OOH goes high-tech

Check out these innovative outdoor campaigns, made possible thanks to technology.

Free WiFiThis story appears in the June 2015 issue of strategy.

By Jennifer Horn and Josh Kolm

Anything is possible. We’ve all heard this before, but it’s really beginning to ring true for marketers with vivid imaginations, thanks to technology. Without it, innovative outdoor campaigns like these (which were first published on strategy‘s inspirational sister site stimulantonline.ca) wouldn’t exist. And what would walking down the street be like then? Pretty dull, we think.

Free Wi-Fi on beaches

People love the sun, but the Peruvian League Against Cancer is betting people love free internet more. The non-profit and agency Happiness Brussels erected a wall that transmitted free Wi-Fi to beach-goers (pictured above) – but only if they were standing in its shadow. The wall’s directional antenna delivered internet in the shaded area by tracking the sun’s movement. Free internet that’s free of skin cancer? Sounds like a good deal to us.

Thought-controlled planeMind-controlled trips

If there’s one place in the world you want to see the most, chances are you’ve visualized every aspect of the trip. So Russia’s S7 Airlines and Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam created a special installation, with help from tech co Tellart, that hooked shoppers up to biosensors and measured their EEG brain patterns when they thought of their dream destination. They had to guide a virtual plane to any place in the world just by thinking about it, for the chance to win tickets if they nailed the flight path.

Coke HappinessHappiness breaks the ice

During the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens season-opener, a Coca-Cola vending machine with only one button was set up in each competing city. The catch? If you pressed the button, you wouldn’t automatically receive a Coke — it was actually dispensed in the rival city. The machine, created by Sid Lee and Mosaic, also had a live video link for people to use to convince their city counterparts to hit the button and return the favour. While the screen was used for a healthy amount of trash talk, the fans’ humanity ultimately shone through, as both machines quickly ran out of Coke.