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Blocks's Smart Watch Offers Link between Wearable Tech and OOH

Blocks Developers are developing an open-platform, modular device.
With the aim of being fully customisable, the Blocks smart watch can be fitted with a variety of LED, E-Ink and touchscreen displays and software add-ons, including gesture control and GPS.
The watches will be able to be integrated with QR-code recognition and contactless payment, which means that they could be used to interact with out-of-home screens and advertising. The open source nature of the platform means that developers will be able to develop apps to integrate Blocks with other web-connected devices.
Via: Output Magazine

Location Tech and Mobile Map Out Way to Better Business

Surbiton would not normally be thought of as a centre of fashion.
But it is, according to location data analysts at least.

This south west London suburb, home to BBC TV’s fictional Stella Street celebrities, is where young people are more likely to check out fashion sites and apps on their smartphones than almost anywhere else in the UK.

The surprising insight comes from mobile phone network EE, which has collated terabytes of anonymised and aggregated data on more than 20 million UK customers – data that is proving increasingly valuable to retailers and advertisers.
The internet has been a godsend for marketers – enabling them to track our online behaviour to the nth degree.
Now location data from mobiles and other sources has added a whole new layer of detail to the picture – a step-change analogous to the move from videotape to DVD.
“Location analytics are becoming integral to every business strategy,” says David Brussin, chief executive of Monetate, a digital marketing company.
Poster boys and girls
US marketing pioneer John Wanamaker once famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
Location analytics is helping to solve that conundrum.
Out-of-home (OOH) advertisers and agencies – those responsible for ads on billboards, bus stops and other physical locations – now know what type of person is passing a specific location at any one time, and what they are doing online.
They can then target their ads accordingly.
“Thanks to location data we now understand the relevance and value of a particular advertising position compared with another,” says James Davies, chief strategy officer at OOH agency Posterscope.
“For instance, commuters at one station may tend to look at financial apps on their phones, whereas people travelling from another station may prefer fashion apps,” he says.
“Knowing this helps advertisers ensure their ads are relevant, which saves money and improves effectiveness.”
With brands spending nearly £1bn a year on outdoor advertising in the UK, relevance is key to getting more bang for your marketing buck.
Posterscope says its partnership with EE has seen advertising effectiveness triple for some of its clients, who include Lenovo, Nationwide and British Gas.
“We now know which bus stop is better than another on the same street,” says Mr Davies.
Music for you
The mobile phone is not only an excellent tool for locating consumers, it is also an increasingly effective way for brands to interact with them.
When people move into a particular zone – crossing a geo-fence as the jargon has it – marketers can send highly targeted offers to their phones – ads relevant to their age, interests and purchasing histories.
For example, during last year’s Proms music festival, which centred around South Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall, Decca Records sent text messages to classical music lovers in the locality offering them free track downloads of artists featured in that night’s programme.
At first, the campaign looked liked proving a damp squib – the geo-fenced area was too narrowly focused around the venue.
But as soon as this was widened to include nearby tube stations, the response rate improved dramatically, the company says.
The campaign illustrated how location analytics could help reach an older demographic that is normally hard to engage, argues Sean O’Connell, director of product and technology at Weve, a joint venture between mobile phone networks Telefonica, Vodafone and EE.
Weve provided Decca’s location-based customer data and helps many other businesses with their marketing campaigns. About 60% of its campaigns in 2013 “included a location element”, says Mr O’Connell.
“The Decca campaign shows how specific and bespoke your marketing can be. And you get much more engagement with this type of marketing – click metrics improve three or four times,” says Mr O’Connell.
Personalised offers
“Location and context aware offers are going to change the world,” says John Bates, chief marketing strategy officer of big data specialist Software AG.
“Say you’re walking past a designer shoe store, you could receive a mobile ad offering a 30% discount off Jimmy Choos if you come in within the next 30 minutes and use a particular credit card.

“This is how the High Street can fight back against Amazon,” he adds. “The real world is fighting back against the virtual world – it’s personalisation on a massive scale.”

Monetate’s David Brussin agrees, saying: “A retailer can offer customers a promotion online, via email or on mobile, which changes dynamically based on their location, highlighting the shop physically closest to them and directing them to visit, and ultimately buy.”
But this kind of highly personalised marketing will only work if consumers are happy to trade some privacy in return for the benefits, Mr O’Connell believes.
“All such services are opt-in,” he says. “Customers give their permission to be indentified. With location technologies, being able to say no is of paramount importance.”
Smart maps
Location data can also help businesses map out ways to improve – literally.
For example, Esri, a specialist in location data mapping, mashes together all sorts of data – censuses, social media streams, weather, land surveys – then adds in location data gleaned from wi-fi, phone masts, GPS, and card transactions.
“Static data is being enhanced by real-time data, and this is making maps dynamic,” says Sharon Grufferty, head of software-as-a-service product management for Esri UK.
“Companies can locate hotspots of Twitter sentiment on a map, for example, and pinpoint where a problem exists, enabling them to tackle it quickly,” she adds.
Such analysis is helping insurers assess household risk far more accurately, energy companies pick the ideal place for a wind farm, and retailers plan their stores, says Ms Grufferty.
For example, retailer Argos, part of Home Retail Group, used Esri’s location mapping expertise to help it decide the best locations for its “click-and-collect” centres, based on in-depth analysis of online and in-store customer behaviour and geo-demographics.
The underperforming, badly located stores were jettisoned, while new and existing stores were stocked more efficiently to suit the local clientele.
“Home Retail Group have been long-term users of mapping software and insight,” says Andrew Stringer, the company’s customer and market insight controller.
“It helps to identify more areas where we can offer great convenience to our customers.”
These days, the old adage “location, location, location” seems to apply as much to business as it does to property investment.
Via: BBC News

New Eye-Tracking Tech Aims to Tackle Accountability in OOH

New eye-tracking technology has  been launched in a bid to address the growing issue of accountability in outdoor advertising.
Developed by video network CScreens, the technology will for the first time allow advertisers to see how their campaign is performing across a number of out-of-home formats and locations – from billboards to televisions in pubs – showing the number of people looking at an ad, how long they are looking for, their gender and approximate age.
The first campaign using the technology is set to run during the World Cup to measure audience engagement across TV screens at live ‘experiential’ events in London, over 330 pubs and 50 five-a-side football centres.
Via: MediaTel

2015 Election Countdown: Will Ad Tech Help Revolutionise Campaigns?

Glen Wilson, Posterscope MD, discusses how digital out-of-home advertising platforms offer political parties the chance to tweak policy messages like never before.

With less than a year to go until the 2015 general election, and following Ukip’s win at the European elections, Britain’s political parties are already drawing battle lines. However, this time they are armed with the latest advertising technology. Just as Obama’s 2012 victory was boosted with social media, next year’s election will be fought with a world first: a powerful combination of real-time data and digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising platforms. This means parties will gain the ability to react instantly to opponents’ announcements, dialling up campaign messages based on political polls or real-time social media sentiment analysis. This has the potential to revolutionise political campaigns, like we’ve never seen before.
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has a long history in UK political campaigns, with billboards and posters featuring prominently in many UK elections. In 1979, the famous “Labour isn’t working” poster helped Margaret Thatcher achieve electoral victory and in 2001, Labour’s controversial mash-up of Margaret Thatcher and William Hague made headlines. In fact, OOH has become such a key part of election campaigns that political parties spent £7m on outdoor adverts in 2010, equivalent to nearly a third of total political ad spending.
Today, OOH remains one of the most popular and powerful political campaigning channels. This has been demonstrated in the run-up to the European parliamentary elections, with Ukip’s successful campaign and controversial national billboard poster campaign. Funded by businessman Paul Sykes, the campaign features a series of provocative statements about the European Union and the impact it is having on UK families.
With TV campaigning opportunities limited to the party debates, it’s unsurprising politicians choose to focus on OOH efforts. However, campaigners also recognise this method has the ability to reach a large audience where they spend a significant percentage of their time: out of their homes.
In the US, DOOH was hugely important during the 2012 elections. Digital signage and digital billboards were a significant component of political campaigning. For example, Mitt Romney’s campaign used digital billboards in states such as Florida and Colorado to coincide with Obama’s campaign rallies, while Obama’s campaign launched a digital advertising campaign throughout the DC Metro system to target voters in Northern Virginia. Rock The Vote, an organisation which aims to encourage young people to vote, also capitalised on DOOH during the election to raise awareness with young voters. Its “We Will” campaign, which aimed to defy voter suppression, incorporated digital billboards in high visibility areas.
With access to big data insights from polling information, together with the flexibility of using a digital screen, English political parties will be able to increase or decrease the severity of campaign messages depending on how they resonate with the public, and tweak policy messages depending on public sentiment. They’ll also be able to drill down into location-based data, which will provide parties with the flexibility to address specific local issues, and strengthen the campaign in areas where they might not be polling strongly enough.
There is no doubt this technology, powered by real-time information, has huge potential for British politicians. We will no doubt see ads that are more innovative and more targeted than ever before. I can’t wait.
Via: The Guardian

Eye Airports Converts to BroadSign International

The largest airport advertising company in the United Kingdom, Eye Airports, has selected BroadSign International, LLC’s cloud-based digital signage software platform to power its network of screens across 28 airports in the UK. The initiative follows the merger announcement of Eye Corp UK and Airport Partners in December 2013.

The initial conversion of 200 Eye Airports screens to BroadSign software took place in 13 airports this March and will continue with further rollout. The network is present in major national hubs such as London Gatwick, Manchester Airport and London Stansted. It consists of 46″, 55″ and 70″ LCD screens and video walls along with large format LEDs, and reaches over 100 million passengers annually.

Via: Yahoo Finance

 

Coke Use Drones to Deliver Drinks From the Skies

Coca-Cola can claim to be one of the first advertisers in Asia to deploy drone cameras in a marketing campaign.
As part of its Open Happiness campaign, the fizzy drinks brand has teamed up with non-profit organisation the Singapore Kindness Movement to deliver cans of Coke from the sky to construction workers in Singapore.
Coke dropped off cans of drinks and words of encouragement to more than 2,500 guest workers around the island nation. The company is using the hashtag #CokeDrones to promote its campaign.
The agency behind the ‘Happiness from the skies’ campaign was Ogilvy.
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Via: mUmBRELLA

Smartphone-Assisted Easter Egg Hunt is Latest Use of iBeacons

Fabergé‘s Big Egg Hunt, which benefits two nonprofits, Studio in a School and Elephant Family, is a fun event brightening up the streets of New York for Easter and an experiment in using iBeacon technology in public non-retail spaces. Over 275 egg sculptures, each about 2.5 feet tall, have been scattered around New York City, and each has been decorated by a well-known artist, photographer or designer: participants include Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenberg, Warby Parker and Naeem Khan.
Each egg is up for sale, and those who ‘check in’ at the egg can bid on it using the egg-hunt app. The location of a specific egg will remain a secret until 10 people have checked in by that egg. After that, the egg’s location will appear on a public interactive map. The intensified bidding that will ensue will benefit the two above-named organizations. Users of the app are also entered to win more than $30,000 worth of Fabergé jewelry.
Nomi, a startup organization that works with iBeacons, helped put the technical aspect of the project together. As they told Fashionista, it was an opportunity for them to prove to their other clients that the iBeacon platform can withstand unusual deployments.
The eggs will be gathered together in a free exhibit at Rockefeller Center on April 18-25; they will be auctioned off on the 22nd, with the egg hunt ending on April 26th.
Via: psfk

The Inspiration Corridor

A new installation attempts to merge the online and offline gap, helping bring more foot traffic to physical stores.
Created by DigitasLBi Paris and real estate investment company Klépierre, the Inspiration Corridor is a large booth that offers users a personalized digital shopping experience. Shoppers step into the booth and undergo a complete body scan, with the Inspiration Corridor taking note of their age, sex, and current ensembles. From there, it brings up digital displays of items located in that mall that you might be interested in, and could potentially buy on the spot.
Customers can use a touchscreen to mark items they like and add them to their shopping bag, giving the technology a better idea of other products that might be right for them. And if you already purchased something earlier in the day, you can scan the item and have the Inspiration Corridor suggest complimentary clothing or accessories currently in stock at the mall. When you’ve found what you are looking for, the Klépierre mobile app will use the Apple iBeacon technology to pull up a floor plan of the mall and direct you to your selected items.
Though still a prototype, the Inspiration Corridor brings the best part of online shopping into the physical world.
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Via: psfk
 

NFC Payments to Be Tested on the London Underground

Oyster card readers have been updated with the tech to allow travellers to tap through using just their mobile.
Transport for London is reportedly readying itself to launch mobile payments using the NFC chips in a device, reports Cellular News.
Contactless payment solutions are already available with the transport authority that uses its own MiFare payments cards, and recently added support for contactless debit cards.
The current Oyster card readers – which use RFID technology – have been given the NFC treatment, which will allow travellers to tap in and out using just their mobile device.
Shashi Verma, director of customer experience with TfL, commented: “We are doing some testing to see how the devices perform on the system and welcome any new payment technologies that meet the relevant industry standards and enable sufficiently fast transaction speeds.”
It is expected that travellers would need to top up their mobile wallet, similar to how they use an Oyster card.
London buses are also expected to move over to contactless payments, ditching cash transactions completely.
Via: Mobile Entertainment

US Skyscraper Turned into World’s Biggest Gameboy for Tetris Challenge

A group of Tetris fans gave faced the biggest challenge of their lives after a 29-floor tower in Philadelphia was turned into a giant customised screen for rotating blocks.

The Cira Centre made for a natural screen courtesy of hundreds of LED lights embedded in its façade, allowing gamers to manipulate illuminated shapes as they slid down both facades of the tower using a simple joystick.
Designed to mark the 30th anniversary of the hit game and encourage city residents to think about technology the scheme was the brainchild of Frank Lee, digital media professor at Drexel University.
Lee, who holds a Guinness World Record for largest architectural videogame display after performing a similar stunt with Pong last year, said: “This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved when I was a child – Pong last year, Tetris this year. But it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia.”
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Via: The Drum