The Big Issue uses beacon tech to spotlight vendors in OOH ads

In a tech-driven out-of-home (OOH) campaign, The Big Issue is spotlighting vendors who have felt the sting of the pandemic with their source of income and connection to the public deteriorating due to the quietness of the streets.

The ‘I’m Here’ project, devised by creative agency Forever Beta, uses beacon technology placed within vendors’ jackets. These link to OOH billboards that will display ads featuring faces to draw attention to where they are located.

Establishing this relationship further, the technology will also include a barcode that will be available for people to subscribe directly to the relevant vendor.

“We welcome this opportunity to raise their profile in this innovative way and will be exploring the potential to utilize this approach in the future in order to drive sales and awareness,” said Nashitha Suren, group consumer revenues marketing director for The Big Issue.

“The pandemic changed everything for everyone, but its impact was keenly felt at The Big Issue and among our vendors, who saw all their earning potential stripped away during the national lockdowns.”

“Our vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face a range of issues – by buying the magazine for £1.50 and selling it on for £3, they are able to earn a living and get themselves back on their feet, and on their own terms,” added Paul Cheal, chief executive officer at The Big Issue Group.

“We welcome any opportunity to highlight Big Issue vendors and I would like to thank everyone who was involved, especially our wonderful vendors Louise and Lawrence. I hope everyone was able to take a moment to speak to Lawrence and Louise on the day and, of course, buy a copy of The Big Issue from them.”

Last year, The Big Issue joined forces with professional networking site LinkedIn to pilot a scheme that aimed to support the magazine’s network of street vendors.