BBC’s North American Billboards Engage Their Viewers

SMS Text

I found a series of incredibly interesting ads from BBC World today that are not only striking on their own but are also noteworthy in the way they engage the viewers and take their voice into account by using a live opinion poll embedded into a billboard.
All of the billboards confront increasingly important national and foreign policy issues that the U.S. has to confront but at the same time they let the people looking at them decide how the country should respond the each issue.

Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Michael Jensen (SoloSEO)

    The weird part is that all of the billboards have the same “short code” (47647) and the two sided opinions on all of the boards are the exact same. So when you vote you’re not just voting on that one issue, you’re agreeing with the general viewpoint. A bit deceiving actually. Of course paying for 4 different short codes will cost $4000 – $6400 per month, which they probably aren’t interested in paying for.

  • Curtis Miller

    Very interesting. How long do they leave up each incarnation? In which city were these taken?
    @Michael – Uh… those are pictures of the same billboard, probably taken over time…

  • JakeNudge

    Thats a brilliant campaign even without the SMS vote aspect. But you certainly do get the impression that, if BBC are prepared to ask their viewers to decide then BBC will provide you with a balanced approach to news coverage on the big issues.

  • shor

    Interactive advertising is definitely a growing trend. From Bluetooth-enabled billboards ( to a custom installation of a XBOX360 into a bus stop billboard (, advertisers are looking at engaging the previously passive consumer.
    One of my favorites is the DDR-like reactrix (

  • Diggstealer

    Why do you guys always take content from Digg and post it on your blog? No real resources?

  • SteveW

    You can see from the background that all of these billboards are in the same location. So they are probably changed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Thus they can use the same short code because only 1 is up at any given time.

  • Adrienne Doss

    Being that Digg is just a news aggregator and not a content creator, you can’t really steal anything from Digg. Everything on Digg has already been published elsewhere.

  • Anna carlton

    Michael Jensen –
    Short codes don’t work like that. In the UK is costs approx ?Ǭ

  • Shirley

    As a Brit, I’m interested to see how the BBC spends the tax it collects from me and all other TV-owners in the UK. Naturally, the BBC doesn’t tell us that its spent some of the money on billboards.

  • Ben

    Shirley, as a fellow Brit who pays the license fee I can tell you that none of it is spent on BBC World or BBC America, they use advertising to make revenue (hance the billboards); don’t panic!