World-first: Smart screens at Heathrow compare live airport transfer options

In a media first, smart screens have been installed at Heathrow Terminal 2’s baggage reclaim zones showing passengers live price and journey time comparisons between taxis and the airport’s train service to central London.

Heathrow Express, digital out-of-home media agency DOOH.com and JCDecaux Airport UK have worked in partnership to create a world-first proposition – the ‘journey comparison generator,’ which combines real-time traffic, weather and train service information to help customers make the best choice for their onward travel.

It uses a moderation engine produced by DOOH.com, formerly known as Enigma, to pull together five different layers of real-time feeds from TomTom, Heathrow Express, Google, the Highways Agency and the Met Office.

The screens present passengers with the estimated time and costs at the exact moment they would use the rail link to reach central London versus getting a black taxi. Along with displaying the time of the next Heathrow Express train, the campaign also employs GPS-focused technology to highlight real-time traffic on a map that displays the journey between the terminal and Paddington.

In another media first, the campaign will turn multilingual from mid-April, as the screens on each baggage reclaim carousel will be translated to the main language of people on the arriving flight. The campaign will also be installed across Heathrow’s Terminals 3 and 5 later in the year.

The journey comparison generator shows that by using Heathrow Express rather than black cab taxis, travellers can save up to money and time. Currently, more than 100,000 passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport every day.

Fraser Brown, Heathrow Express director, said: “The aim of the ‘journey comparison generator’ is to enable Heathrow passengers to get into London as speedily, easily and as cheaply as possible. By harnessing many different sources of real-time data into one we are helping to make this happen. Research shows Heathrow Express trains are three times faster than taxis and a quarter of the price. These screens show how that comparison varies minute to minute depending on traffic, weather and time of day.”

Andrew Newman, co-founder of DOOH.com, said: “Consumers through their smart phones are incredibly enabled with right information at their choosing. When it’s served up to them via advertising and by a brand, we have to do more to gain their confidence. By linking scheduling information, Google maps, a GPS feed, live clock times and road traffic accident alerts, this multi-layered approach gains the trust of the public, delivering relevant information that enhances their decision making.”

Alan Sullivan, Managing Director at JCDecaux Airport, said: “This state-of-the-art real-time campaign marks a further step towards providing advertisers with content and context driven dynamic Digital Out-of-Home campaigns with JCDecaux Airport. We are delighted to be such an integral part of this world-first proposition that has the ability to transform how brands communicate to passengers as well as enhance traveller’s airport experiences.”

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