Coming soon to a bus shelter near you

 The NFC interactive scan at a bus shelter off Pearse street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

The NFC interactive scan at a bus shelter off Pearse street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 01:00

You wait ages for a bus . . . and then a Transformers trailer comes along.

Clear Channel’s Adshel bus shelters have become interactive with the addition of Near Field Communications (NFC) and QR code capabilities.

Smartphone users tap or scan their smartphone over the NFC tag or QR code and are then sent to whatever site the advertiser wants.

Integrated campaign

The advertising platform, called Connect, has been rolled out on 2,000 Adshel sites and campaigns run in two-week cycles. A current campaign features posters for Transformers: Age of Extinction and when consumers idly waiting for the bus scan or tap they are sent directly to a trailer for the robot-fighting movie.

Irish advertisers are some of the first to have been offered the platform. Clear Channel rolled it out in April here and in Singapore, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK, well ahead of the US where it was introduced in San Francisco and Washington DC in June.

The eventual rollout will be to 23 countries.

“It works best when advertisers are entertaining or giving something to the consumer,” says Eoin McDonagh, marketing executive at Clear Channel Ireland. “We have advertisers coming on stream with competitions and that should work well, much better than just directing a consumer to say, the company’s website. It should be part of an integrated campaign.”

Source of data

It’s early days for the advertising platform but, according to McDonagh, initial research shows that while the company expected the take-up rate to be highest in the younger 18-24 age group, it is more popular to date with older 25 to 35-year-old phone owners.

For advertisers it’s yet another source of data – they can measure when and where their advertising is accessed and count the clickthroughs.

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