The new era of out-of-home: MTR* and Airport Express advertising

 Hong Kong is in constant motion. If New York is the city that never sleeps, then this is the city that never stops. One of, if not the, most essential components to that system is the MTR, a transportation network that is the envy of metropolises worldwide. Already impressive, it only continues to grow and further connect the people and places of this city together. Likewise, as Hong Kong’s international airport is a centre of global travel, the Airport express assists the journeys of millions of travellers every year.

The sheer number of eyes passing through these locations make them a combined powerhouse of advertising worth. Yet, traditional billboards and signage - though still effective - are being lapped in the race for customers by incredible and inventive digital platforms. It is only with these new tools that high transport locations can reach new heights of potential.

In this Master Report, JCDecaux Transport (JCD), lays out the massive and impressive digital upgrades and installations currently being implemented across MTR* and Airport Express advertising as a brilliant example of what can be achieved when highly visible locations are supercharged by enticing and interactive elements.

The out-of-home (OOH) industry is growing and changing at an almost unprecedented rate. This report reflects on the rapid evolution of the OOH industry and how MTR* and Airport Express advertising continue to produce customised, unique and truly memorable campaigns that offer extraordinary OOH experiences to advertisers and passengers.

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From touch screens to virtual reality (VR), from Swarovski hologram Christmas trees to the Ecco augmented reality (AR) fitting room, consumers nowadays are expecting more than traditional ads; they are looking for connections to their daily lives. Interactions between OOH ads and passengers are now closer than ever, connecting on-the-go to everywhere, as brands are the keys to amplifying marketing effectiveness.

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The Swarovski Hologram Christmas Display successfully utilised the Digital Diorama and the interactive functions of the connected touch panel, deeply enhancing passenger involvement.

Together with the use of the latest technologies and interactive games such as VR, AR, customised souvenirs, e-photos, interactive games, and social sharing games – among many other exciting ideas and applications – MTR* and Airport Express advertising are evolving from an O2O to an OMO environment. An environment where online merges with off-line.

Imaginative approaches were taken to turn out-of-the-box ideas from concept to reality and to deliver compelling campaigns across all their media platforms, while real-life interaction between audiences and advertisers was offered, building lasting consumer-brand relationships, and creating unforgettable brand experiences for passengers.

Additionally, digital out-of-home (DOOH) from MTR* and Airport Express advertising is also changing the landscape. As the hottest market trend, it is the best medium for capturing an audience’s attention. Over the past few years, MTR Corporation and JCD have together achieved a 4D digital transformation strategy (Digitalisation, Data, Distribution and Dynamic content). Multiple digital inventories invested by MTR Corporation were added to the MTR* advertising platform, the highest passenger traffic of any form of transportation in Hong Kong. With the new DOOH offerings at MTR stations, MTR* advertising has continued to expand the digital screen network in terms of quantity, size and variety of formats. This has ensured both high brand awareness and reach, making it the largest example of DOOH in Hong Kong.

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Sun Life

Riding on O2O interactivity, passengers can in turn engage with Sun Life ad messages, creating stronger and deeper connections with brands.

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HSBC and Sun Life took the golden opportunity to be the first batch of advertisers to make use of the new Digital Motion Zones by engaging with consumers via smart devices.

The most recent launch has been the new digital motion zones, which are strategically located on the concourses of Central, Causeway Bay, and Kowloon Tong MTR stations to fully capture the attention of those in transit. This new digital inventory offers extra flexibility, with a wide range of broadcasting options, covering commercial duration, content, and advertising frequency. Additionally, the zones’ extraordinary audio and visual effects ensure effective message delivery. Advertisers can also make use of poster-on-wall extensions to maximise the visual impact of their campaigns.

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This highly penetrative Digital Diorama delivers an impactful presentation and is coupled with the feature of Dynamic Content to broadcast real-time weather conditions.

Furthermore, “Digital Diorama” – the largest 4K UHD LED screen ever deployed at Hong Kong station – has received an overwhelmingly positive response and support from advertisers, such as Samsung, HSBC, and Swarovski, since its launch last year.

What’s more, the newly upgraded trackside 108” digital motion set-up has enabled a better and more impactful visual experience, while the 88 new pairs of new digital panels in 19 stations across the city have greatly increased its market penetration. This extensive network allows advertisers to attract precise audiences with targeted attributes at optimal moments.

Interactions between digital screens and passengers have become closer than ever. By introducing dynamic content, all of these newly launched digital platforms enable brands to make and deliver digitally creative and contextually relevant ads by utilising data feeds such as weather updates, social media, financial indexes, locations, as well as custom data feeds.

They also use the newest emerging technologies such as day parting, while offering instant interactions with passengers through multiple innovative functions of screens and touch panels, which present a multitude of creative possibilities.

As the public is now used to living and doing business with smart devices, optimisation through automation with smart devices is very important for connecting with advertisers instantly and efficiently. Therefore, MTR* and Airport Express advertising are bringing a whole new digital experience to advertisers by launching the digital enquiry platform, Ad2Go. It makes campaign planning simpler and easier than ever for advertisers by successfully targeting the right audiences, and it is able to target within different industries, especially SMEs, new start-ups, and fintech firms, with a flexible budget, ultimately driving footfall to their shops.

Both MTR* and Airport Express advertising packages are selected for user-friendly navigation and browsing on desktops and mobile devices. Requests for more information on booking details can be made via Ad2Go online, with an immediate and dedicated response.

The Ad2Go digital enquiry platform is part of MTR* advertising’s ongoing digitalisation efforts in minimising the time involved throughout the entire planning process, helping advertisers to make faster decisions to roll out campaigns more smoothly and more quickly than was possible before. This effective platform – together with extraordinary advertising messages – easily allows the audience to stay connected on the go wherever they are, effortlessly bringing footfall to shops.

“In this new era, DOOH in MTR* and Airport Express advertising continues to increase in popularity among marketers,” said Shirley Chan, managing director of JCDecaux Transport.

“A major appeal of DOOH lies in its ability to combine digitalised media planning automation in providing more precise audience targeting, interactivity, engagement, and the ability of outdoor media to demonstratively capture the attention of customers. And with a mix of smart technology, advertisers have the perfect platform to utilise our digital creativity and create dynamic and engaging content for passengers and boost footfall to shops, ultimately driving greater value as a result.”

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Shirley Chan, managing director, JCDecaux Transport

Chan concluded: “Constantly striving for excellence, embracing the latest technological innovations, and exhibiting its core values of passion and professionalism, JCD continues to deliver more and more creative and interactive solutions for advertisers. And that’s how the company once again dominated the OOH category and has been crowned the No.1 OOH media company in Hong Kong.”

*MTR refers to Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line, South Island Line, Tung Chung Line, Tseung Kwan O Line and Disneyland Resort Line.

ABOUT JCDecaux Transport

JCDecaux Transport is the main subsidiary of the JCDecaux Group, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide. Established in 1976, JCDecaux Transport is the market leader in outdoor advertising in Hong Kong and has been managing the advertising sales concessions of MTR* and Airport Express for MTR Corporation for over 40 years. The company also operates the advertising concessions for Hong Kong International Airport, Macau International Airport, Pacific Place Passages, and Ngong Ping 360.


This content was sponsored by JCDecaux Transport

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