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‘Breathing new life’ into DOOH: Asda automatically buys ads where fuel prices beat rivals


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

September 18, 2020 | 4 min read

Asda is automatically buying out-of-home ads at UK sites where its nearby stations beat competitor fuel prices, showing how new tech can ease in new marketing tactics.


Asda automatically buys DOOH ads where its fuel prices beat competitors

The retailer showcased a fascinating use of the out of home medium on Posterscope‘s Ecos Now programmatic platform.

It hints at the many new applications we could be seeing in the belaboured but rapidly innovating digital out of home (DOOH) space.

The Drum breaks down how the tech works.

What it did

  • Working with Spark Foundry and using Posterscope‘s Ecos Now programmatic buying platform (more on that here), it input real time fuel prices, measured against competitors, and automatically bought ads in spots it was cheapest.

  • Spots included up to date comparisons of price in real time.

  • Asda noticed a surge of road traffic, citing staycations and the public being ushered from public transport. Fuel‘s more sought after than it was pre-coronavirus and it wants to be the destination. Fuel sales also often lead to grocery purchases.

  • Asda is telling consumers its prices are lower than key competitors like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Why it matters

  • Dan Bayford, planning and buying director at Posterscope said the programmatic activation is “breathing new life into the out-of-home medium but also aiding its recovery“.

  • The out-of-home (OOH) sector was the hardest hit by the pandemic downturn. In the last quarter, the Advertising Association and Warc expenditure report showed spend fell 70% and Nielsen pegged it at 85%.

  • With around a one-hour turn around on the Posterscope‘s platform, marketers can act in OOH with agility and reactivity – compared to the slow churn of the print era.

  • Marketers can find competitive advantages through the use of data and execute ads based on a series of conditional inputs into platforms like Ecos Now.

  • Posterscope has facilitated real time choco polling ads for Cadbury and hayfever ads when pollen is high. The weather, time of day, traffic, pollen counts, temperature, government-mandated lockdowns or even football scores are just some of the data pointed that can be entered.

  • Posterscope EMEA managing director Glen Wilson recently offered an example of why these smart buys offer an advantage. Cider sales go up when it is warm, and soup sales rise when it is cold – marketers can now automatically buy media exclusively, or heavier, during these periods using this tech.

Last month The Drum interviewed Posterscope's president Christian Vollerslev about the new applications of the tech and how the medium is proving footfall is on the up again.

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