Digital Out-of-Home Advertising: Types and Trends

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  • 8/8/2019
    This probably isn’t too surprising: The demand for and the availability of digital out-of-home advertising has grown to the point where ad spend now exceeds that of traditional out-of-home advertising. This growth has been driven by the increasing ability to dynamically change the creative aspects in real time to deliver better targeted messages. What marketer doesn’t love flexibility? Creative aspects can change with the weather, time-of-day, type of car or even a passerby’s gender or age. So what options should savvy marketers be on the lookout for as 2020 media buy planning begins?

    Digital OOH Ads: Integrating Touch Points 

    Geo-fencing around digital out-of-home advertising allows advertisers to serve tailored messages to their audience while they are still in their car or by remarketing to them later that day. For example, McDonald’s has previously partnered with Waze (community-based GPS navigation app) to encourage commuters to grab a McRib. By geo-fencing around billboards, McDonald’s was able to serve their ads whenever a driver’s car came to a full stop. Once the ad was delivered, the driver could opt in and the Waze app would guide them to the nearest restaurant to indulge in that spontaneous snack.  
    Since Waze is able to capture the number of times a driver reroutes themselves, marketers can determine the amount of cars the advertisement sent to McDonald’s. (Or at least how many drivers were tempted enough to test the reroute. We’re realists...we know those numbers are guaranteed visits.) This traditional media buy element paired with the digital advertising element creates a hard-to-ignore combo sure to pique the interest of a tuned-in consumer, whether subliminally or not.
    Smart billboards are also catching consumers’ eyes by personalizing messages in unexpected ways. Cameras along with the right software can determine the type of car someone is driving and, in real-time, create and serve an ad customized to the individual driver. 

    At street level, advertisers are using cameras and AI capable of facial recognition to deliver unique messages or even engage in games with the individual passing by.
    Beyond the security questions we as humans mostly ignore in the face of experiencing something “cool,” these ads may leave you asking, “What are these good for?” Here the targeting options aren’t meant for high-volume exposure, but rather the shock, awe, impressiveness and experience of a personalized story. 
    Post-worthy creative is becoming more common, as well, as advertisers leverage the power of free content on social media channels. According to Nielsen, one-in-four Americans has posted an image of an out-of-home advertising ad on a social platform.   

    For example, Spotify took the steel girders at a New York City subway stop and created a mind-bending ad for the David Bowie Is exhibit. The tracked organic posts reached more than 50 million people... for free. In the end, these OOH elements still have the same secondary goal as every other campaign: Get people talking about the ad just as much as the product. 

    Programmatic is the Future of Ad Buying (yes, still)

    Finally, programmatic buying for digital out-of-home advertising has not arrived yet, but it is being tested. As media buyers and marketers are beginning to think of digital out-of-home advertising as another screen to include in buys, they want to see the placement better systematized. What would be better than trying all these elements in your 2020 media plan? Have a system automate it for you, of course. 
    The lesson to learn is that in a world where the average person can see 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements in a single day, brands that create an experience for the consumer can and will win. So, how will you kick up your out-of-home ad experience next year? 
    Curious to learn more about the intersection of traditional and digital advertising? Contact us today to get in touch with our experts! 
    About the author::Joe Hicks is an Account Services Group Manager at thunder::tech.  He leads his team and helps manage the client’s relationship with the various departments at thunder::tech. When Joe’s not working he is a man of many hobbies from bee keeping to tough mudders to gardening and hitting up the local ice cream parlors. 
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