Out-of-home advertising is big, bold and in your face – and it’s only getting bigger. The rise of out-of-home ads began with the invention of the billboard in the late 1800s, and it has since evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with a variety of platforms.
Today, digital out-of-home (DOOH) is one of the fastest-growing forms of advertising, as more and more businesses seek to reach consumers where they live, work and play. Billboards and bus stops are becoming even more interactive and engaging, turning heads and driving results for brands. Globally, DOOH ad spending is expected to reach $27 billion by 2025.
Looking to supplement your OOH campaign with TV?
TV marketing is a tried and tested way to send your reach to the stars. But you want more than just eyeballs. You want campaigns that drive traction to your website or app – with measurable results.
DOOH might just be your brand’s secret weapon to reach consumers. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting form of advertising.
What does digital out-of-home mean?
Your first thought when you hear “out-of-home advertising” might be a billboard along the highway, and while that is certainly one type of out-of-home ad, it is far from the only type. Out-of-home advertising includes any type of advertisement that reaches consumers when they are not in their homes, big or small.
This includes billboards, ads within offices (especially popular in co-working spaces), placements in shopping malls, airport ads, sports stadium ads, bus stop and train station ads, taxi and public train TVs, gyms, ads in healthcare offices and retail store window displays.
Digital out-of-home takes things one step further by incorporating interactive elements and video content into these traditional out-of-home placements. This can take the form of a digital billboard that features a rotating selection of ads, or an airport ad that allows passersby to scan a QR code to learn more about the product or service. 3D technology is also gaining popularity, and has been used by brands from Fortnite, Nike and HBO to huge success.
What are the benefits of DOOH?
DOOH is an effective way to reach consumers who are on the go and not paying attention to traditional forms of advertising, such as television or radio. In fact, 62% of urban consumers would be interested in a DOOH ad that shows information specific to their location or time of day. There are a number of factors driving the growth of digital out-of-home, including the proliferation of connected devices, the rise of location-based marketing and the growing popularity of “out-of-home” experiences.
As consumers increasingly seek out “experiences” over material goods, DOOH provides a unique opportunity for brands to connect with consumers in a meaningful way. By creating an immersive and interactive experience, brands can forge a connection with consumers that goes beyond the traditional ad spot.
Digital out-of-home is an exciting and rapidly growing industry that provides a unique opportunity for brands to reach consumers in a new and innovative way.
How popular is DOOH?
In Germany, “classic” OOH placements account for roughly 70% of the total placements, and the rest are digital. In terms of inventory, DOOH is still a small fraction of what’s available in the OOH space. For placements on the streets and in stations and malls, traditional OOH placements make up roughly 80% of total placements, while DOOH accounts for the rest. Digitalisation is quite unevenly distributed; for example, big cities have a much higher percentage of DOOH than small towns.
Will these statistics change in the coming years? While DOOH is still in its infancy, it’s growing quickly and is expected to continue to do so.
The industry is still figuring out the best ways to use DOOH to reach consumers, and we can expect to see a lot of changes in the coming years. One major change we’re already seeing is the move from static displays to dynamic, interactive displays.
We’re also seeing more and more “connected” DOOH displays, which are connected to the internet and can show real-time information. For example, a display in a shopping mall might show the current sales or promotions at nearby stores.
What does this mean in terms of planning a campaign?
It means that we now have the ability to target very specific audiences with very precise messaging. We can also change our message on the fly, in real-time, to take advantage of current events or trends.
This is a huge shift from traditional out-of-home advertising, which was largely based on buying ad space in high-traffic areas and hoping that your message would be seen by as many people as possible. With DOOH, we can target specific demographics, interests and even locations with laser precision.
However, it’s important to note that solely DOOH campaigns can be very costly and may not be the most effective use of your marketing budget. Often (but not always), the best results come from integrating DOOH into a broader, omnichannel campaign that includes other forms of advertising and marketing.
More on targeting
In order for DOOH to be cost-effective and produce a significant ROI, it needs to be targeted at the right time and place for the greatest audience impression and reach.
These displays can show different ads based on the time of day, the weather, or even the pedestrian traffic. This is something McDonald’s capitalised on for a recent campaign in the ski town of Whistler, reporting on snowfall in the area and comparing it to different drinks available from their McCafés.
While DOOH comes with many targeting opportunities, it’s always worth checking that this makes sense for the channel. To make a very simple formula, you’ll want to check the amount of targeting options versus size of reach.
Tracking and measurement
The nature of OOH is that while brands can reach a huge new pool of consumers that they might not reach with targeted digital advertising, the audience will never be able to be tracked like in a fully digital environment.
DOOH is still an offline media, meaning it’s not clickable like search or display. Data collected from beacons, GPS, and wifi can all be used to track people’s offline behaviour, but we need to consider the margin of error when collecting this data and if it’s worth the investment. Another way to approach offline measurement is to compare a specific KPI, like website visits, when your campaign is on, versus if you hadn’t run the campaign at all. The graph below shows this in practise – the red line observes website traffic in Berlin during a certain period, and the dotted red line is what our algorithm constructs, the baseline traffic (also called the counterfactual. For the time of the campaign, we created the counterfactual by using information from the data collected for other cities in Germany. This helped us understand how the traffic would have developed in Berlin if there was no marketing campaign. You can read more about how to track out-of-home campaigns here.
While DOOH is still earning its stripes in the marketing and advertising world, there’s no doubt that it has a lot of potential. It’s an exciting, new way to reach consumers and deliver your message in a truly novel way. But as with any form of advertising, DOOH needs to be used strategically and thoughtfully in order to be effective. When done right, DOOH can be a powerful addition to your marketing mix – driving awareness, engagement and even sales.
Looking to supplement your DOOH campaign? Check out our guide on how to choose your marketing channels, for more advice and examples related to OOH, radio, TV and CTV.
DOOH incorporates interactive elements and video content to create highly engaging ads.
Make the most of DOOH’s targeting opportunities, focusing on aspects like time of day or weather.
DOOH can be measured in much the same way as traditional out-of-home campaigns.