NEWS26 February 2013

Postar relaunches as Route with new outdoor media measurement system

Data analytics UK

UK — Out-of-home audience measurement body Postar has relaunched as Route, with a new £19m research system in tow.

The four-year research project tasked 28,000 people with carrying a GPS device for a nine-day period, which tracked their locations every second. GPS data was then matched to traffic patterns and street networks to build a picture of how people move around.

Once movements were mapped, Route and its research partner Ipsos MediaCT started to calculate the number of people that would pass any of the 450,000 outdoor advertising ‘frames’ that cover the UK, while eye-tracking research was used to work out the likelihood that a passer-by would notice the frame.

Route managing director James Whitmore (pictured) said the new research marked a “revolution”, rather than an “evolution” of the old system.

“We now know who is travelling where, how, when and at what speed [thanks to the GPS device’s in-built accelerometer],” said Whitmore. “Time spent out-of-home is about knowing the routes that people take. It’s about knowing the pathways of the eye. If we start with a deep knowledge of how people move about, we have the flexibility to decide what we put in their way in terms of communication opportunities.

“We must think from the point of view of the audience, not from the position of the poster.”

Route data will be published each quarter, Whitmore said. The first release provides audience measures for the 360,000 frames that line the UK’s road, bus and tube network. Railways, malls, supermarket car parks, precincts and airports will follow later in the year.

  • We previously interviewed James Whitmore about the new measurement system here. He told us: “We didn’t realise what a difficult job it was going to be when we started out.”