Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

WOW Report Summary

Project ID: 762089

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WOW (Digitalization of outdoor advertising)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Currently, outdoor advertising is based on either printed billboards or expensive LED screens, both options having limited targeting possibilities and low cost-efficiency for advertisers, especially for SMEs. The field has not yet witnessed the potential digital transformation characterised by high measurability, and ability to buy & change highly targeted outdoor advertising in real-time in a similar fashion as done in Google AdWords & Facebook.
Intenova develops an innovative digital real time outdoor programmatic advertising platform branded Wowtto based on digital displays attached to cars. The content of the displays is changing in real-time depending on car's location, time, audience, and other targeting preferences (and budget limits) set by the advertiser through a bidding platform. This creates flexibility and opportunities for business model innovation for SMEs who are now able to (1) deliver messages to exactly those communities that are important to their business and (2) organize outdoor advertising campaigns even with limited budgets thanks to more precise targeting and basically no setup costs. Hence, new revenue and value-producing opportunities arise for SMEs.
The concept was validated in 2015-2016 (prototype service based on printed stickers has been provided to real clients). SME Instrument Phase 1 WOW project allowed evaluating the technical feasibility of on-car displays, developing fully functional on-car advertisement solution and pilot-testing full cycle of ordering advertising on the car; validating user needs; establishing contacts with investors; assessing the availability and usability of mobile location data; updating of the freedom-to-operate and IP protection plan and updating the business plan.
The project idea will be further pursued and it is planned to deploy full-scale fully functional service in selected geographical area with sufficient advertising market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

SME Instrument Phase 1 feasibility study aimed to explore the technical and business feasibility of meeting the requirements that have been identified to be prerequisites both to developing of fully functional prototype and pilot deployment of the Wowtto platform and, later, to commercial Wowtto success globally.

Regarding technological solutions for digital on-car advertisement displays, two possible technological alternatives were analysed: (1) e-paper technology based electronic displays which could be mounted on the outside of the car (initially this was regarded as primary option) and (2) LCD panel based electronic displays mounted inside car. Findings of the feasibility study led to decision to develop a solution based on inside mounted LCD screens. Following this decision holders for mounting LCD displays and the overall in-car display system was developed and successfully tested in real environment for over 2 000 hours.

Shifting focus on screen mounting inside of the car and taking more cost-effective solution (LCD panels) allowed us to pilot-test full cycle of ordering advertising on the car: driver mounts device, configures mobile phone to connect to device, drives around the city and shows advertising based on location, statistics (locations, probabilistic views, time) are available for the client through a reporting system.

The assessment of availability and usability of location data gathered by mobile operators for better probabilistic ad-targeting solutions and visibility metrics was carried out on the basis of real historical data provided by mobile carrier on the number of devices available in a certain hour of a day in a current location. The assessment showed that this data could be used for enriching probabilistic ad-targeting solutions and visibility metrics. Regarding future collaboration, the data could also include elements which could be used for segmentation of the audience: male/female, age, computed interest, model of the phone used, etc.

Seeking to establish investor network and sources of finance we have established contacts with venture capitalists and angel investors in the Baltic area, however our contacts revealed that timing for this task was unfavourable as the volumes of available risk capital was low due to the shift between EU budget programming periods – risk capital funds co-financed under 2007-2013 EU structural funds programmes were already invested, while risk capital funds under 2014-2020 ESIF programmes were not available yet (however venture capital funds under 2014-2020 ESIF programmes are expected to be available in the nearest future). Also we started preparations to attract grant funding for the full-scale development and piloting of Wowwto service. These activities would be of particular importance in the near future.

The update of the freedom-to-operate and IP protection plan found no patent that would limit or prevent commercialisation of the Wowtto platform. Constant monitoring of patent information will be continued to make sure no patents are infringed. Current IP protection strategy foresees keeping most the intellectual property as confidential know-how, but nevertheless the possibility and commercial potential of patent protection for new relevant IP is analysed as new potentially patentable device and solutions are being developed.

Results of all other tasks of the feasibility study allowed us validation of user needs and updating of the business plan. Also we developed software part of real-time digital advertisement platform, which allow us to pilot-test Wowtto platform in real environment (based on 10 cars and several customers).

A detailed business plan for full-scale piloting of Wowtto system in one city (Vilnius) was developed and we will further pursue efforts to attract necessary financing, both from venture capitalists and grants for research, technological development and innovation.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Wowtto platform is aimed at transforming of outdoor advertising, which is currently based on either printed billboards or expensive LED screens, both options having limited targeting possibilities and low cost-efficiency for advertisers, especially for SMEs. The field has not yet witnessed the potential digital transformation characterised by high measurability, and ability to buy & change highly targeted outdoor advertising in real-time in a similar fashion as done in Google AdWords & Facebook.

Intenova has the ambition to make outdoor advertising significantly more efficient and affordable for SMEs, and thereby become one of the global leaders in digital outdoor advertising. The analysis of competing solutions has confirmed that compared to current state-of-the-art solutions, Intenova’s outdoor advertising concept has several advantages: thanks to the location-aware digital display (put onto cars), advertising SMEs can deliver messages to exactly those communities that are relevant to their business, organize outdoor advertising campaigns even with very limited budgets thanks to more precise targeting and lower setup costs, and achieve up to 50% higher cost-efficiency. Eventually, outdoor advertising becomes sustainable component of the business models for SMEs, resulting in higher competitiveness.

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