A year has passed in the life of Alpha. It’s been extremely hectic, so the blog has unfortunately been neglected, however, as I tell my worrying mother: “no news, is good news”.
So, what have we been up to this past year? The following blog post is a “brief” summary of the projects and tests we’ve been doing. Over the coming months, I’ll be writing in more detail about each of them.
How to measure foot fall
We start out in the shopping mall Field’s in Copenhagen. Here we were able to attribute foot fall to an audience exposed to digital outdoor ads in the shopping mall. The test showed a whopping 128% increase in traffic to the YouSee (Danish TelCo) store located in Field’s during the test campaign period, delivering an ROI of 3,91.
We did this by installing WiFi routers in our digital screens as well as inside the physical YouSee store and monitoring for MAC addresses. In order to be GDPR compliant we installed software on each router, the purpose of which is to hash and encrypt each MAC address before it’s sent to the database for aggregation and analysis. That way we won’t be handling any information that can be connected to any private person, but at the same time we’re able to see new and returning traffic in aggregated forms. This kicked the door wide open for using this technology to document impressions in real time. That is pretty groundbreaking for digital outdoor in itself. But the kicker is to use this historic documentation data to predict the amount of impressions delivered the next hour, day, week or anything in between and thus having something truly valuable to trade on a programmatic platform.
What do people REALLY think of ad content in the city space?
“What a nice survey. The multiple choices you give me to answer your question represent the exact feelings I had, looking at your ad.” Said no one. Ever. It is incredibly difficult for us to explain in words how we actually feel about what we experience and oftentimes it is simply not possible to answer. “Did you like this ad? Well, did you? Was it a 6? Or maybe a 7,5?” The answers we get to these questions are not really representing the respondent’s actual perception. Not that I have the answer to solve one of the greatest mysteries of mankind (is my perception of reality the same as yours?) but we stumbled upon this guy, Paul Zak, who claimed he could measure the level of oxytocin produced in the brain simply by wearing a bracelet, and Alpha just had to test this out in the real world.
Paul Zak has researched in neuroscience for quite some time, and the reason neuroscience is exciting for us in the advertising business, is because it represents a new paradigm for measuring and describing the level of engagement that a person(‘s brain) has in an ad. So instead of asking people what they think of an ad, we can actually measure their production of oxytocin, and on the basis hereof we can document an “immersion quotient” which indicates whether they are emotionally engaged in the content they are exposed to.
What can open data tell us about Copenhagen?
A little under a year ago we started prepping for the tender for the Copenhagen Metro (spoiler alert: we got it!). For the initial offering we (or more correctly, Anthony Barré and his Data Corp team in Paris) created a map of Copenhagen with a ton of open data to showcase just how much valuable data is lying around, if you know how to use it. We used data from opendata.dk, Google, Foursquare and AirBnB to create an interactive map that provides information on hyperlocal areas in Copenhagen. Drop me an e-mail if you want access to the interface and we’ll figure it out.
If you’ve been inside the marketing and media industry for the last five years or so, I’m sure you’ve heard about (and are quite possibly also fascinated by) the impressive Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture. In November 2018, we finally visited Palo Alto and San Francisco to see what the fuzz was all about. I came home exhausted.
On the one hand, it was of course fascinating and inspiring to visit successful companies, spot trends and talk to tech gurus. On the other hand, there was this lack of respect for laws, norms and people’s data concerns in the rest of the world. When asked about GDPR, one of the major tech companies we visited said “we’ll just pay our fines and move on”. To me this was a vulgar arrogancy to a problem created by those same companies. Not cool…
Real time impressions – for real?
Let’s go out on a high note. Because in these weeks and months we’re installing and activating sensors from our tests in Field’s in all of our digital assets all over the country. This will give us real time impressions and thus kicking outdoor the last steps into the hybrid of being digital and – here it comes – agile while at the same time being a tangible mass medium for reaching big audiences fast. These real time impressions will be the foundation of a bigger transformation of the outdoor advertising business. From delivering bulk exposure to the total audience of a certain network, our goal is to deliver upon the specific goals the campaign intends to reach on behalf of the advertising business. Consequently, real time impressions certainly represent more than just a new way of documenting our reach.
Cheers – and thank you for reading all the way to the end. 😊