London is a proud owner of the biggest in Britain and the widest in the world billboard - a high-tech Coca-Cola billboard that can react to weather and movements. It is erected in London's Piccadilly Circus. Its size is ninety nine feet wide (thirty point seventeen meters). The London billboard is able to recognise people waving to it from the ground below and respond to SMS messages. Big drops will appear on the screen when it is raining and the Coke sign can ripple when the wind is blowing.
In September 2005, one of the most powerful and effective London billboards campaigns started. Using the Bluetooth technology and multi media content was a part of a trend in mobile advertising. Passengers of one of London's train stations could suddenly receive a text message, asking if they wanted to watch an interview with the band Coldplay. This new London billboards campaign had a hit rate of fifteen percent making it a huge success.
One of the UK's most established companies for outstanding billboards advertising cooperated with a small firm specializing in transmitter technology. It resulted in a Bluetooth-driven ad campaign. Equipping a number of London billboards in train stations and Heathrow airport with special transmitters was the main task for Filter UK. Due to these transmitters, text messages, asking if a recipient would like to watch a video clip on their phone, were beamed to the phones of people walking by. Those users, who accepted, received a video clip or some other multimedia advertisements. The transmission is enabled by the Bluetooth, a technology allowing different types of electronic equipment to communicate within a range of one hundred meters.
The Wall Street Journal claims that the London billboards campaign was a huge success. It reached twenty three thousand people in two weeks. Filter UK asks recipients for their permission before sending any material. In this way the company tries to distance themselves from those providing spam. People, who wanted to receive advertisement from Filter UK, were reached by this company. Those that declined a particular ad were not offered any further ads in the series.
A similar experience is going to be practiced for visitors to Ericsson's pavilion at one of the Volvo Ocean Race stopovers. Ericsson teams up with German-based Blue Cell Networks. Together they will provide multi-media content to the pavilion visitors with Bluetooth enabled telephones. Such content as ringtones, images and videos will be provided by Ericsson. Blue Cell will provide its beamzone. Due to the Beamzone's hotspot system, pre-defined digital content can be sent automatically out to all compatible Bluetooth handsets. Handsets within a vicinity of thirty - one hundred meters can be reached by this permission based system.
Mobile advertising gives the enormous potential for operators. With different forms of mobile advertising, they can generate a supplemental revenue. Businesses also benefit from mobile advertising - they can communicate to their market in new and more effective ways. The example of Filter UK proves that advertising using billboards and the Bluetooth can be a perfect way for reaching consumers.