysis projects powered by our award winning ECOS platform. This allows us to explore a range of wider client challenges, be that the location understanding powering a wider communications brief or broad location mapping of audiences by behaviour to help clients really understand what is really happening on the ground. Similarly, MKTG have pushed beyond experiential with their Smart Bench roll out, demonstrating that we can also be part of the smart city revolution and shape the future design of the cities we live in.
It’s an exciting time to be in the industry. There is a wealth of potential for us to apply our audience data to business intelligence and we should be thinking big in order to make the most of it. But if we are to turn this potential into success two watch outs stand out: don’t go too big for the humans we are speaking too and don’t sell ourselves too small to clients who will then look to someone else.

Responsive facial recognition technology redefines customer engagement

Posterscope USA, along with partners Quividi, EYE Corp Media and Engage M1 designed and executed a campaign for the GMC Acadia featuring technology that anonymously detected gender, facial expression, age and composition of the passing audience and then served responsive and engaging branded content targeted to that specific audience.
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The campaign, which ran for 8 weeks at the Santa Monica Place shopping mall, marked the first time globally that responsive facial recognition technology was linked to dynamic displays to present personalized content in an out-of-home campaign.
“Consumers see up to 5,000 ads every single day, and we wanted to create a responsive, engaging campaign that cut through the noise,” said Jeff Tan, head of strategy at Posterscope USA. “By leveraging cutting-edge technology to deliver real-time dynamic content, we helped GMC connect with audiences via personalized location-based communication strategies. This proved particularly effective in the crowded environment that is the Santa Monica Place shopping mall.”
Posterscope and their partners fitted eight digital screens in Santa Monica Place Mall with video sensors and Quividi’s audience and context aware platform that anonymously detected and determined whether a passing shopper was a man or woman, alone or with a group or part of a couple or a family, adult or child or even frowning or smiling. No data or images of any type were collected, stored or shared at any time, ensuring privacy.
Once detection was made, the digital screens were populated with fun and humorous creative video content and brand messaging promoting the virtues and features of the GMC Acadia tailored to the identified audience. The screens also featured a number of interactive games, both for children and adults, like Simon Says and a virtual staring contest, all of which were designed to further deepen engagement and maximize viewer interaction with the screens.
“The ability to personalize content and messaging to a variety of target audiences really came to life in this campaign,” says EYE Corp Media CEO Jeff Gunderman. “Through this partnership with Posterscope, GMC and Quividi, we were able to showcase the power of digital place-based screens when combined with cutting edge technology.”
“Posterscope, EYE Corp and Engage M1 collectively pushed the limits of real-time personalization at scale,” said Ke-Quang Nguyen-Phuc, CEO of Quividi. “Our VidiStudio interactive scenario designer tool made possible the implementation of more than 200 interactive audience-aware experiences, making the GMC Acadia campaign the most comprehensive automated DOOH project to date.”
 
 

Billboard's Targets Specific Car Marques

There is a billboard along a highway west of Chicago that is just as smart as any online ad, if not smarter. Motorists behind the wheels of a Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata or Ford Fusion might even get the feeling that they are being watched. They’d be right.
The sign has “eyes” that belong to General Motors, part of an outdoor campaign using cameras on billboards to identify passing vehicles by their grilles. When Camrys, Altimas, Sonatas and Fusions go by, the system tells a digital billboard 1,000 feet down the road just what to tell drivers about why their cars are inferior to GM’s Chevy Malibu. Some will learn, for example, that the Malibu has “more available safety features than your Hyundai Sonata.”
“Their branding is to ‘Find New Roads’ and they really challenged us to find new roads with out-of-home and push the envelope,” said Helma Larkin, CEO of Dentsu Aegis-owned Posterscope USA, which created the effort in partnership with outdoor ad company Lamar Advertising as well as Carat and Commonwealth McCann.
The campaign, also rolling out in Dallas and New Jersey, exemplifies just one way that technology is fueling a renaissance in out-of-home advertising. Marketers are linking online data to digital billboards, producing ads that bridge the digital and real worlds. And audience-measurement techniques relying on mobile devices are giving brands a better grasp on what types of people encounter their signs every day. As a result, out-of-home advertising is drawing a steady stream of marketing dollars even as other forms of traditional advertising lose ground to digital. It doesn’t hurt that consumers are encountering more signs and out-of-home video while online ads and TV commercials get easier to avoid.
Via: Advertising Age

What MWC 2016 Means for Outdoor Advertisers: Nick Halas comments to MediaTel

Posterscope’s Nick Halas is back from Barcelona and says 2016 is going to be a transformative year for out-of-home.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) has evolved into one of the biggest consumer technology showcases in the world. Mobile technology is increasingly becoming part of everyday behaviours, greatly impacting how consumers engage with each other.
As mobile increasingly drives societal behaviour, it’s changing the way individuals interact with brands. Mobile is having a huge impact in advertising sectors – not least out-of-home (OOH) advertising.
This year’s MWC demonstrated a market readiness for technology which has been emerging over the last few years in prototype and early stage forms, including major developments for connected devices.
Major focus areas included wearables, home security and smart cities, alongside with proof of the evolution of not just connected cars, but also almost any connected device you can think of: including the ‘connected cow’ (a genuine agricultural innovation), as well as some which are equally innovative, if (in my opinion), somewhat creepy, like Sony’s Xperia Ear.
This tidal wave of change promises to be transformational for everyone involved in the OOH ecosystem, particularly for the digital OOH sector. Here are some key themes that I believe our industry needs to address following this year’s MWC:

  1. Alliances are powerful

Partnerships are one of those things that are very easy to discuss and propose, but much harder to actually turn into a real success. However, the tech giants and major consumer brands are clearly understanding that the need to come together and collaborate is more important than ever in creating positive change.
This was apparent throughout the show – for example, Lenovo and Google’s Project Tango – a next generation operating system and product set. Or Volvo and Ericsson’s connected vehicle, and in the luxury goods market Tag Heuer and Intel’s new smart watch. ‘Luxury brand plus tech giant’ is an equation we’ll see more of, certainly.
For the OOH industry, we’re already starting to reap the benefits of a more collaborative approach. In the US, the NYC Link project is a great demonstration of how OOH has redefined its principles by building in public utility, via free Wi-Fi for the entire NY population.
By looking outside its core, the OOH industry can deliver solutions that increasingly become part of consumer utility, engagement and connectivity, without losing the opportunity to engage with target audiences

  1. Connectivity, connectivity, connectivity

MWC is a barometer event. It shows us evolving trends, and provides an indication as to if and when certain trends are going to take off. Of everything on display at the Congress this year, it’s the continued evolution of IoT that probably holds the most for OOH advertisers.
These developments suggest OOH advertisers will be better able to interact and engage with people by using beacons, image recognition or device pairing. I expect to see this extend into CRM and payments, (witness Visa’s expansion of its Visa Ready Program), as well as into the automobile sector as both connected cells – the car and the poster site – will be able to communicate with each other.
In short, we’ll see far greater collaboration with digital and mobile campaigns, both as an extension network and as a platform for the delivery of dynamic personalised messaging, all of which will build on OOH’s ability to deliver fame and attention for brands.
In this regard, ‘mobile’ refers less to the handset, and instead to whichever device, or ‘thing’ within the Internet of Things that the consumer has with them.

  1. Audience insight

New levels of connectivity across a vast and expanding number of connected devices is set to act as a springboard for far deeper levels of consumer insight. For OOH advertisers, this has tremendous implications for both the targeting of campaigns and increasing the impact of messaging through the right contextual message being delivered at the right time, and in the right place.
From our own experience, we’re already seeing vastly improved processes through partnerships with EE, XAd and Locomizer. These provide an incredible new layer of understanding of micro-location data, which informs greater insights about the OOH consumer. Increasingly this insight will not just fuel the traditional OOH space, but will help in evaluating the experiential event space as well.
The increased application and adoption of small cell technology through population movement and audience segmentation data will provide significantly more robust research and evaluation systems into events. Additionally, CRM connectivity with mobile devices will enable OOH advertisers to begin to track and evaluate campaigns, and traffic attribution post-event.

  1. VR and events: a match made in technology heaven

Virtual Reality, (VR), is not new, and in fact we have already used it in several experiential campaigns. However, the move toward mass market adoption changes the game, and the renewed focus on VR built to a fever pitch at this year’s MWC, driven in no small part by the hardware announcements from major, global, technology superbrands.
Several new products were updated and launched early on, including HTC’s Vive and LG’s new VR headset.
Additionally, Samsung’s Gear 360 camera will capture VR videos, (although LG’s device boasts an incredible 70 hours of video recording, which will take some beating); but perhaps most significantly, Samsung announced its Gear VR headsets will be provided free with all pre orders of the S7 and S7 Edge handsets.
Facebook announced the creation of a VR team, dedicated to creating new ways for people to have social experiences in VR.
The mainstream drive means greater ability for technology to create immersive experiences for consumers, but we need to keep quality at the core. Any new technology is only ever as good as its weakest public solution, and if brands use VR badly, everyone risks getting stung.

  1. Infrastructure imbalance

It’s easy to read the road ahead as incredibly positive, but there is word of warning. Despite optimism at events like MWC, there’s an undercurrent of uncertainty. Technology is always a gamble, and several major tech giants have gone through tough times recently as investment wasn’t made at the right time.
In the coming years the OOH industry will face the same parallels. The increasing sophistication of existing technology and the birth of new platforms, along with increasing digital infrastructure and more connectivity will require major level investment.
We’re already seeing this investment from several of the bigger media owners – but as MWC’s evolution demonstrates, keeping pace with technological change can be a tough order to fill.
The world is on the cusp of some very exciting new technologies, which will have a tremendous transformative impact on the OOH industry – as seen at this year’s Congress. We need to be ready for change, and if we get it right the future for OOH looks very bright indeed.
Nick Halas is head of futures at Posterscope
This feature was first published in MediaTel 

Mobile World Congress: What the Advertising Industry Learned reports The Guardian

As the sun sets on the Barcelona event for another year, what do the announcements and innovations mean for the ad industry?
More than 100,000 delegates from 204 countries attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, while 2,200 companies exhibited their wares.
So what were the important announcements from MWC 2016? In the lead up to the event, virtual reality (VR) was expected to make a splash, while many were hoping for insight on hot topics such as adblocking, internet of things and data security. We spoke to four MWC delegates, including Nick Halas, Head of Futures at Posterscope, on what they thought of the event and what the innovations might mean for the future of the advertising industry.
Nick Halas, head of futures at Posterscope
In spite of the plethora of new mobile device releases and mass media frenzy over VR, in fact the evolution of IoT [internet of things] was the trend at this year’s MWC that may hold the most for out-of-home (OOH) advertisers. The mass market is gearing up for connected cars, like Huawei and Audi’s new partnerships, wearables and home security. It’s essentially becoming every connected device you can think of – including those that are innovative but in my opinion somewhat creepy, like the Sony Xperia Ear.
There’s a tidal wave of change that IoT is bringing with it, and it’s promising to be transformational for everyone involved in the OOH ecosystem, particularly for the digital out-of-home sector. We’ll be seeing greater collaboration with digital and mobile campaigns, both as an extension network and as a platform for the delivery of dynamic personalised messaging.
Additionally, it will enable advertisers to better interact and engage with consumers via beacons, image recognition or device pairing. This will extend into CRM and payments, such as Visa’s expansion of its Visa Ready program, and even possibly directly with vehicular movement as both connected cells – the car and the poster site – will be able to communicate with each other.
To read the full article in the Guardian  click here
Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

M&C Saatchi, Posterscope and Clear Channel unveil the first Artificial Intelligence poster Campaign

London. 23 July 2015.  M&C Saatchi has created the first ever artificially intelligent poster campaign in the world, which evolves unique ads based on how people react to it. The pioneering project has been undertaken in partnership with Posterscope and Clear Channel UK.
The technology works by using a genetic algorithm that tests different executions based on the strength of their various features or ‘genes’, such as copy, layout, font and image. By installing a camera on the posters, M&C Saatchi is able to measure engagement of passers-by based on whether they look happy, sad or neutral.
Genes (or ads) which fail to trigger an engagement will be ‘killed off’, whereas those which prompt an engaged reaction will be reproduced in future executions, leading to a Darwinian approach to advertising whereby only the strongest creative executions survive. Not only that, but a small amount of these genes will mutate at random, meaning that the next generation has a chance to naturally improve over time.
David Cox, Chief Innovation Officer at M&C Saatchi, said: “This innovation is breaking new ground in the industry because it’s the first time a poster has been let loose to entirely write itself, based on what works, rather than just what a person thinks may work. We are not suggesting a diminished role for creative but we know technology will be playing a greater part in what we do.”
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Glen Wilson, Managing Director of Posterscope, said: “This pioneering campaign demonstrates what the evolving capabilities and unique agility of the digital out-of-home medium can offer advertisers. DOOH campaigns can already tweak creative as they go, using real-time technologies that adapt based on factors like temperature, weather, travel info, location and time of day. However, this experiment goes one step further, evolving beyond a pure reliance on environmental factors to add emotional engagement as a measurable trigger, to ensure campaigns achieve maximum relevance. It’s a bold, pioneering move that could change the course of the digital out-of-home medium, and we’re very proud to have played our part in bringing this campaign to life.”
Neil Chapman, Head of Create at Clear Channel, said “This is a world-first in the use of artificial intelligence and digital out of home, and we’re proud to be launching this innovation with M&C Saatchi and Posterscope. We know that this is merely scratching the surface of the potential for artificial intelligence in the digital out of home arena and are very much looking forward to exploring the possibilities this kind of technology presents for advertisers in the near future.”
The artificially intelligent ads will run at bus shelters on Oxford Street and Clapham Common until 24th July and 10th – 21st August respectively

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