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How QR codes, AR & social are changing the outdoor outlook

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How QR codes, AR & social are changing the outdoor outlook

Thanks to new technology, outdoor advertising is emerging as a medium to reckon with. Globally, there have been experimentations and innovations done in the outdoor landscape using technology.

exchange4media picks three digital tools that global brands have adopted to enhance their outdoor advertising campaigns...

Use of QR codes in outdoors for shopping
There are a number of ways that retail stores can benefit from the use of QR codes in addition to standard barcodes for the sale of their products. Beyond the basics of finding out store information, such as hours or locations, or linking to a store website, QR codes can be used to supply the customer with useful product specific information that will entice them to purchase. This could include instructions, on the spot research, social shopping and customer feedback.

Perhaps every QR code aficionado and virtual shopping enthusiast is aware of Tesco South Korea’s efforts to gain more sales by coming up with a shopping wall in the country’s subway station. The wall featured photographs of grocery items arranged on a shelf. Each item has a corresponding QR code that busy commuters only need to scan in order to buy. Their purchases are then delivered to their doorsteps. No crowds, no shopping carts and no lining up at the cash register. The idea was soon being copied and duplicated by other retail companies worldwide. Here’s a look at how Homeplus pushed its online sales using QR codes in outdoors…

Use of mobile technology in outdoors for interactive
Consumers are in a different frame of mind when they are away from their home or office and near the point of sale. Consumers are making buying decisions when they are on the go, and out of home keeps a brand top of mind. Out of home advertising has the ability to reach a broad audience, but can also be hyperlocal – letting consumers know about businesses in close proximity to an out of home display or products sold in the area.

DDB Stockholm created a lot of noise for McDonalds by bringing interaction on a digital billboard in 2011. The campaign, called ‘Pick N’ Play’, offered users a fun and interactive challenge, where they could play for their favourite McDonalds’ treat. Using a large interactive billboard, users controlled the game via their mobile phones, enabling interaction with the billboard.

By using geo location the brand could verify that the user was in the game area so that the users didn’t have to download the app in order to participate in the game. Players chose their treats, and if they lasted for more than 30 seconds they won a coupon, earning them free fast food at a nearby McDonalds. This digital coupon was automatically sent to the users’ phones along with instructions on how to claim their McDonalds’ treat at the nearest store. Here’s a look at the campaign…

Use of mobile, QR codes with social together for scaling up the campaign
With the growing use of social media as a free way for brands to interact with consumers, out of home advertising can be a strategic media choice and a valuable part of a media campaign. Out of home advertising provides a constant presence for a brand. This is especially important because it is a way to stay connected with consumers when they are on the move.

Increasingly, the medium can and will be used as a direct response mechanism, with unique content delivered directly to consumers. This primer outlines the basics of the social media landscape, how out of home advertising fits into an interactive campaign, ways to incorporate social media into creative executions, and more.

JCDecaux Australia rolled out an interactive campaign for Streets Magnum, wherein it recognised and responded to facial motion in order for passersby to engage. After smiling to activate, the user could begin to bite the Magnum Infinity on the billboard. With each attempt at biting, the camera in the billboard registered their mouth movements and imitated it by biting the on-screen ice cream. Users could smile for their photo to be uploaded on to the Streets Magnum Facebook page. Here’s a look at the campaign…


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Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.