Yahoo has recently filed a patent that could bring data targeting to out-of-home (OOH) advertising. While the technology doesn’t exist to directly mirror digital data to OOH, the patent describes a method called “grouplization.” With this, billboards would collect real-time information and use that to influence what ad consumers see. For example, a billboard could recognize a Honda Civic and a Lexus RX on the road. The Civic could get served a different ad than the Lexus, as the buying audiences for these cars differ.
This new way of targeting would also lead to new data. The Yahoo patent explains engagement would be measurable via three different ways:
1. Viewers – This would measure the actual number of those who were in the correct area to see the ad.
2. Engagement – Did the viewer slow down? Was there any interaction?
3. Demographics – Information about the audience could be gleaned from the sensor data.
With the ability to track the time of day/days of the week the above engagements happen, Yahoo believes this would be beneficial in reporting demographics to the advertiser.
Currently, OOH is mostly measured by a projected number of passersby. If this technology is able to verify true metrics, this would be a game changer for media, as more in-depth metrics such as engagement and conversions could be measured.