July 19th, 2023
Top Gear: How to reach motorists in the moment

Just imagine. You’re idling at the traffic lights in Manchester in your family saloon, wondering what to get the kids for tea when up pops a message on that large format digital screen on Princess Road from your favourite food delivery service offering that day’s latest deals.

Or it’s yet another cold, windy day, which the roadside tri-screen at Holland Park Roundabout in London uses as an opportunity to serve BMW and Mercedes drivers a weather-activated advert for a tropical holiday in the sun, with a special money off sale.

The ability to target motorists and their passengers with dynamic messages according to the type of vehicle they drive is now available across 15 large format roadside locations in six cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, London and Southampton. A second new location is due to launch in Glasgow launched shortly.

Pole Position

Ocean’s proprietary Vehicle Detection Technology (VDT) gives brands the ability to serve ad content to consumers based on what they drive, be it the make, model, year, colour or fuel type. Content is served with pinpoint accuracy and zero wastage because the ads only play out when the chosen target vehicle, or type, appears within view of the relevant OOH screen.

So, if a luxury watch brand only wants to serve ads to drivers at the wheel of Porsches or Jaguars, or an outdoor garment brand wants to advertise its latest waterproof jackets to Land Rover drivers, VDT does just that.

The tech is totally GDPR compliant, using anonymised automotive industry data. VDT never stores, keeps or records any details about vehicles or their drivers.

Formula Won

With millions tuning into the Formula 1 Championships which are now heading towards Hungary, the broadcaster Sky Sports wanted to target sports lovers to promote live F1 coverage on its pay as you go streaming service NOW.

Vehicle Detection Technology was the obvious digital out of home pit stop.

The objective was to reach drivers in popular car brands, such as Honda and Ford, with contextual messaging to put Formula 1 and Now’s live coverage front of mind.

Using teasers like “0 – 200mph in 3.2s? Not in that Ford”, and “Hey XX driver, bored of life in the slow lane?”, ads were triggered when the selected car brands paused at the traffic lights in direct view of one of Ocean’s full motion roadside screens.

Contextual messages meanwhile, such as “Hey Honda driver, watch how an F1 car handles wet conditions”, were triggered when it rained – the first time VDT has been used in this way.

This campaign delivered a substantial number of average daily playouts, with more than 20% served at London’s Holland Park Roundabout and more than 14% of the ads reaching Ford drivers.

Green Track

According to YouGov data, 28% of people wanting to purchase a car in 2023 are intending to buy electric. This statistic presents the perfect opportunity for the automotive sector to launch campaigns targeting petrol and diesel car owners.

Dieselspotting, a clever campaign from Kia, used VDT in Copenhagen to promote its affordable electric model, the Niro EV.

When upmarket diesel cars travelled along the busy Lyngbyvej towards inner Copenhagen, Ocean Denmark’s VDT powered screen served the drivers a cheeky message telling them they would look just as good behind the wheel of a Niro EV.

Intelligent scheduling

Information about what make and sort of cars people drive helps in the planning of VDT campaigns. For example, men are more than three times more likely to drive a Tesla than women and the majority of these who do are aged between 35 and 54.  Women aged 18 to 34 meanwhile, are more likely to drive BMWs, Fiats, Peugeots and Minis.

Want to capture both? Then try targeting the drivers of Renaults, Fords, Jeeps and Kias (source: YouGov).

Types matter and according to psychologists, what you drive says a lot about you.

Research from a car finance app released last year reckons 31% of people choose their car for colour. Those who plump for red tend to hog the limelight and take risks – the perfect audience for insurance brands and adventure holidays abroad. Black, meanwhile, suggests sophistication and glamour – ideal for designer brands and classy hotel chains.

The most common colour is grey. Probably not the best choice then for a carefully targeted VDT campaign.

And Barbie Pink? Now there’s an idea to promote a summer movie blockbuster.

Ocean Networks

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