Known in the trade as OOH, or Out-Of-Home advertising, the global billboards market is a substantial one. Recent estimates say it is worth around $35 billion per annum with further estimates predicting it will increase by another $10 billion in the next couple of years. Considering the limitations of the medium, it is indeed a healthy sum.
Location and positioning of a poster have been the priority for advertisers when running a campaign but judging targeting efficiency to a desired audience is subjective to say the least. Throw in a middleman taking commissions on the order and another handling the logistics, then profitability – as well as fraud – becomes an issue of concern.
Bidooh are proposing to address these issues via an AI-driven and automated decentralised billboard system.
That may seem a buzzword-filled slogan but anyone who has seen the Minority Report movie starring Tom Cruise will find it easy to grasp the concept of Bidooh.
For those who missed it, Cruise’s character finds himself walking through a shopping mall greeted by billboards that provide digital advertisements for products based on his personal interests.
This is the Bidooh proposition – “displaying the right message to the right person at the right time.”
By using facial recognition and AI, the technology housed within the billboard will determine age, gender and other factors of an individual, although not their specific identity, and display adverts deemed relevant to them.
A minimum viable product (MVP) version has already been trialled using 16 screens across 6 locations in the UK which has already attracted around 500 advertisers to sign up and use the technology.
Despite weighing in at 70 pages, the white-paper is presented in the kind of stylish design that you might expect from an advertising-savvy outfit.
The content is well formatted and takes the reader on a journey from the opportunity offered by the current marketplace and Bidooh’s revolutionary vision through to the practicalities of its ICO and the company’s expansion beyond.
Some might wish to see a better breakdown of the nuts and bolts of the technology behind the actual customer facing screens but ample room is given to outlining the two patents filed in 2017 relating to this.
The front half of the white-paper explains and showcases the product, demonstrating how suitable the screens are to the individual shopper in terms of the ads they are subjected to. It also gives examples of how this can be taken further, to stimulate engagement by offering extra benefits by interacting with the billboard.
This may involve touch screen activities or simply scanning a QR code to receive any reward offered by the advertiser such as Bidooh tokens, price discounts or competition entries.
While this next generation of advertising appears tailored to the consumer, by digging deeper into the white-paper the real genius of the Bidooh product comes through and shows the advantages it affords the advertiser over other forms of promotional activity.
Blockchain transactions remove the need to trust middlemen from the equation and the service provides user-friendly tools that make the marketers job much easier.
Simple, fast and cost-efficient to create, any advert can be uploaded, deployed and displayed in 10 second increments to people who physically match their target audience.
An audience selection tool enables the advertiser to choose from physical characteristics as well as shopping habits and even their immediate emotional condition to ensure their ad is seen by those most likely to partake in their offer.
The simplicity of initiating an on-screen advert coupled with this depth of the analytical feedback is far removed from what has been the norm for the market and is likely to set a whole new standard for the industry.
A substantial amount of work has already been carried out by the team, all stemming from an original inspiration by the founders after watching the Minority Report movie.
By the summer of 2016 the founders had a working model that attracted lead investor Michael Edelson and three others to provide the necessary $200,000 seed capital to take the idea forward to the next level.
Within a month, a live demonstration of the capabilities of the product were carried out at one of the major shopping facilities in the UK, the Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester.
The same year saw Bidooh, or Offer Moments as it was known then, scoop five awards for innovation and finish ahead of 5000 other firms to win the final of the Pitch@Palace competition hosted by Prince Andrew.
In 2017 Michael Edelson became Chairman of the company and injected further capital into the business while partnering Bidooh with the mobile technology group, Apadmi.
Since then they have deployed the Bidooh Web Platform and created a network capable of global scaling complete with language and currency support.
Some important milestones coming up include:
- Deploy Bidooh Web Platform v1.3
- Build Beta Advertiser Bidooh iOS app v1.1
- Advert impression displays and views stored to the blockchain
- Release advertiser Bidooh Android app v1.0
- Release consumer Android and iOS v1.0 apps for earning tokens on the go
- iOS and Android SDKs for billboard proximity detection to target adverts based on public social media feed posts
- Clothing brand recognition targeting
- Live video broadcast
- QR codes to purchase products at screen
- Vehicle recognition-based targeting for large format outdoor screens
- Real-time machine-learning based automated bidding, surge pricing, dynamic campaign delivery
During the ICO, 2,000 DOOH tokens, which run on the Ethereum blockchain, will cost $1 which equates to $0.0005 per token. Contributors will need to invest a minimum of $100 worth of Ethereum, payable in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash or Stellar Lumens.
There will be a total supply of 126 billion tokens, of which 70% are available in the token sale. The remainder will be equally split between the team and the company reserve. If any portion of the public tokens remain unsold at the end of the ICO, they will be absorbed into the reserve pool.
Each token is intended to represent a single 10 second advertising space on a Bidooh’s digital advertising screen. However, tokens bought during the ICO are 28 times cheaper to buy than using fiat to buy advertising space. That is to say, 2,000 tokens are $1 in the ICO and that would cover $28 worth of advertising on their screens.
A soft cap of $5 million has been set rising to a hard cap of $25 million.
The pre-sale, which includes a 13% bonus, is currently ongoing and the ICO itself will begin at the end of October.
Two thirds of the funds raised will be used to acquire billboard screens and development of the platform while the final third will pay for general operating costs and sales and marketing.
The Chairman and Co-founders of the company enjoy a considerable presence in the media, both in terms of digital footprints and columns of ink in newspapers and magazines.
Chairman Michael Edelson is known to many in the UK through his role as a non-executive director at Manchester United FC but it is his business acumen that sets him apart from many of his counterparts. As a venture capitalist and angel investor, he has successfully floated more than 20 companies in traditional IPOs including Asos Plc and Knutsford Plc.
Of the two founders, the CEO Abdul Alim has the higher visible profile with various videos and images on the web showing him being presented with innovation awards from royalty and rubbing shoulders with familiar blockchain luminaries such as Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee.
Behind his flair for marketing, though, he has a much more grounded knowledge in internet internet security. In his previous capacity as a consultant at Capita Plc, Alim helped build and manage large-scale payment platforms for BBC TV Licensing, Transport for London and various local government programmes.
Co-founder Shaz Mughal is the CPO of Bidooh and is a full stack software and blockchain developer with work experience that encompasses the BBC and the NHS. He is credited with building the Bidooh MVP from the ground up.
Although not part of the core team it would seem prudent to mention here the partnerships Bidooh have already secured that will help the product scale globally.
In addition to the home base of the UK, licence agreements are currently in place to cover 5 territories – South Korea & USA, Poland & Slovakia, Romania, Bosnia, and the Czech Republic.
‘Innovative’ is a word that keeps cropping up when researching Bidooh and it is not hard to see why. It has taken a marketing tool that has remained virtually unchanged for centuries and morphed it into a sleek, sci-fi-esque version of its former self.
It already has a minimal working product that is taking orders and established regional partners to help it grow organically. Press coverage has been favourable which has helped generate further interest in the company and the lead team have previously demonstrated, on a consistent level, the ability to bring projects to market.
The advertisers payment model is more similar to Google Adwords than to traditional signage costs as Bidooh have removed lengthy contracts and slashed minimum spend thresholds which can be seen to increase appeal and demand from the client side.
Personal data is, quite rightly, a sensitive topic and Bidooh have steered clear of this area by utilising the facial recognition in a gender, visual and emotional way rather than seeking to identify any specific individual. Whilst people may welcome personalised content, it is unlikely that they will welcome invasion of privacy and Bidooh has recognised this in its business model..
As a result, even if the high valuations provided by external entities for the global growth projections for this sector fail to materialise, Bidooh appears more than capable of securing a major slice of the existing market.
Ratings Score Methodology: a weighted average across three scores: Concept (10% weight), Blockchain Fit (30% weight), Execution (60% weight).
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