Commentary

Big Week For Transit DOOH

While the digital out-of-home space is always busy, this week transit-based DOOH took center stage with a flurry of new deals and products at home and abroad.

First up, taxi advertising is getting creative thanks to Blue Bite and Creative Mobile Technologies, which have partnered to bring Blue Bite’s mTAG technology to CMT’s digital screens in the back seats of cabs in New York City and elsewhere. The new system uses near-field communication (NFC) and QR technology to enable viewers to connect with mobile content -- including music, videos, mobile apps, promotional information, coupons, maps, and tips -- simply by tapping or scanning their mobile device on digital screens; they can also share the content with friends via Twitter and Facebook and participate in special offers. The system was tested with a campaign for Vogue that ran for three weeks in August and September, and will eventually expand to include taxis in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Anaheim.

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Also this week, CBS Outdoor announced the addition of digital assets owned by Miami-Dade Transit, its Metrorail system media portfolio. The MDT digital network, which includes 94 screens in 23 stations, reaches over 1.75 million transit passengers per month, according to the company, including traffic to and from Miami International Airport. The displays are positioned near screens that show train schedule information, ensuring high visibility for ad messages.  

Across the pond, Clear Channel Outdoor UK unveiled its new “Storm” network of high-profile, cutting-edge digital billboards along motorways around London. Among other features, the Storm network enables “bespoke” ad placements, with creative formats and schedules ranging from a single, two-hour display during a Friday rush hour to a year-long takeover. The Storm billboards are complemented with customizable lighting and digital nameplates for advertising clients. Launch advertisers include Apple, Burberry, Coca-Cola, Google, Sky, HTC, and Virgin Holidays.

Not to be outdone, competitor JCDecaux revealed plans for a big expansion of its digital roadside signage in the U.K., with installation of 30 new screens around the country by 2014.  The expanded network will include new structures and revamped static billboards in the London metro area. The first new screens are scheduled to be operational by the end of this month.

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