Wednesday, November 20, 2013

British Airways Billboard Ads Interact With Planes

One of the big selling points of digital billboards is interactivity -- and the definition grew wider this week thanks to British Airways, which unveiled new outdoor ads that interact with planes overhead.

The BA campaign, running on Clear Channel’s new “Storm” digital out-of-home network in London, uses surveillance technology and flight schedules to determine when there is a BA plane overhead. When a plane is detected, it triggers an image of a child pointing up at the aircraft, along with a message containing the flight number and departure city -- e.g., “Look, it’s flight BA430 Amsterdam.”

That’s followed or accompanied (in installations with more than one sign) by a second message, e.g. “Amsterdam, one of 34 city break destinations.” Other complementary messages highlight things like low fares or the current temperature at the destination.

The ads are running on Storm displays in Piccadilly, in Central London, and the West London neighborhood of Chiswick, whose positions allow juxtaposition with BA planes landing at London’s busy Heathrow Airport. The campaign was created by Ogilvy’s 12th Floor agency.

Richard Tams, the head of BA sales for the UK and Ireland, stated: “We've all had conversations with friends and family wondering where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination, and this clever technology taps in to that and reminds people how accessible the world can be.”

The Storm network, unveiled by Clear Channel UK in October, consists of high-profile digital billboards along motorways around London; among other features, they allow “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 billboards are complemented with customizable lighting and digital nameplates for advertising clients.



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