Digital posters (screens in shopping centres, moving pictures on the London Underground and all the rest of it) have been the next big thing in outdoor advertising (or in some cases indoor advertising) for years.
But now they seem to be breaking through at last, in the UK at least, and WPP-owned outdoor specialist Kinetic is forecasting that they will earn £260m in 2020, out of an outdoor market up from its current £880m to £1.5bn.
2020 isn’t exactly round the next corner but its reasonable to suppose that technology will finally start putting some flesh on the bones of the digital outdoor offer, in particular by being able to register who actually looks at the things.
Shopping centre digital screen owners have been arguing with sceptical media agencies (including the likes of Kinetic and Aegis-owned specialist Posterscope) for years over the effectiveness of their medium.
Everyone knows that shopping centres like Bluewater and Westfield in and around London and others like Meadowhall in Sheffield in the north of England attract huge numbers of people. But do they pay any attention to the ads?
Well industry body the Outdoor Media Centre is supposed to be putting the finishing touches to a new research system produced by Ipsos that really does clock consumers and how they ‘interact’ with posters. This is done by teams of volunteers kitted out with a sat nav device (maybe they could just carry iPhones).
If it works it should particularly benefit digital posters.
So Kinetic’s prognostications may well turn out to be accurate, in fact they may be on the conservative side.