Digital advertising today has become more common than ever in urban areas, especially smart cities (SmartCity) is the city that has a lot of adapting technology, especially technology Internet Of Things (IOT) in serving its citizens.

Just walk a few kilometers and you will definitely be able to see some digital signage today. Regardless of how it impacts the decision-making process pedestrians, they appear as a potential source of public funding.

On the other hand, the reality of the ad revealed that they pollute the city by contributing to the carbon footprint, annoy consumers, and questioning its own existence. And the other side of reality shows that the advertisement not only as a way to communicate brands, and local governments receive the funds, but also a channel to spread awareness – for the advancement of smart cities.

However, the government does need funds to introduce and maintain the infrastructure smart city for its citizens. And brands and marketers need a platform to showcase their services and products. Therefore, this is a win-win situation on both sides. But in the midst of all this, how does advertising affect smart city development?

Technology makes advertising even more innovative.

Applications technology that makes creation of increasingly innovative and effective advertising has been done in various countries are as follows.

a. GeoFenced Ad

For example Startup Firefly ( is rideshare driver allows her to earn extra income through digital advertising. It has launched $ 21.5 million in seed funding to equip a plugged digital smart screen for ride-hailing vehicles to display advertisements. Screen available to show advertisements which can be programmed remotely. It enables the display of geofenced ads for national and local brands, small businesses and charities. A minimum of 10% of the ad space is reserved for local non-profits, the public sector, and charities and other community groups. In addition to displaying advertisements, display screens will also provide important data including clean air and state of mobility to local governments.

Geofenced own ad technology that allows diverse display of links that appears in accordance with the pre-programmed location tag. It may be related to the location of the store / outlet, a place that has a potential target market, competitors’ areas or other destinations.

Before taking the initiative, Firefly has conducted beta testing on this kind of innovative advertising strategy during the trial in Los Angeles. The strategy was introduced has been a boon for ride-hailing driver who does not earn enough to make a living. New York City became the first region that set the minimum wage for drivers. Firefly claims that the average driver using its service can make an additional $ 300 a month.

b. Free Wifi Hotspot

In addition, the kiosk smart city is a platform that is almost incomplete without a digital advertising display. The best example is the launch of LinkPHL ( in Philadelphia which allows people to enjoy free WiFi, mobile charging points and more at no cost. This happens because of the revenue generated from the advertisements being displayed. In Indonesia, this kind of model has been carried out by Wifi Id (

c. Display on Vehicle

Another UZE Mobility ( start-up in Germany has come up with innovative ideas to increase the use of electric mobility. The company offers its electric vehicles for rent free of charge to users and plans to make money by installing digital screens on vehicles and selling advertising space. This model can also be introduced in public transport which can increase absorption.

d. Compensation Scheme with the Government

On the other side of Europe, the British government is said to be planning to launch a highway sponsored by enabling business branding. This scheme is already implemented in the US as the ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ which allows businesses to display their advertisements along the highway. The money earned from the scheme is used for road maintenance. As per reports, sponsored motorways can raise as much as £ 20 million per road per year. For this kind of mechanism MEDIAMOVE has taken the initiative with the concept of City Friendly Advertising. For example, the LED Videotron street lighting on Jalan Pajajaran, Bogor. In this project MEDIAMOVE builds street lighting in the shape of a cleaver which is an icon of the city of Bogor. So that the media appearing looks attractive and blends with the surrounding environment.

More importantly, brands and marketers need to understand and display ads that convey a useful message to society and not just focus on getting people to buy their stuff. For example, an advertisement that is useful and quite inspiring can get a product to be promoted but at the same time spread an important message in society. Overall, governments, companies and marketers can come together and revolutionize the way advertising is seen in society. Whatever smart cities do, they shouldn’t say advertising has to be part of sustainable development.


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