Clear Channel Outdoor launches ‘Connect’, the first global out-of-home mobile interactive advertising platform

25 Mar 2014 •
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter

– Platform will initially reach 175 million consumers each month across 23 countries on 5 continents – creating the largest network of its kind – 75,000 sites worldwide will be equipped with NFC, QR and/or SMS capabilities – Global launch builds on success of UK Mobile Platform – Clear Channel UK to more than double existing platform to 25,000 locations

– Platform will initially reach 175 million consumers each month across 23 countries on 5 continents – creating the largest network of its kind
– 75,000 sites worldwide will be equipped with NFC, QR and/or SMS capabilities
– Global launch builds on success of UK Mobile Platform
– Clear Channel UK to more than double existing platform to 25,000 locations

In a world first, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO), the leading innovator in out-of-home advertising, is rolling out Connect, its interactive mobile advertising platform globally, representing a major development in the evolution of out-of-home media worldwide – generating more opportunities for consumers and brands to connect.

Advertising panels on CCO’s pedestrian-accessible sites across the globe will be turned into mobile launch pads, enabling consumers to access interactive content from advertisers via their smartphones. Connect creates seamless integration between out-of-home and mobile, driving deeper brand engagement with consumers when they are out and about.

The Global launch builds on the success of UK Mobile Platform which launched with 10,000 sites in urban areas across the country in March 2013.

In the UK, Clear Channel has announced plans to expand their existing Mobile Platform to an additional 15,000 sites, bringing the platform to every urban area in the UK with a population in excess of over 100,000.

The UK deployment with see Clear Channel’s distinctive Mobile Platform tags appear in new environments, including shopping malls and on the Socialite network of digital screens in urban pubs and bars.

By June 2014, CCO will:

– Create a mobile network reaching 175 million consumers monthly across 23 countries on 5 continents

– Be able to offer marketers the biggest out-of-home/mobile interactive platform from any media owner and the only one with a global scale

– Over 75,000 outdoor sites fitted with Connect tags enabled for Near Field Communication (NFC), QR code and, in Latin America, SMS capabilities

William Eccleshare, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, says, “We have made this investment because all our intelligence tells us this is what consumers want, to be able to engage with brands individually, immediately and effectively. We are bridging the online and offline worlds by combining our outstanding audience reach with personal engagement through mobile devices. The global rollout of Connect accelerates the metamorphosis of out-of-home advertising from being the oldest form of advertising to the most modern and creative.”

He adds: – “At Clear Channel Outdoor, we take pride in being a company of advertising firsts. We were the first to introduce the public bike scheme; the first to deliver an outdoor digital street furniture network; and the first to run a facial recognition campaign. We have done it once again with Connect as we are the first to roll out this interactive mobile platform on such an international scale.”

“More than doubling the size of the UK Mobile Platform to 25,000 sites just made sense” said Chris Pelekanou, Commercial Director at Clear Channel UK; “The global roll-out of the Connect Mobile Platform is exciting news for consumers but also a real vote of confidence in UK innovation.

“We have consistently backed mobile and out-of-home because we know they naturally work together. We knew leading the market with the launch of our Mobile Platform was a bold move. In our first year we’ve seen over 100 campaigns enhance the reach of out-of-home with the direct engagement that the Connect Mobile Platform offers.”

Consumers simply tap or scan their smartphone over Connect’s NFC tag or QR code to instantly open a gateway to an online brand experience. In CCO’s Latin American markets, the platform will also run with the addition of SMS capability; a tailored SMS code will appear on the outdoor advert.

Advertisers can enhance the Connect user experience by offering a range of consumer benefits, which can be grouped into 4 main categories:

– Information – search, maps, location-relevant, utility

– Shopping – transactional, discounts / vouchering

– Entertainment – gaming, video, photos, apps

– Community – social media, text / IM, sharing

Advertisers and planners will also benefit from the rich data and metrics captured by Connect, including date, time, location, conversion of click-thru’s, and even which kinds of device were used – all allowing for campaign optimisation, performance review and delivery of ROI.

Pru Parkinson, Chief Marketing Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor, comments: “Outdoor and mobile already enjoy a powerful connection; the recent example of CCO’s global outdoor campaign for Lady Gaga’s album launch drove over 700 million Twitter impressions. But we are reaching a global tipping point for engaging with consumers on mobile devices and now is the time to take this connection to the next level. It is the first time in history that more of us live in cities than in rural areas and we are spending more time than ever out-of-home. And at the same time, technology is now ubiquitous and the increase of smartphone penetration has revolutionized communication and consumer expectations. It’s a perfect storm and Connect helps advertisers to make the most of it.”

CCO will be showcasing Connect and its full capabilities at the forthcoming Festival of Media Global event (6-8 April) in Rome, where Clear Channel Communications’ CEO Bob Pittman, will also be one of the event’s key speakers.

CCO first launched its mobile platform in the UK with a nationwide rollout in 2013 that included 10,000 mobile-enabled sites in urban areas right across the country. CCO’s mobile platform has since been launched in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore. The global roll-out of Connect will see additional platforms planned for completion by June 2014 in: Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.