American Airlines and MediaCom debut geofencing in motion ad campaign

American Airlines has become the first company to use geofencing on a moving object in an ad campaign that uses London's black cabs to deliver ads to the mobiles of pedestrians.

American Airlines: the first brand to use moving geofencing tech
American Airlines: the first brand to use moving geofencing tech

The tech has been developed by MediaCom in conjunction with taxi ad specialist Ubiquitous, which has wrapped 85 black cabs in American Airlines branding and kitted them out with GPS and RFID-powered kit.

Ubiquitous has upgraded the taxis’ onboard technology, while location technology firm Mobsta builds the API connections between the cabs and people’s smartphones. Ubiquitous’s research found that taxis tend to concentrate in those areas populated by American Airlines’ target audience of ABC1s. Mobsta's demographic data ensures that the ads are only sent to the phones of that target group.

MediaCom has also bought select advertising space at sites around London, including advertising on office digital panels, at Canary Wharf shopping centre and via digital channels.

The campaign starts this week and will run until the beginning of November. It aims to raise awareness of American Airlines’ flights out of London with a targeted out-of-home campaign.

The campaign builds on an American Airlines campaign from last year that used static, geofenced outdoor sites. MediaCom and its partners have spent a year developing the moving geofencing tech.

Brady Byrnes, American Airlines’ director of global marketing, said: "American Airlines is all about innovation. Our flights from London give travellers the most connected experience, with on-board Wi-Fi being at the very heart of this offering. That’s why we’re proud to work with MediaCom to push digital innovation and offer this exciting media first."

Geofencing uses GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual space. If a mobile device enters that space, it triggers a response.