In eBay’s DOOH campaign, the weather plays a starring role

eBay has found a way to take advantage of the UK’s fickle springtime weather.

This week, the giant online marketplace launched a Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) campaign there, featuring advertising messages that change according to weather conditions.

Three types of weather conditions spark different kinds of creative variations. If it’s sunny, for instance, visual ads for gardening products might be shown. Rainy might result in messages about rain gear, and general/cloudy conditions can prompt ads for indoor do-it-yourself projects.

The campaign, eBay senior marketing director Gareth Jones said in a statement, shows the brand’s “vibrant and colorful wares in a way that is responsive and useful and aligned with consumers’ mindset and surroundings at the moment.”

The effort, produced by digital out-of-home production shop Grand Visual and created by ad firm 72andSunny, is part of a larger eBay global campaign, “Fill your cart with color.” It promotes the many kinds of products available on the marketplace and conveys the idea that shoppers should live more colorfully.

Real-time weather data is received and processed by the OpenLoop platform, which also distributes the ad assets. OpenLoop is the real-time campaign management and distribution platform of DOOH ad tech firm QDOT, which was spun off last year from Grand Visual and which is managing the campaign’s content.

Running until April 8, the campaign encourages passers-by to “make springtime spectacular.” It is displayed on more than 1250 screens across the UK, including large format motion and static billboards, and digital screens in malls, on the road side, in the London underground (subway) and at rail locations.

The covered markets include Edinburgh in Scotland, Northern Ireland and — in England — London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Displayed ads can be still images or video clips, depending on the screen location. A shopping mall, for instance, offers the time to watch a brief video clip on a digital screen, while a highway billboard does not.

The eBay outdoor effort is the latest campaign where digital displays in outdoor or other public spaces respond to dynamic data feeds. In October of last year, for instance, a UK campaign for Audi reacted to weather and traffic. A Canadian campaign for Dannon Yogurt in 2016 displayed different messages according to traffic speed. In the US, a campaign last summer for National Geographic and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America showed selected selfies posted by passersby.

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.