British Airways, with the help of Ogilvy 12th Floor, installed innovative digital billboards that interact with the planes flying over them. The ads are part of the airlines’ “Magic of Flying” campaign, that highlights how magical flying can be, especially from the eyes of a child.
These digital billboards use custom-built surveillance technology and flight schedules to detect planes flying overhead and change the current digital display to that of a child pointing at the plane, when there is a BA plane overhead. The billboards also display the plane’s flight number and route. When a plane is detected, it triggers an image of a child pointing up at the aircraft, along with a message containing the flight number and departure city — e.g., “Look, it’s flight BA430 Amsterdam.” That’s followed or accompanied (in installations with more than one sign) by a second message, e.g. “Amsterdam, one of 34 city break destinations.” Other complementary messages highlight things like low fares or the current temperature at the destination.
These billboards are currently running on Storm displays in Piccadilly, in Central London, and the West London neighborhood of Chiswick, whose positions allow juxtaposition with BA planes landing at London’s busy Heathrow Airport.
“The digital billboards are a first for the company and for UK advertising, too. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them. We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.”–– Abigail Comber, Head, Marketing, British Airways
Check out the video on how the interactive billboard works @Piccadilly Circus