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These Interactive British Airways Billboards "Point" To Planes Flying Over In Real Time

BA billboards depict a boy pointing at real planes overhead.

Remember when you were a kid and felt so excited to see an airplane flying through the sky? Remember the other day when you were on your way to work and you looked longingly at a plane flying through the sky, no doubt to someplace better than here?

British Airways has tapped into that childlike excitement with their new "Look Up" campaign. The campaign includes digital billboards in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick that seem to show a boy get up and point to a real plane flying over. Programmed to know exactly when a BA plane flies by, the billboard then display the flight number, destination, and eventually, even the lowest fares currently available to that locale. The campaign was designed by Ogilvy Group UK, and uses something called "surveillance technology" to track the flights.

BA head of marketing Abigail Comber told U.K. site The Drum: “This is a first, not just for British Airways but for U.K. advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them."

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13 Comments

  • mick

    Would make a nice app for a smartphone. One can do this already with the stars at night. They have just done it with aeroplanes and adapted it to billboards.

  • Waqas

    The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them.

  • Richard Razo

    Very cool advertisement but I worry about how distracting this will be for drivers.

  • Sapientum

    This billboard is way up high in Piccadilly Circus, London where there are already plenty of other distractions. There are a couple of others on the Chiswick Flyover and since traffic is normally moving very slowly, or even at a standstill during rush-hour, these are probably a welcome diversion from the grinding boredom of sitting in a jam.

  • Doyle Buehler

    Advertising 3.0? As unique and revolutionary as it is, it would probably just seem like a "coincidence" for most people, the first time they saw it. It is a step beyond our current perception of advertising. 'Cute'. We will expect more like this. - Doyle Buehler

  • Gabbagabbawill

    They'd probably need some system that knows which planes are coming in and out of an airport at a given time. Since that information is widely available (you can get real time gps flight tracking on your smart phone) it's probably not too difficult to write some code that follows the gps routes for specific flights.