A top Posterscope executive indicated Wednesday that mobile devices could be transformative in out-of-home advertising, as they offer an opportunity for two-way
communication that could drive engagement and go beyond simple exposure.
James Davies, Posterscope’s U.S. and U.K. chief strategy officer, suggested that smartphones can prompt mobile wallet activity, social media connections and gaming in response to billboards and other placements.
Mobile wallets may have been “quite scary” to consumers a few years ago, Davies said, but that’s dissipating. The medium offers a behavioral change that business should exploit. Helping that along is a gradual adoption of NFC (near field communication) technology, which can allow easier purchasing and other interaction with an OOH execution.
Still, that is fledgling, as various stakeholders are getting on board. “Clearly, there’s a huge education job for brands and media owners in this area,” Davies said.
In general, he thinks the OOH industry needs to upgrade its image, where there is a “modern, sophisticated, vital positioning for a medium.”
Speaking at an Advertising Club of New York event, Davies said OOH should be viewed as a “content channel, not necessarily a pure ad channel," ading the OOH industry needs to make better use of real-time opportunities or digital billboards. He cited an example of Audi adjusting messaging in real-time, based on factors such as weather, traffic patterns and Twitter activity.
Measurement is always discussed as a challenge in the OOH business, and Davies offered his take on its shortfalls. Compared to online measurement, it’s “like the Dark Ages.”