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Windscreen advertising: A step too far, or a priceless opportunity?

Digital advertisements on windscreens? It seems like something impossibly futuristic but The Irish Times has recently reported that they could be with us sooner rather than later.
However, it does trigger the question of where the lines of useful features and safety cross over…

The idea behind windscreen advertising is to analyse driving behaviours which trigger relevant adverts. These will then appear in the driver’s eyesight when necessary. For example, if the car is running low on fuel, an ad for nearby petrol stations may flash up along with directions and offers.

The safety of such a feature is obviously going to be the main drawback. Is this a step too far in terms of advertising? Or is it no worse than looking at a roadside billboard whilst you’re behind the wheel? The key is going to be finding a balance between not being deemed intrusive and a distraction to drivers and being noticeable enough to actually serve a purpose.

Could drivers soon see these kind of graphics on their windscreen?
Could drivers soon see these kind of graphics on their windscreen?

Another idea that is fluttering around, one that if it does come to fruition will probably further down the line, is having a Google Maps-style visual superimposed onto the roads in front of drivers. Again, would this be any more dangerous to drivers than switching their attention between their Sat-Nav and the road?

Though the extent of how far these dashboard projections will be taken is yet to be decided, work has already begun on producing them with various companies incorporating some form of display into their windscreens, with the end of this year being the target for most.

One thing’s for sure, if the idea does become reality there will be stiff competition between advertisers to secure partnerships with the companies supplying such displays. The ability to have ads placed in such unavoidable places – whilst perhaps ethically questionable – could prove priceless in terms of brand recognition, especially if the display will literally direct drivers to a product.

 

All words by Brad Lengden.

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