Near Field, Not Left Field

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According to the space-age sages at Wired, Near Field Communication – a piece of smartphone wizardry which can transform your phone into a credit card, Oyster pass or even an advert scanner – is a technology about to come of age.

Its rumoured inclusion in the forthcoming iPhone 5 has got a lot of gadget geeks hot under the collar – and now brands and outdoor media owners have teamed up to explore what it might mean for the humble billboard.

The results of a recent trial in Reading – organised by Kinetic and JCDecaux – makes encouraging reading for brands who want to combine outdoor ads and interactivity. By waving your NFC gadget in the direction of, say, a billboard for The Only Way Is Essex, consumers are able to download exclusive new footage of Loughton’s finest:

Download an exclusive picture of these orange coloured people, and be the envy of your friends.

Now, the esteemed readers of high quality blogs like this one might not immediately see the appeal of having the cast of TOWIE download themselves onto your phone, but 78% of those surveyed in the Reading trial described the experience as positive.

What’s more, NFC ads which allowed users to download a discount code for redemption* in a nearby store bought in significant new footfall to local shops.

Yours truly is split on this. The technology is amazing, and the potential for brands is obviously significant. But will the English ever take to waving their phones around at bus stop and billboard ads? Or is NFC just an adman’s high tech flash in the pan?

If you think you know the answer, Tweet @outdoorMC, or put a comment in the usual place.

Have a good week,

PB

* That’s redemption of the discount code variety, by the way. No other types of redemption are available if you live in Reading…

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Got something interesting to share from the world of outdoor? Get in touch with me directly on iamposterboy27@gmail.com

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Art & Outdoor

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The avid readers of this blog – both of you – will know that yours truly doesn’t delve too regularly into the world of anti-capitalist guerilla art.

And while many would count the lack of discussion of the melancholic and post-situationist tradition as one of this website’s few blessings, artist Robert Montgomery’s latest piece – on a billboard just off Bethnal Green Road – is worth sharing.

Much of Montgomery’s work appears (probably illegally) on sites all over the East End of London. A pain for the brand and media owner which obviously can’t be endorsed – but also a powerful example of what’s special about outdoor.

The rain on your face in a blank springtime morning might nourish you. But, if you’re honest with yourself, Stella Artois cidre probably won’t.

Would those words work in a radio ad? In a piece of direct mail? Or on the telly? Maybe a little. But stick them on a billboard and they become something special – which is probably why (like any creative worth his salt) he’s picked the outdoor medium…

Have a good week,

PB

PS Got something interesting to share from the world of outdoor? Get in touch with me directly on iamposterboy27@gmail.com

http://www.outdoormediacentre.co.uk/

Follow OMC on twitter @OutdoorMC

Join OMC’s LinkedIn group

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Deaf Metal

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Camden Town, North London. The very thought of my old stomping ground conjures up a veritable buffet of exciting mental images.

Plastic plates of noodles, laced with enough MSG to stun a dinosaur. Badly dressed French exchange students, smoking droopy fags in the rain. Angry bouncers. Poorly planned (but revealingly-attired) hen parties. Pete Doherty’s last remaining fans. And sticky floored, badly lit and unpleasantly moist underground venues, full of ageing Metallica completists in gigantic denim shorts.*

Its fame as a gig-goer’s mecca is well deserved – and that reputation is burnished every year, when the Camden Crawl sees hundreds of bands and thousands of music fans descend on NW1’s venues for a weekend of rock and roll excess.

It’s the perfect place to reach  beer-swilling, music-loving teens and twenty-somethings, which is why Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) picked it for their first major advertising campaign since last year – targeting a young demographic of live music obsessives.

As well as spots in cinemas and ads on phone boxes and beer mats in the borough, Action on Hearing Loss (and their creative agency Hat-Trick) unveiled a brilliant 3d billboard to hammer (or screw) home the message that loud (and live) music can ruin your hearing.

Subtle it ain’t…but in conjunction with the charity distributing 6,000 pairs of free ear plugs, I’m willing to bet it was pretty effective.

PB

*I love it, obviously.

PS Got something interesting to share from the world of outdoor? Get in touch with me directly on iamposterboy27@gmail.com

http://www.outdoormediacentre.co.uk/

Follow OMC on twitter @OutdoorMC

Join OMC’s LinkedIn group

And see what planners have to say on OMC’s YouTube channel