January 15, 2007

Online to offline, contextual landscaping

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Miniboard.jpgAt what point does context replace content? Google and MINI gear up their latest in interweb domination, this time taking it to the streets.

Google plans to roll out a series of internet-based billboards that act similar to AdSense, advertising available products in local stores. The system will have the capability of switching out advertising based on the products being in stock in real-time. While advertisers will be able to manage their accounts online like AdSense, one can only hope that the CPM rate won't be as similar.

MINI, however, is taking a different route. Relying less on context and more on you, the latest campaign titled Motorby asks users to supply not-too-personal information in exchange for a key fob that alerts billboards to your presence. The interactive billboards are then able to detect your presence and give you a personal message as you drive by. The pilot boards are currently up in NY, Chicago, SF, and Miami. As MINI states, "the billboards are talking" - and this time, not AT you.

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