Installation of the Week: JCDecaux Borrows from the Bard


Old meets new in this week’s Installation of the Week. JCDecaux recently promoted its new CMS known as SmartContent across the British Isles on select digital screens with a little help from one of the United Kingdom’s most beloved native sons: Bill Shakespeare. It works like this: In addition to custom data feeds, relevant Shakespeare quotes appear in relation to environmental factors like location, time and weather conditions.

JCDecaux provided this example: “If it’s gloomy in Glasgow, audiences may be treated to: ‘For the rain it raineth every day’ from ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, while sun in Southampton could trigger, ‘When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport’ from ‘The Comedy of Errors’.”

With this witty display of triggered digital out-of-home content, JCDecaux is not only helping to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, but the company is also demonstrating that the wheel not need be reinvented to capitalize on dynamic real-time content. In this case at least, the substance of such classic imagery and wordplay at the right time and place is enough.

“A fraction of all digital campaigns have a dynamic element,” said JCDecaux Dynamic managing director Alex Matthews. “At JCDecaux, we strongly believe in dynamic by default for digital campaigns, which is the driver behind launching SmartContent. The new global platform makes the process of serving creative based on real-time data for brands much easier and is a huge step forward in delivering contextually relevant ads in out-of-home.”

SmartContent will sit along the company’s buying and planning tool SmartBrics, with the accompanying campaign set to expire after a month. Generally speaking, the digital signage and display industry consists of remarkably friendly competitors. However, this simple and effective use of archetypical content in DOOH may have some competitor companies seeing the “green-eyed monster.”

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa,, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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