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British Airways Digital Billboard Identifies Flights As They Pass Overhead

While we're no stranger to digital billboards, British Airways' latest endeavor is unlike any we've seen before, using "custom-built surveillance technology" to track incoming BA aircraft, prompting the screen to display a child pointing directly at the plane as it passes overhead. The adjacent text offers up the flight number and its origin or destination, along with a custom message, such as the lowest fare for that route or the current weather where that plane is… ( Mehr...

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joel wiley 2
1 RTL1090, PlanePlotter and a new downstream app- no big deal.
Can you get that working on a billboard for the masses to see, and in real time? and displaying that through the eyes of a child?

From a marketing standpoint, this is a big deal.
Gary Roberts 1
I agree Littlejohn....... Slam Dunk for the Marketing Department! Well Done!!!

Joel - I agree....Apps are out there. But of the thousands of drivers to pass that billboard everyday, the ratio of 'Aviation nuts' like us to just 'Folk who will fly someday' is disproportional. BA is getting the word out in a catchy way that'll spread that 'word' out far beyond just passers by. We're seeing it in the news now, aren't we?

But I DO agree - It won't be long till someone hacks it warning of the Zombie Apocalypse on this inbound flight! Run for your LIVES!

......Which, BTW, will get their billboard newstime once again!
joel wiley 1
Not worth coming out of retirement for, so probably not. 8-)
just wait til the feed gets hacked tho'.
sparkie624 1
Why not... Would be easy.. See my earlier post.
joel wiley 0
Re: big deal- Return on investment fairly high, especially if you consider non-revenue advertizing. UPS spent over a million to put pkg tracking on the web. Reduced phone call labor costs paid it off in less than a month to my understanding.

And, they didn't even need to photoshop it.
sparkie624 1
For one... PhotoShop cannot do this.. This is animation, not editing. Secondly, Successful advertising has to do with remembering something. If you see an advertisement and remember it then it is successful. A couple of examples: Take the GEICO GEKKO... He is animated, shows off a product, and is very expensive. Anytime you see a GEKKO you think GEICO. Look at progressive insurance with Flo (who I cannot stand)... When you see her, you know remember it. That is successful advertising... When anyone passes that sign, they will think British Air and they will remember it. People will look up and say "WOW". It is very good advertising, and probably not as expensive as you may think.
joel wiley 1
Sort of like that tune you can't get out of your head, eh?
Photoshop was a joke. Agree with you on Gecko & Flo.
Mark Devoe 1
This seems to be more a coincidence than a "custom-built surveillance technology". Are there any more videos and has anyone confirmed that this was the actual flight number? It's hard to tell for sure, but this "arriving" flight appears to be climbing.
sparkie624 1
This would be fairly easy to accomplsh... All you need is the LED Billboard screen, A computer to drive it, A programmed animation to change on the fly, and a link to ATC in real time... Very easy to accomplish... to steel a phrase from way back: "We have the technology"!
I believe you forget that it is illegal to tap into or listen to ATC in the UK. Under the British Telephony Act of 1949, it is illegal to listen in to conversations in which you are not a party to such conversations. ATC is listed as one of those that falls under those provisions. So no, BAW couldn't link to ATC in real time for this.

But seeing that this is their own plane with their own schedule, they can follow their own aircraft any time they want.
sparkie624 1
It would not be taping. All airlines have the right world wide to track their planes. They can get the live radar data, as well as ACARS data which is being sent to the company.... this would not be a legal issue.
scholztec 1
I don't know how this has been voted down. This is so cool! I wish we had this here in PHX!
probably because this is a duplicate to the squawk I posted on 11/22/13:
Andrew Chan 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

British Airways' cool new flight-detecting 'digital billboards' are a salute to planespotters!

British Airways has unveiled a clever advertising campaign with a dollop of planespotter appeal. The centrepiece of its LookUp campaign, the British flag-carrier has erected three massive digital billboards which identify BA planes flying overhead.
Peter Blouin 0


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