Personalized billboards aim to revolutionize outdoor advertising

Rather than simply hoping to catch the attention of potential customers with a catchy slogan, digitization has enabled ad agencies to efficiently target hopeful clients analyze exposure better.

June 15, 2019 16:18
2 minute read.
Personalized billboards aim to revolutionize outdoor advertising

A depiction of Cerebro Platform's smart billboard advertising platform. (photo credit: PR)


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Digital ways of working have transformed the way that advertisers approach marketing campaigns.

Rather than simply hoping to catch the attention of potential customers with a catchy slogan, digitization has enabled ad agencies to efficiently target hopeful clients and analyze exposure better than any campaign in the non-digital world.

Despite that, old-fashioned billboards - which first appeared in the mid-1800s - still fill our city streets. In rare locations, including New York City's Times Square and London's Piccadilly Circus, bright billboards even constitute a major tourist attraction.

Out-of-home advertising, referring to billboards and other potential sources of outdoor marketing such as street furniture and public transportation, has been slow to move with the times - not withstanding the shift from printed to video advertising. Quantifying success has largely been limited to predicted and hand-counted footfall.

Tel Aviv-based company Cerebro Platform, however, has plans to revolutionize the digital outdoor media scene.

Rather than planning billboard campaigns months ahead of time, possibly advertising t-shirts on rainy summer days, Cerebro Platform uses facial detection technology and mobile geolocation data to promote advertisements fitting the real-time demographic characteristics of those in-front of the sign.

"Our superpower as a platform is that our system can trigger an ad in real time, based on facial analysis and other data sources, enabling us to understand the audience in front of the screen," Cerebro Platform CEO Dor Lahola told The Jerusalem Post.

"Audience counting and measurement has been around for some time but the key differentiator is that our system does not rely on past reporting. It works in real-time."

Demographic data analyzed by Cerebro Platform's system includes age, gender and even identifying features such as mustaches, beards and glasses. This is combined with weather forecasts, transportation schedules, nearby shops and events to provide the most relevant ads for all customers. Since January, the company also supports vehicle recognition, detecting various characteristics of cars passing by its signs.

Earlier this year, Cerebro Platform teamed up with Italian clothing brand Replay to run a major fashion campaign on seven large screens across Milan, often dubbed the Italian fashion capital.

"We do not build any infrastructure. We install our hardware on already-existing platforms, which is important as European cities are not issuing any new licenses for screens," said Lahola.

"We have almost 100 screens today, primarily in Italy, but also in Spain, France and Poland. We’re getting a lot of requests from other countries around the world too. Our product seems to hit a very sensitive spot of automating an inefficient process."

Cerebro Platform has also designed its own dedicated Digital-Out-Of-Home platform, enabling brands to connect with digital buyers from leading media agencies commence advertising quickly and efficiently.

Responding to potential concerns regarding invasion of privacy, the company emphasizes that it does not save any personal information and is fully GDPR compliant. It only retains numerical data, Lahola says, for analysis purposes.

"By giving brands a tool to be creative with their advertising, we are empowering them to have much more engaging content," said Lahola. "I believe this will lead to a dramatic increase in sales."

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