Thursday, November 21, 2013

Location in Advertising

Using location in advertising is hard. Google has tried advertising on Google Maps and it also offers advertising options to developers in the Google Maps API. From what I can tell neither approach has really worked in monetizing Google Maps.

The other long running attempt to use location in advertising has been to send text messages to consumers based on their whereabouts. If you are a regular attendee at online mapping conferences and meet-ups you will probably be as bored as I am of pitches from geniuses who claim to have discovered a new method of sending consumers text messages (containing adverts or coupons) based on their location.

My instinct is that people don't want ads on their maps and they don't want to be bombarded with text messages every time they walk past a store.

So location in advertising is hard. However British Airways has managed to crack location rather spectacularly in their new advertising campaign in London. And they have done this not by using the location of consumers but by using the locations of BA planes.

In London British Airways are launching new video billboards that react when planes fly overhead. Using the Automatic Identification System (AIS) the billboards are able to track the position of British Airway flights and to display flight details live in video adverts.

You can see the result in the video above as a child in the advert points at planes flying overhead and the plane's flight number and origin or destination is displayed live on the billboard.

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