THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best outdoor innovations

campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 16 December 2003 12:00AM

1. Viacom Outdoor's sparkly bus vinyl

Granted, so sparkly bus vinyl might not sound like it will set the heart aflutter but it has generated a huge amount of interest among poster buyers, and livened up the rather dull bus-side sector. The vinyl combines colour, sparkle and movement. Tonight's The Night, Ben Elton's musical based on the music of Rod Stewart, was a pioneer to use this new format. But don't hold that against it.

2. JCDecaux's Showscreen

Attached to six-sheets and activated by touch, Showscreens can show clips from movies and moving images. They operate in much the same way as a website, with viewers going backwards and forwards through the information. These could revolutionise six-sheets in 2004.

3. Taxi Media's cab drivers

Getting a cab driver to talk about anything other than their views on capital punishment and "that Tony Blair" is no mean feat, but Taxi Media is doing just that. In fact, the company is using its cabbies to act as brand ambassadors by giving them free samples of the brands that are advertised on their cabs. So now you can hear endless stories all about how wonderful Singapore Airlines is instead.

4. JCDecaux's Sixscent

Sixscent is ideal for sampling any product that has its own distinctive smell. A button operates an emission unit attached to a six-sheet so no-doubt deeply curious consumers can smell your product. This year Head & Shoulders used Sixscent to launch its Citrus Fresh shampoo.

5. I-vu's Screens in Hairdressers

You might think that by popping into the barbers, aside from being offered something for the weekend, you could escape advertising. Not any more. Well, not if you have your hair trimmed at the more expensive salons. I-vu launched in April, showing a mixture of editorial and advertising on small interactive LCD screens that can be viewed while you have your hair cut.

6. Adshel's Contravision

Acclaimed for its ability to "tell a story", Contravision runs the length of bus shelters. Because the transparent glass section has to remain uncovered so that people can watch out for the bus, a special vinyl is laid over the glass, which gives the impression of a complete wrap. This year Nissan used Contravision to great effect.

7. Viacom Outdoor's LED six-sheets

Another great innovation from Viacom Outdoor, this development was particularly timely as it allowed the Evening Standard to reassert its position among consumers in the face of Richard Desmond's threat to launch his own London paper. The LED screens are updated remotely and carry breaking news headlines and details of Evening Standard promotions.

8. Viacom Outdoor's Busking

Buskers used to be known as beggars and were responsible for murdering classics such as Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. But they finally achieved legitimacy when London Underground auditioned and licensed them for a deal with Carling. Originally a 16-week arrangement, it was such a hit that it has been extended and Carling buskers are now a permanent feature on the Tube.

9. Adshel Adquarium/ JCDecaux's Six-Sheet Showcase

Two parents share the honours for this particular innovation. The Six-Sheet Showcase allows advertisers to display any kind of liquid or solid in a fully transparent 3-D case. For this year's Dockers campaign, the site was filled with water to show that the trousers were liquid repellent.

10. Adshel's wind- and solar-powered bus shelter

No, really. Adshel unveiled the first wind- and solar-powered bus shelter in the glamorous surroundings of Airbles Road, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. Although solar energy has been used to light bus shelters in the past, this is the first time that wind power has been harnessed. On behalf of the residents of Airbles Road, we salute you, Adshel.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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