Personalised Billboard Ads

Chris Sheldrake

Castrol, we are told, is set to break new ground with an innovative digital advertising campaign, aimed at delivering tailored product messaging to drivers via roadside billboards.

This ‘Right Oil Right Car’ campaign. broke a couple of days ago (21st September 2009) giving passing drivers bespoke oil recommendations for their car.

Camera technology, usually used for such (fantastic) purposes as the London congestion charge or speed cameras, are positioned ahead of billboards in order to pick up passing cars’ registrations (i.e. number plates).

CastrolThe registrations are then matched in real time to the make and model of car via Castrol’s access to the DVLA database and then deliver the correct oil recommendation for the vehicle on the digital billboard further down the road (as shown).

Definitely sort of scary and god knows how they got permission to use the UK Government’s DVLA database in such a manner, Ed

It takes less than two seconds from the camera registering a car’s number plate to the bespoke message appearing on screen and Castrol hope to be able to provide over 200,000 drivers with the right oil for their car message over the two-week campaign duration.

Bespoke adverts are each be displayed for 7.5 seconds, and due to data protection, no registration plate data will be stored.

Rob Stroud, marketing manager, from Castrol told us “We’ve enjoyed great success with our text and online registration plate oil selection service, and are very excited about taking it to the roadside with the launch of this new advertising concept. We’re hoping that the unique method of message delivery will get significant cut through with drivers to deliver the Right Oil Right Car message.”

The concept was created by Ogilvy Advertising who will also lead on the creative, with media space and technology delivered by Clear Channel Outdoor’s Create division, and media buying by Mindshare.

The advertising will run at sites at five key arterial routes around London. The routes, with slow moving traffic, have been chosen to increase engagement due to traffic dwell times, and to ensure satisfactory health and safety regulations. The billboards will be situated at:-

  • Blackfriars – Stamford Street
  • Lambeth – Vauxhall Cross
  • Hammersmith – Fulham Palace Road
  • Hounslow – Chiswick roundabout
  • Kensington & Chelsea – Warwick Road

Rob Stroud told us also “We’re confident that the campaign will not only excite and intrigue drivers, but serve its purpose in helping motorists to understand the right oil right car message. If the campaign proves successful, we may consider a roll out to further sites including areas with longer dwell times such as forecourts.” – we think they likely to get a fair number of complaints from privacy advocates too!

About Ogilvy

Ogilvy Group UK represents the aggregated capabilities of 13 operating companies across the total spectrum of brand communications. With approximately 1,300 employees, it is the largest UK employer in the sector.

Each group company maintains its own client base and strives for best-in-class excellence in its own discipline, but it is the group’s shared philosophy, tools and working practices that truly set it apart from other so-called “integrated” offerings.

Ogilvy’s 360 Degree Branding approach focuses any required combination of the group’s companies totally on the brand and its needs, avoiding any bias towards a particular channel. Bespoke brand teams can be set up depending on the individual needs and priorities of each client.

Communications disciplines housed within the Ogilvy Group UK include advertising, direct marketing/CRM, public relations, sales promotion/brand activation, design, interactive, business-to-business, internal communications, healthcare, digital media and associated state-of-the-art studio and creative services operations.
Group personnel work in areas such as finance, training, business development, communications, IT and general management to ensure maximum synergies between operating companies and on shared business.

One Response to “Personalised Billboard Ads”

  1. Industry luminaire Says:

    “god knows how they got permission to use the UK Government’s DVLA database in such a manner”
    You mean, like all those services that tell you how much your car is worth just by entering a registration number?
    Make, model, colour. What’s scary about that?

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