Digital billboard company oOh! Media has employed Axis and Milestone integrated video and IBM audience analytics to create a great marketing campaign that highlights the opportunities of lateral CCTV applications. 

WHEN it needed a targeted campaign to attract the attention of potential buyers on their way to Melbourne airport, Porsche worked with billboard supplier oOh! Media. 

Porsche wanted to take advantage of the flexibility and creativity that digital billboards provide. The challenge for oOh! was to create a smart billboard able to detect Porsche vehicles and display a custom message to Porsche’s existing customers. To accomplish this, oOh! searched for technology that was capable of analyzing all oncoming vehicles to identify potential customers, and fast enough that they could display targeted content to occupants of those vehicles in seconds.

“I first heard about Milestone through IBM. They did all of their testing with Milestone. When I started looking into it, I saw how powerful a platform it is. I also found it to be really intuitive and easy to use”

Melbourne marketing technology firm Digital Experience was hired to create the billboards. John McGiffin, managing director at Digital Experiences, designed the solution, which included Axis Q1615E network cameras mounted on the billboard. The cameras feed into Milestone XProtect Essential video management software (VMS) which is open platform, enabling interoperability with other IP systems. 

McGiffin’s solution integrates the VMS with a proprietary tool for car recognition that can pattern-match the vehicles against a database of known cars. McGiffin also employed IBM video analytics, forming a powerful, tailored solution.

The integrated solution immediately recognizes the targeted audience and delivers custom billboard advertisements accordingly. The Axis cameras provide high-resolution shots of the cars, and the feeds can be viewed and shared easily with the Milestone software. Milestone is able to manage different streams and resolutions without delays or technical difficulties.

McGiffin is currently using Axis cameras on the billboard, but appreciates the flexibility that Milestone’s open platform affords. The software supports over 150 different brands of network video cameras in thousands of models.

“This is the first pilot project with oOh! Media but this video surveillance solution is portable,” McGiffin says. “I like the idea that I can choose any camera vendor for other projects based on cost and functionality and be confident that integration will go smoothly. It’s a great thing not to have to worry about.”

McGiffin is no stranger to traffic monitoring. He designed a system that used IBM video analytics to monitor people in supermarkets, specifically focusing on customer traffic at certain times of day as well as people’s age and gender. 

“I first heard about Milestone through IBM,” McGiffin says. “They did all of their testing with Milestone. When I started looking into it, I saw how powerful a platform it is. I also found it to be really intuitive and easy to use.”

John Purcell, Commercial Director at oOh! Media, says he was also impressed with Milestone’s video management capabilities.

“When John first showed us the VMS, I was amazed at what was possible,” Purcell says. “It’s easy for us to both look at our audience and provide quantitative data to our advertisers.”
Purcell and McGiffin both see this project as the beginning of an exciting new trend.

“There’s lots of interest in how to make billboards smarter,” Purcell says. “With technology such as this providing us the ability to monitor and analyze traffic, we are looking at how this could create amazing new opportunities for our advertisers to connect to our audiences.”

Purcell says that European companies have already expressed interest in purchasing the proprietary solution, and Porsche has been so pleased with the campaign that discussions about expanding the solution worldwide are under way.

“I’ve been swamped with offers to purchase the solution John has created,” Purcell says. “It’s an exciting time for digital advertising. There is a lot of potential to push it further, and Milestone’s video management technology is right at the heart of it all.” ♦