Location Aware Ads on London Buses

August 27, 2006

I’m a bit late catching up with this one (I have been working… remember that?), but I just noticed this post in Ad Age about Yell.com’s plans for location-aware ads for London buses.

Yell. On buses. With GPS.

If you haven’t been to London for a while (like me) then you will not have noticed that several buses have digital displays on the side now. So the plan by agency AKQA is to have contextual ads based on GPS readings of the buses’ locations. For example, when the bus is in Marble Arch you’ll see an ad saying “Find a Gym in Marble Arch”.

All of which is fine and dandy and everything, but it does seem rather a dull use of a remarkable convergence of technologies. I can’t help thinking that there might be much more amusing uses for it like “This bus is late, get out of the bus lane” or something. Or a game.