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CBS Mobile Tests Wi-Fi Billboard Interactivity for Localized Content and Ads

Wi-Fi Billboards are perfect antennas distributed on population density = localized advertising.

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Local wi-fi for local advertising

Wi-Fi Outdoor Network for Local Advertising

In late 2007, CBS' billboards and New York City Transit signage at subway entrances in midtown started transmitting free Wi-Fi signals. In a six-month pilot project, CBS will test a range of content and marketing ideas to see if the model might scale to transform a massive worldwide billboard presence into a sponsored hot-zone business.

The outdoor network has become interactive and "hyperlocal"

Interactive and hyperlocal: When users log onto the Wi-Fi network, the CBS Mobile Zone splash page is keyed precisely to the specific outdoor signage that emits the signal.
  • Billboard creative from launch sponsors like Citi and SalesGenie can be reiterated in the launch-page banner ad.
  • A Google map shows restaurant, entertainment and coffee shop locations in the immediate vicinity,
  • Yelp pulls in recommendations and reviews from other New Yorkers for the merchants who probably are in eyesight.
  • Users can connect with one another via the Ning social network and local community service.
  • CBS-owned Web radio feed on the gateway page features musical artists that are either from New York or about to tour there.
Roeding, who runs the mobile effort for CBS Interactive, is marrying the presence of outdoor with the emerging ethos of mobile services: Make messages immediate and relevant down to the level of city blocks.

Free ad-supported Wi-Fi has struggled against technical, financial and governmental hurdles, but Google and others like MetroFi have been trying the model.

With the largest outdoor presence in the United States, CBS thinks it is well positioned for localized Wi-Fi. Billboards are perfect antenna platforms and they are distributed based on population density. It is perfect for Wi-Fi.

READ MORE: MediaPost

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