Notes from the Mediascape: Super-targeted bus ad trials guide NYC commuters

GPS-enabled screens can be tailored according to time, location and language. With messages like 'Buy a Chai latte now, right behind you,' now a feasible option, it looks like Philip K. Dick's Minority Report advisions were right.

NYC-based OOH media supplier Titan Worldwide has developed GPS-able, bus-side digital advertising. The screen ads, which resemble TV commercials and have begun airing on a Manhattan bus route, can target specific neighbourhoods and give advertisers the ability to plan GPS capability over a myriad day parting options.

Whether it’s coffee in the morning, beer after work or ticket availability for a Broadway show, the super-flexible digital ads can be changed according to time and location.

‘Bus media represents some of the best media real estate, because they’re designed to go where the crowds are going,’ David Etherington, SVP marketing, Titan Worldwide, tells MiC. ‘And [GPS-addressable] digital ads offer enormous relevance because they can change by day, block, zip code or when outside a particular store. They can even change languages to fit that neighbourhood.’

Titan, which currently has a 10-year, $800-million contract to sell ads throughout the NYC bus and commuter-train systems, is planning to expand to 200 buses in the first quarter of next year, after the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority tests the system on the current Manhattan route.

Digital bus ads are not yet available in Canada, but Titan – which also specializes in transit, billboard, wall banner and telephone kiosk advertising globally – offers media opportunities on LED video screens, superstructures and hand-painted murals in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton. Canadian clients currently include Sony, Duracell, Grand Theft Auto and Comcast.