Home for the Games beams ads to cafés

Vancouver-based non-profit organization uses in-café Bluetooth tech to spread the word about its housing service for Olympic attendees.

Vancouver-based non-profit Home for the Games is looking to alleviate two of the city’s most pressing issues – urban homelessness and adequate accommodation for Games-goers this winter – and it’s using a Bluetooth-based media strategy to get the word out.

Home For The Games is a web-based service that matches home or property owners with Games goers for affordable short-term accommodation during the Olympics. The homeowner earns a fee for the use of their property and in turn, donates half their fee to a registered charity dedicated to fighting homelessness in the city.

To advertise the service to Vancouverites with properties to share, Home For The Games is rolling out a Bluetooth-based media strategy with Vancouver-based ad agency and ad-network operator Blue Jamb Media. The agency, which is a sponsor of Home For The Games, created a video ad and static ad for the organization and deployed it across its 10-café multimedia ad network in Vancouver’s downtown. The video ads are shown on LCD screens in the cafes and are passively beamed out to passing smartphone and laptop users. Passersby – or in-café laptop users – with their Bluetooth activated will receive a message asking if they want to see the free ad. If they accept, the creative pops up onto the screen. The ads are also integrated into each café’s WiFi service, and ads pop up approximately every eight pages the web user navigates through.

Michelle Herlihy, president, Blue Jamb Media, says that on average, the ad network achieves about 100 downloads per location, per week. However, since Games accommodation and homelessness are both hot issues right now, she says she thinks the potential for increased downloads for this campaign in particular are likely.

Using Bluetooth to promote the message was attractive to the charity not only because the sponsorship allowed the use of technology they otherwise would not be able to afford, but because it allowed them to reach an entirely different psychographic, Deena Tokaryk, marketing and communications coordinator, Home For The Games, tells MiC. Cafe-goers, the organization felt, might be more receptive to messages in a more relaxed environment. Plus, Tokaryk adds, the media strategy really tied in well with the brand.

‘We’re an online system, so it really ties the technology together,’ she notes.

Creative on the campaign was handled by Blue Jamb, and the ads will run throughout the Games.