LONDON: Out-of-home advertisers are testing both simple and technologically-advanced forms of innovation as they try to reach consumers in new ways.

Tour operator Thomson has opted for sheer size with an ad covering 500 square metres on the back wall of the check-in area at Gatwick Airport. It promotes the firm's long-haul destinations on the Boeing Dreamliner.

Rebecca Edwards, general manager for brand management at TUI UK and Ireland, Thomson's parent company, told Marketing Week it was looking at running more high-impact OOH campaigns at other major airports in the UK.

The digital route is being developed by Posterscope, the out-of-home communications agency, which now offers "real-time optimisation of mobile content".

In partnering with Proxama's TapPoint platform, MediaTel reported, its new services will deliver real-time, web-based reporting and provide aggregated interaction data across all NFC or QR code-enabled outdoor inventory, including clients' owned media assets, such as in-store mobile promotions.

An automated data collection and management system will "improve the speed, accuracy and consistency" of reporting, and the combined data will be used to identify optimum locations for mobile interaction campaigns.

"Clients nowadays quite rightly expect OOH agencies to offer more real-time approaches, make better use of data and provide expertise across all aspects of the OOH ecosystem," said James Davies, chief strategy officer at Posterscope.

Miles Quitmann, managing director of Proxama, added that the new proposition "is for the benefit of all in the OOH and ambient media markets".

The move could be prescient as the world's biggest mobile manufacturers, such as Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft, are slowly including NFC in their mobile devices.

Past issues of Admap have noted how, as NFC prevalence increases, opportunities for marketers will grow. For example, shoppers with NFC-enabled devices could receive relevant offers as they walk into a store or pass by an item on a shelf.

More widely, NFC is linked to the growth of "phygital" products –  physical products linked to the internet – a development highlighted in a recent Warc Trends Snapshot.  

"I think it's going to become an extremely mainstream phenomenon," said Niall Murphy, founder/chief executive of EVRYTHNG, a software company that connects things to the internet.

"I guess I'd put a five-year timeframe on most consumer products in the world having a de facto digital service experience and engagement associated with them," he added.

Data sourced from MediaTel, Marketing Week, additional content by Warc staff