Obscura Digital starts up DOOH bus derby on SF Bay shelters

November 24, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Fellow Preset member David Weinfeld has been hanging out lately with the Obscura Digital guys, the interactive/immersive firm perhaps best known for the multi-touch memorabilia wall at the Hard Rock Cafe on the south Las Vegas strip.

He tweeted about a Yahoo! company blog post that’s now up, talking about the marketing campaigns the online giant is doing with Clear Channel’s outdoor group, as powered by Obscura.

As an old ops guy, running a touchscreen on a public bus shelter would be the end of whatever precious hair I have left. But from a happily detached point of view, not worrying about vandals and operating systems, it’s very cool.

Quoting the Yahoo! advertising blog …

Today marks the test launch of the Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby, an integrated marketing campaign that challenges locals to play LCD touch-screen games at 20 high-traffic Muni shelters scattered around the city.

The creative encourages commuters to interact with Clear Channel Outdoor’s 72-inch interactive LCD screens stationed at each station. Bus shelters are also outfitted with three print panels that give details on the Derby (“the city’s best block party”), the Yahoo! apps, and how to track game stats by mobile phone. The units, which were designed by Obscura Digital, are being billed as the first-ever “interactive digital transit shelters in the U.S.” The game goes live later this week.

Players earn points for a local neighborhood that they choose from a pull-down menu, and at the end of the competition the winning “team” gets a block party with a performance by the band OK Go. The Derby runs through January 28, 2011.

Gimme shelter, games

Yahoo!’s advertising agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, created the campaign, which is built around four games that correspond to the features of the mobile apps for Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Sportacular and Flickr:

Users can play solo or compete against riders at other transit shelters to win bonus points for Bernal Heights, Russian Hill, the Castro or another of 20 designated SF ’hoods. Games are under a minute—since no one wants to miss the bus.

A high-tech bus shelter program with entertainment and gaming elements was a perfect opportunity for our Bay Area-based company to demonstrate brand attributes—such as digital innovation and local community support—while still focusing a sales message on a specific line of products: mobile apps.

“Local’s going to be increasingly a big part of the content we push out, so it’s important for us to have both a digital and a physical presence in the local community,” explains Penny Baldwin, Yahoo!’s SVP Consumer Marketing and Brand Management.

There are some videos of the screens in action, but on Flickr and I can’t figure out how you embed video from there. I’m sure you can, but …

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