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Clear Channel to take NFC advertising global

Clear Channel's Connect system in operation

Clear Channel Outdoor is to equip 75,000 out-of-home advertising sites in 23 countries around the world with its Connect mobile advertising platform, allowing consumers to interact with brands via NFC tags, QR codes and, in Latin America, via SMS. The installation is due to be completed by June 2014.

The Connect tags will be permanently attached to digital and static poster structures on pedestrian-accessible sites with “heavy footfall and long dwell-time” such as bus shelters and in shopping malls as well as at the point of sale. The platform will initially reach 175 million consumers on five continents, Clear Channel says, creating the “largest network of its kind.”

The platform will enable advertisers to offer a range of services including:

  • Shopping: Transactional and discount/voucher offers
  • Entertainment: Gaming, video, photo and app delivery
  • Information: Search, maps, location-relevant and utility services
  • Community: Social media, texting and instant messaging, and sharing.

“We have made this investment because all our intelligence tells us this is what consumers want, to be able to engage with brands individually, immediately and effectively,” says William Eccleshare, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor. “The global rollout of Connect accelerates the metamorphosis of out-of-home advertising from being the oldest form of advertising to the most modern and creative.”

The platform was launched in the UK in February 2013 with the rollout of 10,000 mobile-enabled sites in cities including London and Edinburgh and sites in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore have since been added to the network. Today’s announcement will see the service expanded to Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.

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One comment on this article

  1. It will be interesting to see how advertisers and their media agencies respond to this.

    It was similar to ad-serving in the early 2000s when online advertising took off. Clients want an agnostic solution that can run across multiple vendors not one solution for each media owner, they want to control, manage and report in totality.

    This is where the media owner trying to do it all themselves breaks down, added to this it’s not an outdoor media owners core business and as functionality and technology improve they will struggle to keep up with the level of innovation demanded by savvy clients.

    That said, it’s a great sign to the broader market that a large company like Clear Channel is looking at complimenting their physical assets with mobile connectivity using NFC and other interaction methods. For this they should be congratulated.

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