Start-up Monetizes Sidewalk Air Pollution Scrubber Towers For Cityscapes With OOH Ad Faces

June 25, 2021 by Dave Haynes

We’ve seen out of home media companies attach advertising faces to all kinds of things out in public – like transit shelters, pylons and sidewalk directories – but now a UK start-up has a solution on streets that pairs an ad face with an sidewalk air scrubber.

The environmental media start-up Pluvo has partnered with KineticX, the emerging adtech incubator of big OOH media agency Kinetic, on a new kind of street furniture that provides a monetization model for devices designed to reduce air pollution for pedestrians.

To be clear, the 11-foot-tall columns that scrub the air – at least in the current iteration – are backlit printed posters, not digital. But like most OOH inventory, if the business model proves out you know this will go digital in time – most probably using LED because of the need to conform to the shape but also be super-bright.

The units are going up in locations media owners find most desirable locations – busy high streets and urban centres with high levels of footfall … and pollution.

By mimicking the air-purifying qualities of rain, Pluvo’s patent pending street furniture product uses an enclosed mist of water droplets to remove dangerous pollutants from the air. The mist is able to respond to location changes in pollution levels in real-time, optimising itself to increase efficacy and clean the surrounding air more efficiently than traditional methods. Each Pluvo unit is funded by advertising spend, ensuring a scalable commercially viable solution.

A field trial’s analytics suggested the units could clean up to 99% of pollution in the air, including noxious gases and airborne viruses.

The PR adds:

Pluvo savvily combines the appeal of OOH’s mass reach and brand-building capabilities, with a solution to one of the most pressing environmental concerns for city dwellers. For brands, this creates an invaluable opportunity to support sustainability, whilst simultaneously getting their message out to desirable city audiences.”

Matteo Maccario, CEO, Pluvo, says: “We are incredibly excited to partner with KineticX as they share Pluvo’s ambitions to bring innovation and real public benefit into the OOH industry, leveraging the classic advertising model to create healthier cities. With KineticX as our partner we look forward to working with strong brands who will advertise on our Pluvo units, not only for their uniqueness but also for the positive public goodwill generated by cleaning the air people breathe.”

The first set of units are supposed to be in place by October. No information on where, but assume London or another big UK media market like Manchester.

I could imagine this being quite attractive to local governments looking for new revenue streams, especially post-COVID. OOH media concessions for things like transit shelters with ad faces generate new money for the city or regional government, but their introduction has to be balanced against the concerns and protests of taxpayers who don’t want their streets to be clogged with advertising.

We’ve seen efforts to make OOH street furniture more palatable for residents by making them smart city interactive stations. This is a variation on that – suggesting free infrastructure that improves the surroundings, paid for by brand advertising.

More detail in this SignLinkUK post.

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