Marketing

Bus billboard ads are going to start following you

By Oliver Smith 26 October 2017
Summary

Not creepy at all.

It used to be only on the internet where targeted ads would follow you around, reminding you to buy whatever thing you’d idly Google’d or searched on Amazon.

But now these ads are breaking out into the real world.

A fleet of London buses are being upgraded with digital displays and GPS, giving them the ability to target ads based on where they are.

Creepy, creepy

Google is the first company to jump on the kinda-creepy new advertising technology, obviously, using it exclusively to promote its Pixel 2 with ads that point you to the nearest shop where you can buy the new smartphone.

But it’s not just shops, the buses know what streets they’re on and what landmarks they’re near, all details that could be used to tailor adverts.

Dave King, managing director of Exterion Media which developed the tech, described it as “a huge moment for bus advertising”.

And it’s not the first creepy advertising technology we’ve seen recently, whether it’s giant digital pop-up ads invading our cities, or the new display at Piccadilly Circus which can target ads based on your age, gender and mood.

The real world used to be a haven from creepy digital ads that tried to tap into your deepest desires but, with billboards and buses learning these new tricks, now nowhere is safe.