We are all used to seeing advertising on the sides of buses. However, digital specialists AKQA have taken advantage of LED screen technology to help bring a new integrated campaign for Yell.com quite literally on to the streets. In London, 25 buses have been fitted with a special Global Positioning System (GPS) that will ensure information pertinent to the particular locality of each bus at any one time is displayed on the LED screens on its side, thus introducing constantly updating, location-relevant advertising. So, as a bus drives down Oxford Street the ad might read “Department Stores > on Oxford Street”. Or it might suggest a good place to eat in the area.
“What is genuinely exciting and innovative about this work,” enthuses AKQA’s Daniel Bonner, “is the fact that AKQA are using creativity, new technology, and insight to engage and interact with consumers via a campaign that can actually bring alive the promise of the new strapline – Results for real life.”
AKQA worked in collaboration with media agency PHD on the media strategy for the campaign – of which the bus screens are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The campaign as a whole is designed to show off the usefulness of Yell.com.
“Local knowledge is the core theme of the six-month campaign,” explains Bonner, “so we were looking at ways to effectively promote the benefits of using Yell.com’s online directory service.” AKQA also created bus shelter ads to appear in 20 locations across four cities – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow – each containing unique local information that is accessible via interactive screens. The ads display a map of where you/the bus stop are and in the centre is an interactive screen on which you can search for local businesses within walking distance of the bus stop. Different businesses are searchable depending on whether it is day or night. For example, during the day you can look for cafés, shopping, book shops and health clubs while late evening and during the night you can search for information about bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
The agency also created online “rich media” ads that allow readers to search Yell.com directly through the online placements without having to open a new browser window and go to the full site. However, AKQA’s involvement in the campaign wasn’t simply to tie up the digital and interactive elements. The agency has also produced CCTV style videos to play on Transvision screens at high-traffic railway stations nationwide. The films will show everyday situations, filmed on the concourses of the stations, that demonstrate the usefulness of being able to look up hotels to stay at or places to celebrate with friends. TV idents and cinema ads by AKQA will also roll out over the next month.