Clear Channel Outdoor launches ‘Connect’, the first global out-of-home mobile interactive advertising platform

News Release 27th March 2014

* Platform will initially reach 175 million consumers each month across 23 countries on 5 continents – creating the largest network of its kind

* 75,000 sites worldwide will be equipped with NFC, QR and/or SMS capabilities

* 1,500 sites across New Zealand key metro areas.

In a world first, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO), the leading innovator in out-of-home advertising, is rolling out Connect, its interactive mobile advertising platform globally, representing a major development in the evolution of out-of-home media worldwide – generating more opportunities for consumers and brands to connect.

Advertising panels on CCO’s pedestrian-accessible sites across the globe will be turned into mobile launch pads, enabling consumers to access interactive content from advertisers via their smartphones. Connect creates seamless integration between out-of-home and mobile, driving deeper brand engagement with consumers when they are out and about.

In New Zealand, Adshel are currently working behind the scenes to roll out the country’s first network of 1,500 mobile enabled sites by June 2014.

By June 2014, CCO will:

–        Create a mobile network reaching 175 million consumers monthly across 23 countries on 5  continents

–        Be able to offer marketers the biggest out-of-home/mobile interactive platform from any media owner and the only one with a global scale

–        Have 75,000 outdoor sites fitted with Connect tags enabled for Near Field Communication (NFC), QR code and, in Latin America, SMS capabilities

William Eccleshare, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, says, “We have made this investment because all our intelligence tells us this is what consumers want, to be able to engage with brands individually, immediately and effectively. We are bridging the online and offline worlds by combining our outstanding audience reach with personal engagement through mobile devices.  The global rollout of Connect accelerates the metamorphosis of out-of-home advertising from being the oldest form of advertising to the most modern and creative.”

He adds: – “At Clear Channel Outdoor, we take pride in being a company of advertising firsts. We were the first to introduce the public bike scheme; the first to deliver an outdoor digital street furniture network; and the first to run a facial recognition campaign. We have done it once again with Connect as we are the first to roll out this interactive mobile platform on such an international scale.”

Nick Vile, General Manager, Adshel New Zealand says:- “Google’s ‘Mobile Planet’ research has shown that smartphone penetration in New Zealand is rising fast, from 44% in 2012 to 54% in 2013 and this increasingly connected consumer is expecting more opportunities to interact and engage with brands.

Consumers in New Zealand are accessing more media outside of the home and we need to provide new and relevant ways to reach and engage these people. With traditional media continuing to decline, outdoor is best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that mobile is bringing to advertisers.

The Connect tags are permanently attached to digital or static poster structures on pedestrian-accessible sites with heavy footfall and long dwell-time, such as street furniture – including bus shelters and similar street-level advertising structures – shopping malls and at point-of-sale.

In New Zealand site locations are still being finalised but these will cover a substantial number of existing bus shelters and Free Standing Units (FSUs) across the Main Mets giving advertisers new opportunities to engage with consumers in high foot- traffic locations.

Consumers simply tap or scan their smartphone over Connect’s NFC tag or QR code to instantly open a gateway to an online brand experience. In CCO’s Latin American markets, the platform will also run with the addition of SMS capability; a tailored SMS code will appear on the outdoor advert.

Advertisers can enhance the Connect user experience by offering a range of consumer benefits, which can be grouped into 4 main categories:

–        Information – search, maps, location-relevant, utility

–        Shopping – transactional, discounts / vouchering

–        Entertainment – gaming, video, photos, apps

–        Community – social media, text / IM, sharing

Advertisers and planners will also benefit from the rich data and metrics captured by Connect, including date, time, location, conversion of click-thru’s, and even which kinds of device were used – all allowing for campaign optimisation, performance review and delivery of ROI.

Pru Parkinson, Chief Marketing Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor, comments: “Outdoor and mobile already enjoy a powerful connection; the recent example of CCO’s global outdoor campaign for Lady Gaga’s album launch drove over 700 million Twitter impressions.  But we are reaching a global tipping point for engaging with consumers on mobile devices and now is the time to take this connection to the next level.  It is the first time in history that more of us live in cities than in rural areas and we are spending more time than ever out-of-home. And at the same time, technology is now ubiquitous and the increase of smartphone penetration has revolutionized communication and consumer expectations.  It’s a perfect storm and Connect helps advertisers to make the most of it.”

CCO will be showcasing Connect and its full capabilities at the forthcoming Festival of Media Global event (6-8 April) in Rome, where Clear Channel Communications’ CEO Bob Pittman, will also be one of the event’s key speakers.

CCO first launched its mobile platform in the UK with a nationwide rollout in 2013 that included 10,000 mobile-enabled sites in London and Edinburgh.  CCO’s mobile platform has since been launched in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore.  The global roll-out of Connect will see additional platforms planned for completion by June 2014 in: Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.


Notes to Editors:

CCO’s mobile platform will be available in the following countries:

Country                                           Launch date


Singapore                                            Already launched

New Zealand                                       June 2014

Belgium                                               Already launched
Denmark                                             June 2014
Estonia                                                May 2014
Finland                                                Already launched
France                                                 May 2014
Italy                                                     May 2014
Ireland                                                Already launched
Latvia                                                  May 2014
Lithuania                                            May 2014
Netherlands                                       Already launched
Norway                                               May 2014
Poland                                                May 2014
Spain                                                   May 2014
Sweden                                               May 2014
Switzerland                                       May 2014
Turkey                                                June 2014
UK        Already launched – adding 10,000 new sites

Latin America
Brazil                                                   June 2014
Mexico                                                 June 2014
Peru                                                     June 2014

North America
USA                                                     June 2014

Fast Facts:

Global Mobile usage

–        By 2017, it is expected that the total number of smartphone subscribers worldwide will be almost 4 billion (from 3.6 billion in 2014) – equivalent to 80% of the global adult population

[Source: Cisco 2014 Mobile VNI Study]

Mobile and out-of-home

–        88% of smartphone owners would consider using NFC/QR if they saw a poster that interested them

–        11% of urban European adults (18-54) report having scanned a QR / barcode in response to an out-of-home ad

–       One in five (20%) UK adults have searched online in the last week after seeing an OOH ad. This increases to just over one in three (34%) for heavy mobile internet users in the UK
[Source: Smartphone Real World Interactors study/Clear Channel/Posterscope]

Mobile as a transactional medium

–        $13 Trillion – total value of global mobile payments predicted by 2017

–        25% of US and European mobile phone users will pay for goods in-store using their NFC-enabled smartphone by 2017 (vs. 2% in 2012)
[Source: A.T. Kearney]

Consumer Attitudes in New Zealand

–        54% search on their smartphones every day

–        35% research on mobile, buy in store – mobile influences their purchase decisions

–        74% have researched a product or service on their phone

–        32% searched on their mobile after seeing an outdoor ad

–        [Source: Google Mobile Planet]

About Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO)
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, reaching more than half a billion people every month via a global network spanning 30 countries across five continents. Clear Channel Outdoor is dedicated to creating inspiring and innovative out-of-home advertising solutions by collaborating with advertisers and applying powerful audience insights that enable brands to engage effectively with consumers when they are out and about.  Clear Channel Outdoor is also pioneering the integration of out-of-home platforms with digital technologies such as mobile and social to drive awareness and inspiration to engagement and purchase.

With a portfolio of over 760,000 displays that includes traditional and digital formats in roadside, urban, transit and airport environments, street furniture and at retail near point of sale, Clear Channel Outdoor also has one of the fastest growing digital out-of-home networks with some 5,000 screens in 19 countries worldwide. In the U.S., Clear Channel Outdoor operates in 48 of the top 50 designated market areas.

Clear Channel International:

Follow us @ccoutdoor

Clear Channel Outdoor North America:
Follow us @ccoutdoorna


  • Formed in 1997 as a 50/50 joint venture between APN News and Media Ltd and Clear Channel, Adshel is one of the most recognised names in the outdoor media market.
  • Adshel has the largest street furniture coverage in the country with over 3,500 fully illuminated advertising panels in New Zealand.
  • Engagement products such as Adshel Mobile, Adshel Digital and Adshel Create deliver impact and interactivity beyond static outdoor. Adshel Mobile is the largest outdoor mobile network with over 200 linked interactive sites.
  • APN News and Media Ltd ( is one of Australasia’s most dynamic and broadly based media companies operating in newspapers, radio broadcasting and outdoor advertising.
  • Clear Channel Outdoor ( NYSE:CCO) is the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with close to one million displays in 49 countries across 5 continents.

Press contact


Angela McDougall

Marketing Manager

P +64 21 243 1718