London 2012: Englandís chance to take gold
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By Camilla Corr
20 September 2010
Will the London 2012 Olympic Committee be progressive in its approach to DOOH?
The Olympic Games is not just a chance for athletes to compete on the world stage; as one of the most hotly contested marketing opportunities imaginable, it is a time for companies around the globe to roll up their sleeves and battle for the top advertising spots. With the 2012 Games drawing ever closer and CBS Outdoor revealed as sole provider of outdoor advertising space earlier in the summer, it is evident that the race to make London Games memorable is already underway. The question is, will businesses choose digital signage rather than more established means of promotion and how will this influence both consumer experience and company profits?
Sporting tournaments have long since been prime opportunities for brands to deploy their messages to a mass audience with potential ROI being significant. It has been suggested that Red Bull’s vehicle wraps at this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix generated advertising value equivalent (AVE) worth £14.9m, whilst Leslie Davey, Britvic brand director for Robinsons stated that "last year’s Wimbledon activity helped the Robinsons brand grow by 6% to £208m." Consequently, securing such potentially lucrative deals is a pricey business, regardless of how a company chooses to deploy its message. The coveted half-time television slots went for £1.9m for a mere 30 seconds of air-time at this year’s Super Bowl, whilst Nike chose to part with a rumoured £25.5m to make Serena Williams its walking (and running and jumping) billboard.
In an interview with Marketing Week, Mike Baker, chief executive officer of The Outdoor Advertising Association predicted that the London 2012 Games would lead to at least a 1% increase in the market share of the outdoor marketing sector alone. However, what proportion of the aforementioned branded space would be electronic was not mentioned. Whilst DOOH was present at the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier this year, the majority of advertising was conveyed through more conventional static signage. Uptake of digital technologies has been significantly more pronounced across other sporting events.
Monster Media, in partnership with Matchworld, gave football spectators an interactive ad experience in its Coca-Cola branded tents at this year's World Cup in South Africa. Motion-sensing screens echoed body movements in real-time whilst activating the 'motion-bars' gave the illusion of the room being full of Coke as dynamic images showed waves of the popular drink with graphic bubbles floating upwards. Touching the screens allowed fans to download mobile phone ring-tones and wallpapers as well as learning about the history of Coca-Cola and viewing the company's adverts.
Marketers involved in basketball have long since taken a progressive approach to DOOH. In 2008, Keywest Technology created electronic stations for the Big 12 Basketball Tournament in Kansas City. The beer and barbecue tents for fans contained LCD touch screens which allowed easy navigation between games, scores and maps of the surrounding area.
CBS already owns 90% of advertising sales space on UK buses and controls over 7,000 interior panels in train stations. In the run-up to 2012, it will be fascinating to see what percentage of these marketing areas are converted from printed to digital media, not to mention how the company will expand it large digital escalator panel (DEP) network on the London Underground. Most interesting will be whether CBS seizes upon the opportunity to make the DOOH surrounding the 2012 Olympics interactive. The Games provide advertisers with the perfect platform to create truly innovative campaigns that encourage consumers to actively participate in the marketing experience. As the chance for the high levels of brand engagement presented by digital signage become increasingly apparent, all eyes will be on London in 2012 to see how significant a force DOOH will become in the bid for advertising dominance.
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