Integrating screens into outdoor environments is not necessarily new. Broadcasters such as CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel offer digital options to advertisers within bus stops and other public transport destinations.
Google aims to expand on the current options available. The search giant is bringing display screens to bus shelters and tube stations across London, providing information on local tourist attractions and businesses in 160 locations. The scheme, dubbed ‘Google Outside’, sees the screens build upon Google Now technology, which is used in Android smartphones to provide people with information regarding their location, while also considering local factors such as weather conditions.
In developing the concept, Google worked with R/GA London, while Manning Gottlieb OMD is behind the media execution. Google describe the venture as anticipating “people’s needs and [making] their lives easier”. No plans have been put in place to roll the screens out permanently.
Whether a short-term marketing stunt or part of a longer-term strategy, Google’s project is an innovative use of outdoor advertising. It is a great example of how to effectively converge digital and outdoor to create a branding campaign that directly benefits consumers and drives sentiment towards the company.