Accountability is often seen as an achilles heels of the out-of-home industry, and with no measurement system like Australia's MOVE, it seems to be becoming an increasingly thorny issue in New Zealand. But Taxi Impact is trying to improve the situation through the use of GPS technology.
All of its taxi campaigns will be tracked in 2013 and beyond with a GPS unit and Taxi Impact's managing director Tim Dove believes it's a world-first for taxi advertising (most taxis already have their own GPS units, but they're controlled by third parties, so it's using its own units that plug in to the cigarette lighter).
"For every ten taxis booked for a campaign we’ll be GPS tracking one of those and reporting the results directly back to you as part of our standard campaign report," he says. "No hiding, no ifs, no buts, no maybes. Just pure accountable results of where your message has gone over the campaign, down to the exact street."
- Check out the report for the recent Fringe campaign.
While this technology shows the route and distance travelled, there's still an element of mystery when it comes to how many people see the message (this isn't an issue unique to the outdoor industry, however). Some campaigns have been studied after completion, but he says it's not tenable to do it after every campaign, so it's often a case of extrapolations based on existing data and these figures aren't particularly accurate (as an example, he says the airport to CBD route accounts for around four percent of all taxi fares in Auckland and studies showed a campaign was viewed by 25,000 people, so if you factor in all of the city's fares, that adds up to about 600,000 people).
Still, Dove says it's good start to increasing accountability in the sector and it allows clients to analyse their campaigns on a level never seen before by a transit medium. The end result looks pretty cool too.
"We have split each city into zones so this means we can tell you exactly how many trips, distance travelled, time spent or percentage of total exposure was created for each zone. So for instance, in Auckland we have seven zones; CBD, Central suburbs, Northern suburbs, Western suburbs, Eastern suburbs, Airport and Southern suburbs so you can see exactly how much CBD exposure or airport exposure your sample taxi generated."