The Basics of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Advertising: What You Need to Know

Similar to how a dash of cinnamon elevates an otherwise simple piece of toast, integrating digital technology into standard out-of-home (OOH) advertising platforms like billboards and murals can enhance their effectiveness. OOH advertising has been around in its basic form for essentially millennia, with the Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum containing multiple examples of early outdoor ads. Though OOH advertising has proven essential for connecting brands with consumers in high-traffic locations, digital out of home advertising (DOOH) offers unprecedented opportunities for targeting, tracking, and optimising campaigns. 

What is DOOH Advertising?

DOOH advertising covers any digital advertising encountered outside of the home environment. While iconic digital billboards like those adorning New York City’s iconic Times Square may come to mind, we’ve also all seen less conspicuous DOOH ads at mall kiosks, transit station screens, and point-of-sale (POS) TVs. 

On one end of the sophistication spectrum, these ads are basically more dynamic versions of regular OOH advertisements. On the other end, they can offer personalised content, catering to evolving consumer preferences. Programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) further amplifies these capabilities by enabling automated ad placements, creating an experience similar to online ads right in the real world.

Why You Should Invest in Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

Advertisers that make the leap into DOOH will tend to see the following benefits shortly after running their first real-world digital campaigns:

1. Creative Opportunities

Digital technology lets advertisers dynamically demonstrate product benefits on DOOH platforms. While this doesn’t mean that traditional OOH is any less “creative,” the added audiovisual dynamics and interactivity enabled by these ads gives advertisers more room to unleash their creativity. Whether DOOH ads are designed as straightforward animations, triggered through weather and context, or built as immersive augmented reality campaigns, digitalisation offers endless possibilities for delivering memorable out-of-home brand experiences.

2. Enhanced Customer Engagement 

The creative possibilities offered by DOOH can empower brands to better connect with consumers in the real world by offering a brand experience similar to what they experience online. When coupled with basic OOH advantages in high-traffic areas, DOOH can deliver a stronger positive impact—up to 63% more than traditional OOH, according to one study conducted by the Outdoor Media Association. For brands that want to maximise their reach or are struggling to make a dent in local markets, DOOH clearly delivers.

3. Flexibility

Unlike traditional OOH, DOOH campaigns can afford advertisers more flexibility, not just in creative content as discussed earlier but also in targeting parameters. Similar to online ads, digital outdoor ads can now be set to change according to dynamic market conditions and consumer behaviour. Next-generation programmatic DOOH even enables real-time changes to ad content, guaranteeing maximum impact and efficiency.

Best of all, these perks are easily achievable for most DOOH advertisers. The wide availability of anonymous smartphone data in most regions provides a straightforward way to make DOOH ads responsive to the preferences of various audiences. This potential for agility can enable advertisers to always be relevant and address multiple potential audiences from a single location.

4. Privacy-Friendly Targeting

Consumers are now becoming rightly concerned with data privacy, given the increasing prevalence of cyber crimes targeting ordinary individuals. As a result, more and more consumers are opting out of online ads and disengaging with brands they believe are harvesting their data.

DOOH advertising can provide a privacy-friendly alternative to traditional online ads, as targeting is anonymised and conducted at a contextual rather than personal level. The result is highly relevant out-of-home ads that do not require vast amounts of personal data. Such moves can also help advertisers stay ahead of evolving privacy regulations that are now clamping down on personal data harvesting.

5. Audience Measurement Metrics

The most important benefit of DOOH is arguably something that consumers don’t even get to see. Because DOOH ads can be set up to be two-way channels, they can offer brands valuable consumer data. Location data, in particular, can give advertisers a highly robust way to measure impressions and foot traffic—something that simply was not possible on a large scale with traditional OOH ads. The insights gleaned from DOOH ads can ultimately help advertisers spend their budgets more wisely to create highly efficient campaigns.

What Do DOOH Ads Mean for Brands

Though DOOH ads were initially not much more than more dynamic versions of traditional outdoor ads, trends in digital connectivity have resulted in DOOH becoming one of the most impactful advertisement avenues available to consumer-facing businesses. Advertisers who understand the potential of DOOH platforms can create campaigns that combine the marketing impact of traditional OOH with the precision and measurability of digital technology, leading to better ad spend efficiency and wider market reach. As marketers embrace the dynamic capabilities of DOOH, they stand to unlock new avenues for engaging consumers and driving business results.

author avatar
Middle aged curious individual trying to find a balance in keeping healthy and finding joy keeping fit. Because trying new food and drink is part of the work.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.