Airports, Malls Get More 'Gesture' Ads

Interactive Video-Out-of-Home Ads Let Consumers Play

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Call it "Minority Airport."

Interactive video outdoor ads are gaining more traction in some of the country's most-frequented travel terminals, with Clear Channel Outdoor, CBS Outdoor and JC Decaux partnering with the out-of-home ad technology's biggest players.
Advertisers such as Coca-Cola, AT&T, the NBA and Xbox are among those that have used Reactrix for recent mall and airport campaigns.
Advertisers such as Coca-Cola, AT&T, the NBA and Xbox are among those that have used Reactrix for recent mall and airport campaigns.

This week, Clear Channel Outdoor announced a multiyear agreement with gesture-based ad company Reactrix to power interactive ads in all of its airport locations. Using Reactrix Stepscape technology, the ads are featured on the airport's floor and allow travelers to play around with the creative.

Want to make your Coca-Cola bottle even cooler? Wave your hand over the ad and beckon a snowflake to come chill it. Reactrix also has significant presence in 186 malls and movie theaters across the country, with partners such as National CineMedia.

Increasingly lucrative
Reactrix CEO Mike Ribero said the airport business is becoming increasingly lucrative for advertisers in today's age of orange alerts and shoe bombs. "Airports represent a great area of potential, especially given the typical wait times we're seeing since security has been enhanced. In an airport, oftentimes you're captive because you have to be. Those are the environments where people can commit the time, where we give them something that is uniquely entertaining and in the process, educate them about a brand."

Advertisers such as Coca-Cola, AT&T, the NBA and Xbox are among those that have used Reactrix for recent mall and airport campaigns.

The new partnership follows similar deals forged in the past year by Monster Media, another leading gesture-based ad company, with the likes of CBS Outdoor and JC Decaux. Monster Media also has a presence in New York area airports John F.Kennedy International, Newark International and LaGuardia, among others, in addition to interactive ad presence in key Manhattan hubs such as Grand Central Terminal and Herald Square. Monster Media was among the first of a growing number of out-of-home companies to use the interactive technology patent created by GestureTek, and currently holds exclusive rights to it.

Monster Media President John Payne said the recent surge in interest in the interactive ad space is due largely to advertisers' desire to have their ads play a less-static role in high-traffic areas.

'Brand-positioning systems'
Up next for the interactive-ad space are ventures into mobile applications for Monster Media and geo-targeting in the mall space for Reactrix. The latter recently introduced a "brand-positioning system," which clients such as Sears and Adidas are using to guide customers to their products on a mall's directory.

Measuring the ads' effectiveness, however, is expected to get more sophisticated as the companies work with the Traffic Audit Bureau and the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau on different engagement guidelines that go beyond the previous standards such as "eyes-on" or "potential-to-see," which measured statistics like the number of cars in a mall parking lot. Mr. Ribero, a former chief marketing officer, has been particularly vocal in his OVAB involvement to push for more accountable metrics as more major media companies such as NBC and CBS enter the space to aggregate inventory for some of the medium's smaller players.

"One of the standards I sought was trying to minimize the time between when a person saw one of my ads and when they were in a position to buy a product," he said. "Whether it's by doing something near a purchase decision or at point-of-purchase, we want to give consumers the opportunity to pick up the phone and buy a product remotely, or know exactly where you can buy them in the mall."
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