Ask the Board – September 19, 2016 | CHRISTINA RADIGAN


How do you expect advertising to evolve with “smart” or “connected” cities?

Major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and the world are becoming Connected Cities, leveraging technology and the Internet to add value to the urban landscape and the consumers that inhabit them.  The deployment of vast technology often comes with lofty price tags, thus cities are turning to advertising dollars in an effort to offset or fund the costs entirely.

Free Wi-Fi and ‘way-finding’ kiosks are among the most common elements of Connected Cities that mutually benefit their users and advertisers alike.

In New York City, ad-sponsored Wi-Fi is set to launch in the underground subway system by early 2017.  This will provide thousands of subway riders with the opportunity to stay connected where never before possible, without chipping away at users’ coveted data-plans, while providing advertisers the opportunity to sponsor the access, thus tapping into an audience that had been virtually unreachable by mobile/online advertising while underground.

New York is in the midst of rolling out 12-foot, street-level kiosks called Links. Each Link will provide users with super-fast, free public Wi-Fi. The endeavor, spearheaded by a consortium of tech, connectivity and media companies called CityBridge, will be funded by advertising revenue. Advertisers will be able to feature real-time, full-motion video messaging on these prominent screens on some of New York’s most sought after avenues.

What’s really exciting is that being connected will allow for real-time, dynamic ad-serving to take place outside of the home. We are already seeing data-triggered Out-of-Home advertising messages in response to weather, time of day, day or week and more. With the proliferation of ‘connected’ media, including bus shelters, station posters and others, the trend will continue to add tremendous value to the media, while providing more relevant advertising experiences to its viewers and users alike. 


About Author

Managing Director, Marketing & Communications
Outdoor Media Group

Advertising & Brands Council

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