Tactical Geofencing to Effect Change in Behaviour in Real-time


We pioneered the application of geofencing software, targeting digital display advertising in real-time, to effect change in behaviour for people using the UK’s lay-bys. This innovative use of tech transformed how National Highways was able to tackle the problem of littering on UK roads.


Aecom approached us to see how digital display advertising could make an impact on reducing the huge problem of littering. In particular, their client National Highways was focused on tackling the issue of truckers and car drivers littering in lay-bys. 

The client wanted to find out to what degree can you digitally target just the lay-by users, amongst all the road users in the UK. Is it possible to collect enough digital data to make an impact? This is a high-profile topic, that’s been labelled as a “a national disgrace” and debated in Westminster, and as such, any activity would be justifiably under scrutiny!


We knew that this campaign needed to ‘get personal’ and target only lay-by users, there could be no wastage. To achieve this, we utilised geofencing software. 

When someone parks in the lay-by they meet the audience criteria and a digital marker is placed on their device. We can then serve digital ads to them in real-time, and this can continue for up to a month. 

We also included a number of complimentary audience tactics. This not only allowed us to improve the accuracy of the audience filters, but it also started to identify more about the type of person they are. As an example, we added some keyword search filters that indicated who is most likely to be a professional driver. 

Using display advertising to serve a message to the recipient in real-time, we were able to communicate “in the moment”, to encourage users whilst parked in the lay-bys, to be mindful of their actions.

The second part of the campaign served a display advert at a later time, aiming to connect with the audience when they had finished their journey. Testing whether this follow-up would deliver further engagement, the advert displays a message to join the community, which clicks through to a survey.


This innovative use of tech transformed how National Highways was able to reach its audience and send out the message. In locations where traditionally you’d only be able to use non-targeted OOH advertising methods, we accurately geofenced 30 lay-bys on the A50 and A180, using satellite imagery.

As this hadn’t been done before, the scale of data collection was unknown. By the nature of this test, geofencing just two highways, the audience volume was likely to be relatively small. However, this test has shown some strong results – serving 52,000 impressions to date with above average click-through rate of 0.093%.

In addition to delivering the core message to the target audience, this campaign also collects valuable behavioural data to inform the client on lay-by usage vs distribution.

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