August 27, 2012

The Science Gallery is currently hosting ‘Hack the City’, an exposition designed to encourage city dwellers to recreate the space in which they live. Contributions have been made by artists, scientists and engineers alike. One of the exhibits which caught my attention is ‘artvertising’, a software platform for replacing billboard advertisements with artist’s work in real time. One of the questions posed to urbanites is ‘who really owns our space’?

From an agency’s perspective, it’s a difficult question to answer. Although advertisers pay for their message to be displayed, media owners’ rates often dictate what’s communicated. At the moment, increasing pressure from government bodies questions the extent to which alcohol will be advertised on outdoor formats in the future. Plans by Dublin City Council mean that some unsightly ad spaces will be removed by the end of the year.

With so many different factors involved, there are a lot of parties with a stake in the urban landscape. It’s also clear that outdoor advertising is changing, with new formats arriving all the time. With online advertising the hot topic of the day, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of analytics, VOD and mobile. But as advertisers and city dwellers alike, let’s not lose track of the world outside.



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