Adam Steel
Adam Steel is Mintel’s Trends Analyst for the European region, identifying changes in the patterns of consumer behaviour to detect new trends. He publishes observations on Mintel’s Trends platform that cover innovations, creative marketing campaigns and product launches.

Fashion brand Scotch & Soda has launched an outdoor campaign in Germany featuring interactive billboards that change depending on the weather.

The digital billboards Scotch & Soda is using for its winter coat campaign are connected to weather stations in cities across Germany. Depending on the weather type, the displayed features can be adjusted, enabling members of the public to see a raincoat when it’s pouring or a windbreaker on a particularly windy day.

Smart billboards on the rise

Smart billboards can help brands make their campaigns and products more memorable by engaging with customers more effectively. For Scotch & Soda, the efficacy of its campaign is enhanced by exposing consumers to products relevant to specific situations. And with Mintel’s Report Clothing Retailing – Germany, October 2017 showing that 33% of German consumers prefer to shop at retailers that have frequently updated ranges, this kind of interactive, weather-responsive advertising is a great way for clothing retailers to market new season-specific ranges and items in the country.

The benefits of smart advertising have seen it become increasingly common across other sectors too. Audi, for example, is running outdoor adverts that use data from current driving conditions to promote different aspects of its auto technology, while in the Netherlands newspaper app Telegraaf now interacts with out-of-home advertising billboards.

Companies offering advertising space are also implementing smart features that may help brands better target future campaigns. A giant smart billboard capable of spotting specific vehicle makes, models and colours was installed in London’s Piccadilly Circus, while JCDecaux is installing smart billboards in shopping malls with built-in cameras capable of judging facial expressions.

Consumers are likely to appreciate advertising that alerts them to new products and services that are tailored to them. Brands in this space should be as transparent as possible in order to ensure consumers remain comfortable with this kind of technology.