If you look at various Experiential news platforms, you will see that the OOH sector is now producing an array of interactive billboards that are being classified under the Experiential Marketing banner.

Many of these utilise NFC, Blippar or QR codes to enable the general public to ‘interact’ with the billboard. Often this interaction will be a downloadable game, or an augmented reality application. Some do go a bit further. For instance, Mr Kipling created billboards that sampled 500 Mr Kipling angel slices per day across 19 UK locations back in 2012.

Whilst many of these are incredibly creative, clever pieces of marketing. Do they qualify as a brand experience?

Or, is this a way for the OOH sector to try and muscle in on the ‘cooler’ Experiential Marketing sector, by devising new ways to use their well established, existing media?

Technology and digital marketing have of course, been at the forefront of this change. New innovations have created numerous opportunities to blend ideas together. OOH have long ago realised that static adverts are fast becoming ubiquitous, prehistoric monsters of the advertising world, where the general public’s eyeballs are more focused on their mobile screens than what is going on in their immediate environment.

Experiential marketing is of course the ultimate way to cause positive disruption in consumers day-to-day lives. Customers can engage with brands and in exchange for their time, they want to be surprised, delighted and feel loved.

Billboards, whether they are static or interactive, remain billboards. The new wave of billboards encourage people to interact more than the static images of old. But is there really a 2 way dialogue? Can consumers ask questions and enjoy a multi-faceted experience which moves them so much they become brand advocates?

The jury is still out, but brands who invest their budgets on interactive billboards in the hope they are creating an authentic brand experience, should look closely at what they are delivering to the audience. A gimmick may be enough to give somebody a momentary smile, but consumers are savvy enough to recognise something for what it really is.

Hotcow is a multi-award winning Experiential Marketing agency. We get brands in front of consumers in ways that persuade them to buy. We fully implement our ideas; nothing needs to be farmed out. For more information or free consultation, contact us