In my short lifetime, outdoor advertising has changed a lot. And it looks like even bigger changes are on the horizon.
I remember the first time I saw a billboard that flipped between displays. It was a Southwest Airlines ad in California that rotated between the two ads like vertical blinds. As a kid, I thought that was so cool and much more eye-catching than the typical outdoor advertisement.
I’ve recently noticed many more animated billboards popping up along the I-10. Electronic signage has been around for a long time – I most closely associate it with concert venues scrolling upcoming lineups outside the building. But now, the billboards contain full-on graphic animation, like soda spilling out of a Coke cup. Basically, short videos.
“Each unit can “read” passing faces to determine which are actually looking at the ads on that specific screen. They can also estimate the age, sex and level of interest of onlookers. And the systems can provide second-by-second data reports, something like outdoor advertising’s version of TV’s commercial ratings.”
This will have big implications for advertising, since outdoor advertising is difficult to track. You can’t guarantee that everyone who passes your billboard is in your traget audience. With magazines, newspapers, television, radio and even Web site advertising, it’s much easier to target specific audiences, demographics and interests.
I wonder if certain places will become much more expensive than others based on data collected with this new technology…