17 August, 2011 - 08:33 By News Desk

Outdoor media goes out of this world

The science fiction world of interactive advertising imagined in Stephen Spielberg’s film ‘Minority Report’ has taken a step nearer reality at Tesco’s virtual supermarket in Seoul, South Korea, which featured widely in the national and trade press this week.

In the film, Tom Cruise’s character walks through a shopping mall where an electronic poster calls out to him: “John Anderton! You could use a Guinness round about now!”

In Tesco’s virtual supermarket posters with pictures of well-stocked shelves runs the length of a subway platform and allows commuters to shop by scanning the product QR codes with their smart phones. The shopping is then delivered to their homes.

Following the advent of internet shopping and the recent proliferation of self-checkouts at the big supermarkets, it surely can’t be long before outdoor media follows suit.

Indeed, QR codes are already appearing prominently on estate agents flag-boards, giving passing home hunters a direct link to their specific details.

Could combining the twin obsessions of ‘shopping till you drop’ and mobile phone fixation be the instrument we’re looking for to reboot the economy and lift us out of recession? It would be cheering to think so.

For those who fear that on-line shopping threatens the future of the high street, there’s also encouraging news from ‘Forever 21’, the US fast fashion chain, which has plans to open 100 new stores in the UK.

“The global high street is growing” says Linda Chang, the group’s head of marketing. “People enjoy shopping, it is not an ‘either or’. Lots of our customers visit both our website and our store.”

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