Digital Is Shaking Up OOH Advertising

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has existed for decades through billboards, benches, bus wraps, indoor displays and elevator posters. But while OOH advertising inventory was previously only available in traditional mediums, advanced technology is opening the door for buyers and sellers to get in on new digital ad inventory, known as digital out of home (DOOH). This is great news for digital marketers, but what do you need to know to take advantage? Get the inside scoop on DOOH here: What is DOOH and how big is it? Reshaping the traditional advertising industry, DOOH typically includes digital displays in public areas, such as bus stations, airports, shopping malls, movie theaters, sports arenas, and more. And as DOOH inventory continues to rise, so does investment among advertisers. Marketing research firm eMarketer cites recent reports that show U.S. DOOH ad spending will increase by over 10% this year to $2.8 billion, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total OOH advertising spend. At the same time, total OOH ad spending will grow just 3.6% in 2019 — meaning the influx in DOOH dollars is coming from traditional OOH advertising budgets. Even though DOOH is experiencing healthy growth fueled by traditional budgets right now, it won’t be long before it steals budget from other digital media line items too. How can you take advantage of DOOH’s benefits?

  • Reduced Creative Change Costs – Printing and installing traditional OOH advertising infrastructure is time-consuming and costly. Instead, use DOOH displays that are updated remotely within seconds. For instance, a pet food manufacturer can swap ads for chicken-based treats with venison kibble immediately after a salmonella outbreak hits the news.
  • Advanced Creative Variation – Visuals are often limited to static images and messages in traditional OOH advertising. Video inventory through DOOH can add variety and keep viewers interested. For example, an amusement park can feature a video from the front seat of their new roller coaster in ads to catch passersby’s attention and drive excitement around season pass sales.
  • Improved Engagement – While reach and branding potential are high for OOH advertising, especially in urban areas, there’s limited engagement with traditional placements and no way to prove viewers saw the message. However, special sensors and software in new DOOH displays allow consumers to interact with the ad, increasing engagement, activation and attribution efforts. This can be very impactful for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, like a gym, to drive in-store visits. In this example, the ad could enable users to select from popular fitness classes via a touch screen and show directions to the nearest fitness studio based on their selection.
  • Enhanced Targeting – A traditional one-to-many targeting approach relies on broad third-party demographic and geographic data to reach the masses. Sophisticated digital targeting employs first-, second- and third-party data on location information, traffic density and historical foot traffic patterns. Then, individual-level audience information gets paired back to consumers’ mobile devices as they pass by respective screens. So, a new Mexican restaurant can target inventory where the highest concentration of millennials who eat at Taco Bell at least once a week walk by during the lunch hour.
  • Greater Relevancy – A single creative is typically used throughout the duration of a traditional OOH advertising campaign. But with DOOH, ad creatives can be customized based on real-time factors, such as weather, traffic, time of day, sports scores, and more. For instance, a car dealership can push truck and SUV ads on snowy days, run ads for sports cars when it’s sunny, and promote hybrid vehicles during rush hour commutes.

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