An interesting article today in New York-based Advertising Age.

The article highlights the interest of giants like Microsoft or Google for the market Catchyoo pioneers for some time now: Interactive and intelligent out-of-home advertisement.

It expresses a reality: Online is not ALL despite the hype around it.
The actual problem of online interactive is the media. A media that you can escape too easily.
People will soon be fed up with online and mobile ads and giants already anticipate the revolution of interactive billboards, what we call at LM3LABS the Passive Interactivity (far from being a negative naming).

Catchyoo targets a surface that is not too crowed yet as a media: the floor but it also plays in interactive billboards, touchable walls, interactive tables, interactive windows and reacting shop windows. …all this for the sake of a better advertisement.

Catchyoo brings significant improvement to "traditional" (yes, already) digital signage with usage statistics, time-based campaigns, 1-click content broadcast,… automated media planning.

And here again, Minority Report is on the scene… New Yorkers, buy your tickets ! It is in Singapore and in Tokyo.

Here is the article: All copyrights are to Advertising Age.

What Are Online Giants Doing in Out-of-home?

Microsoft, Google Dabble in Technology to Better Target, Automate Outdoor


Andrew Hampp

Published: January 29, 2007

NEW YORK ( — Online advertising may be the fastest-growing
segment of media spending, but the second-fastest is out-of-home — so
it’s only fitting that two of the web’s biggest players are angling for
a piece of the $7.4 billion expected to be spent on U.S. outdoor
advertising in 2007.

Microsoft can demographically target displays a la the 2002 movie 'Minority Report.'
Microsoft can demographically target displays a la the 2002 movie ‘Minority Report.’

Google and Microsoft each have projects in the works that would put
them at the forefront of innovative out-of-home technology. Google has
a patent pending for digital billboards that can be updated in real
time based on inventory and other factors. Microsoft’s AdCenter lab
evokes "Minority Report" by equipping digital displays with
face-recognition video software to detect traits such as gender and age
and retrieve demographically targeted ads on the spot.

The time is right
The time is right to apply online targeting to digital displays, said
Michael Hudes, director-global digital media at Clear Channel Outdoor,
and that’s why Google and Microsoft are taking the initiative in this

"The beauty of out-of-home … is it provides lots of reach, but with
digital you can make it more targeted," Mr. Hudes said. "If I’m an
advertiser and want to connect with everyone, I’ll target my ad to the
time of night or place it in a dramatic location. It’s all a part of
the mass audience reach, [but] you can slice it as finely as you want."

Neither Google nor Microsoft would comment for this story, and
they haven’t released timetables for their projects. But Google’s
professed interest in selling ad space in offline media such as print
and broadcast bodes well for the digital out-of-home industry, in which
aggregating eyeballs has been notoriously frustrating.

"That part of the industry has been screaming for something
like this," said John Connolly, president of MediaCom Outdoor. "None of
the networks talk to each other, and there’s no one place to distribute
ads at exactly the time you want. Google recognized the need for this."

Scan customers by gender, age
Out-of-home innovation has
focused on experiments with Bluetooth software. But Microsoft’s
proposed product would factor in demographic targeting with a device
that would scan customers for gender, age and height and display
appropriate creative. While the technology is hardly foolproof, Mr.
Connolly said it’s being tested in the U.K. with 90% accuracy.

Screens made by Google would update automatically to reflect inventory
at nearby merchants. Once a product sold out, the ad would go away too.

Ilya Vedrashko, emerging-media strategist for Hill Holiday, Boston,
said the concept could succeed both in controlled retail spaces and on
more traditional billboards alongside highways.

Next logical step
"The cool thing about billboards … is that they’re already installed
based on some criteria, whether it’s high-traffic areas or for
demographic reasons," he said. "Google is taking it to the next logical
level." He believes Google’s methods for measuring exposure and
click-through in products such as AdSense could even work in
out-of-home as well, if given time.

It could take months, if not years, for patents to be approved and
technology to be fine-tuned, but no matter how soon Silicon Valley
giants — and possibly outdoor’s legacy players — reshape the retail
experience, it’s safe to say the out-of-home industry will have a shelf
life much longer than its static beginnings could have indicated.

"It’s a huge boon to the business," Mr. Hudes said.