When it comes to Creative Technology it’s easy to assume that new means better, but as digital OOH veterans we know that’s not always the case. We’ve used old and new technology over the years and have found positives and negatives to both.

Our approach has always been to use the best technology to enhance creative stories, rather than to use tech as a gimmick, we’ve never seen this work well. While new technology is exotic and enticing, there are still many benefits to using older tech. Older tech is often more basic and therefore offers fewer barriers to entry and any potential limitations are usually well documented.

In 2017 we were tasked with creating an interactive digital OOH campaign for ITV’s, The Voice. To promote the show’s brand new coaching line-up for ITV, we wanted to have the Voice coaches sitting in their famous red chairs with their backs facing the public. Each time a shopper passed close by, the content was triggered and the chairs spun around to reveal the all-star cast. In order to make this happen, we repurposed technology from the 1950s. Passive infrared sensors, or PIR sensors, are an electronic sensor that measures infrared light (or heat) radiating from objects in its field of view. You will most commonly find this tech in burglar alarms and automatically activated lighting systems. And this turned out to be the best tech solution to bring our creative idea to life.

For an alternative example, LEGO Star Wars wanted to entertain shoppers with an Experiential campaign that invited users to “Master the Force”. We needed a solution that allowed participants to engage with on-screen LEGO sets in a digital OOH game. The gesture-sensor technology we employed was a brand new, crowd-funded piece of tech called Orbbec (similar to the Microsoft Kinect) and was still in development when we incorporated it into the activation. The camera had the ability to recognise and track joint movements in 3D, delighting users as they battled against the clock to become a true Jedi Master.

New technology is often accompanied by the fear of the unknown. When it comes to older tech there is a sense of comfort and familiarity which seems to ease concerns. Whether it’s old tech or new tech, ultimately we need to encourage creative-led solutions that enhance the creative story and leave the gimmicks behind.

If you’re curious about creative tech then you should definitely check out our thoughts on facial recognition and some other cool stuff we’ve been working on!

ITV, now home to The Voice UK, is kicking-off an interactive DOOH campaign to promote the show’s brand new coaching line-up ahead of the rebooted show’s debut on ITV. The week-long campaign domination features superstar coaches Gavin Rossdale, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am who surprise shoppers passing by large-format, Ultra HD screens in shopping centres across the UK including Bluewater, Arndale and the Bullring.

The campaign features the coaches sitting in their famous red chairs with their backs facing the public. Each time a shopper passes close by the content is triggered and the chairs spin round to reveal the all-star cast accompanied by claps and crowd cheers and the call to action to tune in to ITV, 8pm Saturdays, #TheVoiceUK.

The DOOH activation was conceived by Goodstuff and Talon, with production and interactive build by Grand Visual, using a bespoke Arduino tech solution with integrated PIR sensors. The campaign runs across Limited Space’s large format digital network, with full audio and vinyl surround installation and supports a broader outdoor and multichannel push announcing the arrival of The Voice to screens on Saturday January 7, 2017, on ITV.

Natasha Reddy, Marketing Manager – Entertainment and Daytime, ITV, commented:

“One of our main objectives with launching The Voice on ITV was to make the campaign and all comms around the launch as innovative as possible and we think these interactive panels have done just that. We’re incredibly pleased and excited about being able to give our audiences such a premium and fun experience.”

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Technology Officer at Grand Visual commented:

“Digital Out of Home has come a long way. With the right team and a collaborative approach, it’s never been easier to produce engaging, responsive and interactive DOOH experiences – at scale.”

Samantha Sida, co-founder of Limited Space, added:

“It is always great to be part of a campaign that is designed specifically for the medium and our network. This campaign takes full advantage of the visual and audio properties of our large format, landscape digital screens and will actively connect and entertain shoppers as a result.”