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JCDecaux UK has launched VirtuoCity, a new research tool for advertisers to better understand how consumers engage with Outdoor advertising. Respondents are placed in the driving seat in a virtual world where they drive through suburbs and into the town centre. Like in the real world, respondents will drive past pedestrians, high street retail stores and Out-of-Home advertising along their journeys. Special tracking technology measures respondents’ eye movements in response to Outdoor posters as they pass. This is a research method which determines what consumers look at by tracking the pattern of their eye movements. Respondents then answer a recall questionnaire after their virtual drive-through. Results are used to create an engagement index for each poster in VirtuoCity. This can tell us how different poster sizes, placement and scrolling movement influence engagement levels. The tool has been specifically developed to coincide with the launch of UK’s revamped Outdoor audience measurement tool Postar 2 in late February. VirtuoCity is the result of a two-year collaboration with Posterscope.

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