Tech in Action: Data-driven emoji alerts

Out-of-home ads use real-time data and characters from The Emoji Movie to inform drivers about road and weather conditions.


Many people are likely groaning at the idea of something called The Emoji Movie arriving in theatres this weekend. But a campaign promoting the film is turning the focus to two things people will probably find more annoying: bad traffic and weather.

Using real-time traffic and weather data, Lamar Advertising created a series of ads that display different emojis based on the nearby road conditions. If traffic is bad, the boards will show the poop or “meh” emojis, with an overjoyed happy face if the roads are clear. A sunglasses emoji will appear if the weather is sunny, the devil emoji if the temperature begins getting hotter and a group of cat and dog emojis if it is raining. The ads are currently running on out-of-home boards in Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta and Orlando.

Whatever your feelings are on the concept of the movie, this kind of execution makes a lot of sense for a film based on characters we use to deliver quick reactions every day.