ActionAid launches first ever rain-triggered ad to ‘stop people in their tracks’

ActionAid is launching a rain-triggered ad this week which will disrupt the Piccadilly Circus outdoor screens to highlight the impact of climate change and raise awareness for the London People’s Climate March that is taking place this Sunday (29 November).

Using real-time data, the system registers rainfall in the local area and consequently triggers a reaction in the software, which sees the existing ad schedule at Picadilly Circus disrupted to reveal a tailored message depending on level of precipitation – drizzle, light rain or heavy rain.

The strapline ‘Help us stop childhoods washing away’ will also appear alongside images of children’s toys lost in climate disasters to highlight the impact climate change is having on the women and children of Bangladesh.

The activity was developed with pro-bono support from Weber Shandwick and uses advertising space donated by out of home media owner Clear Channel. It will run this week, appearing every time it rains.

According to the charity’s head of brand, marketing and PR Jessica Holland, it’s the first time this type of technology has been used by any brand, giving them stand-out in a crowded advertising environment.

“This opportunity is very cutting edge, disruptive and pushes the boundaries in terms of technology. It also tells a story in a really compelling way. While we love moaning about the weather in the UK, what happens elsewhere is really quite serious,” she told Marketing Week.

ActionAid hopes the ad will raise awareness around the London People’s Climate march this weekend, which is being organised ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference next Monday (30 November). The conference will see numerous world leaders assemble to put together plans to tackle climate change over the next five years.

“We want to be really disruptive and stop people in their tracks. It is very much about driving awareness, as it’s a local advert. With the march taking place in London, we want people within the local community to get involved or go online to find out more if they can’t attend,” she explained.

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