Most of us are familiar with the movie Minority Report, it showed how smart billboards (digital billboards) that display different ads depending on who is looking at them. At the time of movie release in 2002 we all had just thought this billboard thing to be a fiction like any other SciFi movies but we have come to a lot closer to the fiction this time. Maybe by the time I end up this blog there would be someone somewhere doing exactly what was shown in the movie.
The impact of Smart Billboards on Advertising
Its impact can be assessed by how many people saw the billboard and then how many turned up to buy that product. These smart billboards not just provide us with the information about the product but also gives insight on impressions it has on the people. This whole data thing enables the industry to choose the right place, time and audience to showcase their product. Also, the data helps in ascertaining the right cost of renting a billboard with impressive impact on the viewers. It can be integrated & connected with mobile app thus allowing user to directly buy or rate the product.
One of the first among the smart billboard advertisement was the Porsche ad at Melbourne’s Airport Drive. The technology behind the smart billboard is not so complex that it seems. It uses a camera to detect Porsche vehicles before displaying a message that reads “It’s so easy to pick you out of a crowd” when a Porsche approaches.
There is an image recognition software that detects the car approaching from a distance and verifies it with pre-installed images of the Porsche in the system. Once the image matches, billboard changes the display message, else it displays its regular advertising message.
After this experiment went successful, there were many other ads that were based on smart technology. During the launch of Lexus’s NX Crossover model in Australia, there were more advanced and innovative smart billboards used in 5 different locations to tap in. This time, messages were more personal to every car that passed the billboard such as: “Hey black Merc driver, the heavens have opened. This is the new Lexus NX.”
Recently New York’s Time Square was turned into a gigantic shower during a rainy day. The smart billboard for Dove implemented weather sensors to turn on the lady on the billboard to take a shower with the Dove body wash. The digital display combined technology, media and weather data from Forecast.io to make its signage reactive to the environment around it.
Benefiting the Retail Industry
The use of technology is encouraging the retail sector to showcase their products differently so as to gain more and more views. Also, it is such smart billboards are helping in promoting the IoT in retail. The technology is surely a revolution in ensuring you no longer bombarded with irrelevant ads and only gets to see what you want to. It can be integrated with beacon technology which can be a boon to retail industry, the smart billboard will show the advertisement and mobile app can show more details about the product.
This is just the start of the IoT in advertising, there is a long way. Till then, keep relishing this technology and watch out for more innovations around you.