TomTom Measures Billboard Ad Views

Chris Sheldrake

Media Week recently reported that “advertisers can now know which billboards are most likely to be read by drivers, using new software from satellite navigation specialists TomTom”.

The software basically identifies where motorists are regularly stuck in traffic along with their driving speed for any hour of any day.

Media Week went on to report that Interbest was the first company to take advantage of this. Interbest director, Meindert van den Heuvel, told them “We think giving advertisers such up-to-date and accurate insights into the reach of their campaigns will bring us new opportunities. Never before could we give advertisers this level of accountability.”

tomtom_logo-120TomTom senior vice president of development dynamic content and publishing, Anne van Houwelingen said “Advertisers relied on guesswork and instinct when it came to reaching their core audiences. Now the possibilities are endless. For instance a cereal company can now know which locations have the slowest traffic flow early mornings.”

Guesswork? Guesswork? That’s the most glaring mistake in all of this – the assumption that OOH locations are bought largely on ‘guesswork’ – as James Davies from Posterscope told us that’s “completely untrue for the UK and many other markets”.

There are of course some extremely detailed and robust data sources that inform site choice; Postar and acxiom’s Personicx for example.

Michael Brennan, Senior Insight Manager, Posterscope told us that he thought it was an interesting development but added “in the UK market at least it would only serve to reinforce the validiity of existing data sources and regional/local expertise”

What excited Michael was “potentially the timeliness that is often lacking from industry data sources”.

As he said “Subject to the speed of data release they could assist in identifying ‘new’ traffic bottlenecks in towns and cities arising as a result of building work (or indeed emerging/short term alternative routes)”

Of course what the Tom Tom announcement does do is highlight the increasing volume of data available to assist media buyers in developing the most effective OOH media planning tools.

Michael said that “the challenge is to integrate the best of these sources into a meaningful combination to meet the ever increasing demands of advertisers and agencies”.

TomTom says their data will prove useful for advertisers that want to target campaigns to drivers in specific regions. We think that up to a point it may but there is a hell of a lot more to add into the equation.

The offering of course is based on billions of anonymous speed measurements it collects from drivers – measurements that are also the basis for its IQ Routes technology.

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