Posterscope Deploys 'Near Field' Test, Could Revolutionize Outdoor Media Buys

In a media-buying first, Aegis' Posterscope this week rolled out the first application of a promising new interactive out-of-home media technology, "near field communication," or NFC. The deal, which was put together by Posterscope's Hyperspace unit, will enable commuters and pedestrians to instantaneously interact with ads placed on bus shelters in New York and Los Angeles.

Posterscope described the beta buy as a "test" that will benchmark the potential for NFC as a mainstream out-of-home advertising tool that could be rolled out nationwide.

The main focus of the test will be the "usability" of the technology, meaning how people interact with it.

The test utilizes technology developed by NFC technology developer Proxama and Nokia, which is being applied to ads promoting the new season of VH1's "Basketball Wives" series on bus shelter installations owned by CBS Outdoor, JC Decaux and Cemusa.

Posterscope executives say the NFC application will enable onlookers to tap an icon on the ads with an NFC-enabled phone to view an exclusive clip of the show. They described the technology as "easy," and "hassle-free," and noted that the bus shelter installations required no more than a "paper-thin" sticker to be affixed to the back of the ads.



While the test focuses on whether consumers will utilize the NFC application to download content, future uses could offer the ability to make instantaneous purchases or offers.

"The potential for seamless integration into out-of-home formats offers an enormous added value in extending brands to consumers," the Posterscope team said in a statement, adding, "The retail possibilities are enormous."

Nokia, which also is a Posterscope client, provided NFC-enabled phones for the test, which have been available in its Nokia Astound models sold by T-Mobile since earlier this year.

"What is so exciting about this new technology is its simplicity, its low cost and the worldwide adoption taking place," stated Martin Porter, vice president and director of Hyperspace, "all creating large-scale purposeful marketing opportunities that can be easily implemented across the U.S. There are hundreds of thousands of commercially available poster sites that can be instantly enabled with the technology. The potential application of this technology is immense."

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