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This article was published on June 16, 2011

Europcar’s #myextrahour campaign brings Twitter into the real world

Europcar’s #myextrahour campaign brings Twitter into the real world

We seen many great examples of social media in the real world, and now we have a truly great campaign to share with you – this time coming from Europcar. The company has just launched a live digital outdoor campaign, to raise awareness of its new FreeDeliver service, which offers customers free delivery and pickup of hired cars. To celebrate the fact that this essentially gives people an hour of their time back, they’ve introduced a digital billboard that features a livestream of tweets using the hashtag #myextrahour, where people share what they are going to do with the extra hour they got back, thanks to Europcar. It’s a pretty impressive campaign and is a brave attempt at bringing social media into the real world in real time:

Of course, a campaign like this doesn’t come without its risks, and there are some people that are abusing this somewhat. You would expect that there is a level of pre-moderation that would prevent tweets like this from appearing:

The managing director of Europcar commented on the campaign by saying: ‘This is a great way to get customers participating in the advert itself and keeps the content fresh, interesting and relevant.’ This hits the nail on the head of why a campaign like this can be so successful. It’s about encouraging user participation in a completely new way and importantly, giving them an experience they can’t replicate themselves. I haven’t had many chances to see my tweet appear on a billboard, so of course I’d like to take part. It’s creating a new form of user interaction and continual engagement with the brand, even without people being aware that this is what they’re doing. What I do think the campaign needs would be a way of showing users who are interacting online, what’s happening on the billboard offline, such as featuring a live stream video of the messages as they’re displayed.

The billboard will run for 2 weeks across JC Decaux’s 6 network and a central digital display in London, on Cromwell Road.