London taxis get new digital ad space

12 June 2013

LONDON: Brands looking to target consumers in London will soon be able to place ads on digital panels installed on the tops of the city's iconic black cabs.

Transport for London, the city's transit authority, has approved a standard for roof-mounted digital advertising and Brightmove Media, an innovator in the sector, is planning to be first to market with its TaxiCast product.

"We go live in two weeks time with 25 taxis in London," Piers Mummery, Brightmove's chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal, adding that equipment was being fitted and he already had committed advertisers.

The roof-mounted panels are centrally controlled to offer advertisers geo-location and time-targeted digital advertising on the streets of London.

"Digital advertising on taxi roofs not only changes the London skyline, but also offers advertisers and brands tailored advertising at street level," said Mummery.

The twin 400×48 resolution LED displays are Internet-enabled via the 3G network, while sensors monitor location, time, temperature and humidity, allowing advertising to be controlled dynamically.

That means, for example, that ads for ice cream could be launched when the temperature reached a certain level, or ads for shops could be triggered when a taxi drives past them.

A rival offering from Eyetease Media, iTaxitop, is expected later this summer, which is similar in most respects to that of Brightmove, although it will have a slightly larger LCD display.

Over the course of three months Mummery anticipated that Brightmove's 'First Fleet' would deliver over 2m ads to the city, day and night.

Data sourced from Realwire, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff