A World-First: Billboards Identify Passing Vehicles and Trigger Personal Response
Posted on January 19, 2015 | By ArabAd staff

Here are two smart OOH executions that recently rolled out in Australia. In an unrivalled execution anywhere in the world, Porsche and Lexus’ are using innovative technology that allows them to call out motorists with playful targeted messages through sophisticated and interactive smart billboards.

In a world-first advertising campaign, Porsche drivers will attract more attention than usual with a new digital out-of-home campaign that will display a tailoured message on a Melbourne Airport digital billboard when the luxury car approaches it.

Created by an Australian out-of-home company, oOh! Media, the innovative campaign will automatically change the content on the 50 square metres digital billboard with the message “It’s so easy to pick you out of a crowd” when a Porsche approaches.

The car recognition technology developed by oOh! with Digital Experiences uses IBM software and oOh!’s own content management system ARGLYE to identify oncoming Porsches before revealing the message for 10 seconds.

On the other front, specifically engineered smart billboards for Lexus brand began operating at key high traffic sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Here the activation is more sophisticated than Porsche’s as the billboards identify the brand, model and colour of passing vehicles to trigger a personal and playful message to drivers via the digital display, such as “Hey white Audi driver, it’s time to Crossover. This is the New Lexus NX.”

The format also tailours tactical messages based on other variables such as time of day, weather and traffic conditions to generate messages such as: “Hey black Mercedes driver, the heavens have opened. This is the new Lexus NX.”

Done by M&C Saatchi Sydney in a collaboration with APN Outdoor and TMS, each billboard has a series of cameras on high rotation that capture all passing traffic. The images are sent to a hi-tech device-the APN Outdoor Classifier- that matches them to its large database of vehicles makes, models and colours in addition to the other variables.

The activation features more than 80 different configurations of dynamic messaging in each of the five sites.

M&C Saatchi Executive Creative Director Ben Welsh called the smart billboards “direct messaging on steroids”.

“It’s quite epic to have a 42 square metres billboard having a chat to you as you drive past. It was an ambitious idea that Lexus really went for, brilliantly brought to life by APN Outdoor and TMS.”

These campaigns are an excellent example of the opportunities available to advertisers via OOH media and we can continue to expect more cutting-edge executions like this and media-channel innovation, where hopefully the Middle East won’t be standing far behind.