A report by Warc suggests that a combination of digital technology and a general election will deliver a boost to the UK’s outdoor advertising industry during the course of 2015.
Billboards have traditionally been an important feature of political advertising during elections, despite having little direct impact on voter intentions or overall turnout. However, digital outdoor has grown to the point where it has become heralded as an important medium for increasing voter influence.
Clear Channel’s Andrew Morley highlighted his intent to manoeuvre the outdoor industry down the interactive route. Morley indicated that London already had one of the most advanced outdoor digital advertising environments in the world, with Clear Channel itself operating forty state-of-the-art digital screens across the city and around one hundred small format digital screens on bus shelters, more commonly referred to as Adshel Live.
Jon Lewis, Chief Executive of Outdoor Plus, explained:
“Digital billboards will give political parties a chance to react to news in real time across the country’s billboards. There’s no reason it can’t be all over the billboards of the UK straight away. It just depends how imaginative they can be.
The beginning of January saw a burst of political poster conflict for the upcoming election with both of the main parties unveiling their campaign messages.
Time will only tell whether political parties take full advantage of the new possibilities offered by digital technology. It also remains to be seen whether voters will react favourably to being targeted during their daily commutes.