Beacons installed on 500 London buses by Exterion Media

The technology will allow brands to deliver contextual messages through their own apps to commuters.

Beacons on buses: Exterion Media has installed beacons on London buses, after a trail in Norwich (pictured)
Beacons on buses: Exterion Media has installed beacons on London buses, after a trail in Norwich (pictured)

The system has been designed with Proxama, a mobile proximity marketing company, and uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to communicate with smartphones that have Bluetooth switched on.

A participating brand's app will be able to use the connection to send targeted messages and alerts to users. No brand partners have been announced to date.

Jason Cotterrell, managing director UK at Exterion Media, said: "Our ultimate aim is to deploy this technology across our portfolio nationwide, with a long-term vision of providing full connectivity across buses in the UK."

The technology has been trialled on buses in Norwich, but London was targeted because it has the highest penetration of smartphones in the UK and an estimated average bus journey time of 17 to 19 minutes, according to research by Exterion.

The trail in Norwich tracked usage of beacons on 110 buses for six months. Twenty local retailers participated, communicating with potential consumers through the location and offers app Loka. Exterion reported 2,000 app downloads during the trial period and a 30% click through rate on notifications served.

John Worley, the chief executive of Proxama's marketing division said: "The trial in Norwich and our partnership with Exterion Media showed us that consumers are open to receiving content via their mobile devices while they travel, so we expect to experience a similar level of success once we roll out across London."

The 500 beacon-enabled buses will appear on the following 59 routes.

  • Battersea depot: 3, 49, 156, 211, 344, 414, 452, c2, c3
  • Holloway depot: 4, 17, 24, 43, 46, 91, 134, 271, 390, 603, w7, 143
  • Shepherd's Bush depot: 94, 148
  • Stamford Brook depot: 9, 10, 27
  • Westbourne Park depot: 23, 70
  • Stamford Hill depot: 67, 73, 253
  • Tottenham depot: 41, 67, 76, 123, 149, 230, 341
  • Bow depot: 8, 15, 205, 277
  • Brixton depot: 59, 109, 137, 159, 319
  • Waterloo: 507, 521
  • Stockwell depot: 19, 77, 87, 88, 196, 249, 333, 337, 639, 670

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Martin Freeman fronts Vodafone UK's first integrated ad campaign by Ogilvy

The Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman plays a rude wedding guest in Vodafone's first integrated ad campaign since the telecoms giant moved its UK ad business to Ogilvy & Mather earlier this year.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published