Buses sport GPS-able ads

Do buses dream of GPS-able ad messages? Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, wrote of futures rife with pervasive advertising that is constantly changing to suit situational factors. Thanks to N.Y.C.-based OOH media supplier Titan Worldwide, his visions are closer to becoming reality...at least in New York and Chicago.

Do buses dream of GPS-able ad messages? Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, wrote of futures rife with pervasive advertising that is constantly changing to suit situational factors. Thanks to N.Y.C.-based OOH media supplier Titan Worldwide, his visions are closer to becoming reality…at least in New York and Chicago.

Titan has employed one bus in each of the two largest American markets to test state-of-the-art LED bus-side signs that use a GPS tracking system, enabling advertising to change based on location and time. The possibilities are endless.

‘Our software is flexible enough to be able to really divide a city,’ says David Etherington, SVP marketing, Titan Worldwide. ‘If you imagine Manhattan, you could divide it up by block, and we would plug a change into the system so whenever the bus moved from one part of the grid to another, the creative would change.’

The signs are full-motion video-capable, but the creative used in the tests, by clients like Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts and Oreo, most resembles something between a TV commercial and static banner ad – enough movement to attract attention, but not so much that pedestrians can’t see it.

Ads run on a 36-second content loop of six rotations at six seconds each. Though the eyeballs seeing the signs are difficult to quantify, ‘there’s no doubt these signs will reach millions of people,’ says Etherington.

Pending approval by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority – the Chicago Transit Authority has given the green light – Titan plans to roll out GPS-ready signage in both markets starting next year. It hopes to eventually extend the program to other major American markets. Unfortunately, Titan has no plans yet to extend the program to Canada. www.titanoutdoor.com