Innovations in out of home we’ll be seeing more of in 2013

By Simon Orpin

Out of home media has undergone something of a digital revolution of late – and I’m talking far beyond the digital six sheets that now frequently grace our west-end underground stations.

Thanks to technology, out of home media has become one of the most attention grabbing and impressive forms of advertising that a brand can undertake. Given that in my role, I work so closely with some of the most dynamic media owners in this sector, I wanted to share with you some of the ways that technology is breathing new life into this age-old form of traditional media.

The interactive

The first example I want to share with you comes courtesy of Interactive Digital 6 (iD6), a new and advanced form of 6-sheet developed by Clear Channel. We’re of an age now where advertising is no longer a one-way channel, but one in which consumers increasingly expect to be able to interact with the media before them – and this is precisely what iD6 allows them to do.

Consumers can browse, create, share, download HD content, connect to social media, interact via touch or gesture and even star in augmented reality on this platform. It’s like having a giant tablet (only better), crossed with an industrial-sized version of an Xbox Kinect sensor. The platform has already attracted a fair few big name brands such as Microsoft, Nike and Calvin Klein.

The immersive

Next up we have what may seem novel, but is actually a really clever way for brands to make a bold and lasting impression in the retail space and catch the attention of consumers on the go. Limited Space creates lift wraps, giving brands the chance to take over entire banks of lifts including the surrounds – in effect creating a giant billboard within shopping centres.

Radox did this to great effect when promoting its ‘Spa’ range, wrapping entire interiors of lifts with creative and eye-catching artwork. Scented vinyls released the product’s fragrance into the lift space at the same time. Of course the cleverest part of this is the fact that consumers were being targeted pretty much at the point of purchase.

The unusual

Lastly we’re seeing the emergence of technology in the out of home space allow brands the option to target consumers in more unusual but adaptable places. Pillar Point is a unique, large format, outdoor advertising medium that promises brands the ability to reach targeted, shopping centre-centric demographics. It has already attracted the likes of McDonalds, House of Fraser and BHS for its ability to offer standout in a large format, vibrant, multi-dimensional medium.

As we enter 2013, we’re going to see out of home media become more of all of the above – interactive, immerse and unusual. I don’t predict that outdoor in the UK will reach quite the technological heights that we see emerging further east – in South Korea’s Seoul for example the government has recently funded a strip of ‘media poles’ – cyclindrical advertising towers that double as street lights (and that will eventually be funded by advertisers). But technology is affording out of home media in the UK a shift in the direction of the of the more bold and dynamic. This is a medium that is fast evolving with the times.

About the author

Simon Orpin is joint managing director at Launched in March 2006 and endorsed by ISBA, the Marketing Society and the IPA, ( is a search engine and exchange that brings together relevant marketing, media and sponsorship ideas with potential buyers from companies within the marketing and agency world. saves time, money and increases access to the communications marketplace for clients and agencies as well as media owners looking for new business.

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