Despite being one of the oldest types of media communication, OOH (Out-of-Home) advertising has long been regarded as challenging to quantify. Audiences are getting more dispersed as the variety of communication channels grows, from the internet to video on demand to social media.
However, OOH media continues to be a vital component of viewers’ daily lives. It can reach consumers when they are near to making a purchase when they are more responsive and less distracted by other forms of media. Brands are now starting to get greater access to the tools & technologies needed to deliver relevant messaging to specific consumer groups in a more engaging and contextual way thanks to evolving targeting & measurability technologies being deployed within Digital out-of-home (DOOH).
We will look at the evolving landscape of hardware and software developments that are bringing about the massive growth in the outdoor advertising space.
Advancements in DOOH Advertising Technology
Several developments are being driven by technology, including adjustments in how OOH is planned, viewers are targeted, and overall advertising performance is measured. Increasing the medium’s effectiveness by leveraging technology to address the weaknesses of traditional OOH. Solutions are being developed to more accurately target specific audiences and assess total ad impact. OOH advertising helps businesses to communicate directly with customers in a more effective and responsible manner, resulting in a higher return on investment, whether it’s improving overall awareness or targeting specific demographics.
Technology advancements in both hardware and software have transformed every element of outdoor advertising, bringing automation, innovation, transparency, and accountability to all levels. Traditional OOH technological advancements have been aided by the expansion and greater availability of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
In the sections below, we look at some of the important hardware and software breakthroughs that have had the most impact on DOOH advertising technology for marketers and advertisers.
1. Screen quality
Customers are already used to seeing adverts in 4K resolution. Advances in outdoor display technology have permitted the large-scale deployment of high-resolution screens that are less expensive and more widely available. These high-quality screens not only provide high resolution and beautiful, colorful pictures that can hold users’ attention for long periods of time, but they also support dynamic content. Multi-image advertising gives advertisers more control over the medium and the final ad results than static advertising. Dynamic advertisements, sequential ads, and real-time data-driven ads give advertisers more options inside a single ad placement.
Because of the proliferation of digital screens and touchscreens, outdoor advertisements may now be interacted with, their content updated, played with, customized, and more. The engagement rate for interactive DOOH commercials is substantially higher. According to an Ultraleap study, interactive DOOH advertising yields twice as many conversions as static DOOH ads and have a 21% longer dwell duration. Viewers spend 50% more time viewing interactive advertising than static ads, and they are also 52% more effective at building brand awareness.
Interactivity was an emerging trend in digital signage prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, blurring the line between digital signage and self-service kiosks. Concerns about the potential transfer of bacteria from interacting with touchscreen kiosks and screens, on the other hand, prompted more research into methods to keep consumers safe. As a solution for interactive panels, antimicrobial coatings for kiosks and other touchscreen displays are being examined. This, however, has been taken a step further as a result of further technological advancements.
3. Cameras & motion sensors
The next hardware innovation in DOOH Advertising technology is touchless interactivity. This solves the above-mentioned hygiene issue and simply involves using cameras to detect hand motions and alter content on a display. Skoda’s innovative campaign, for example, tried to divert health-conscious consumers’ attention away from mid-pandemic concerns. This technology is based on the incorporation of cameras and motion sensors in outdoor advertising units. Not only as a solution to the hygiene concerns raised by COVID-19 but also in the long run to improve data collecting and audience targeting in a historically difficult medium to measure effectively.
SHARP (Strategic Hyperlocal AI-powered Reach Planner) by Laqshya Media in India is an excellent illustration of the developing solutions for OOH measurement. Their application for evaluating traffic on roads employs machine learning to provide AI-optimized metrics and recommendations, including a breakdown of their age, gender, NCCS group, and a multitude of other target groups.
By gathering data on passing customers to aid in the measurement and analysis of viewing habits connected with each location. Facial recognition can now be used to detect audience demographics and play the most relevant tailored ad, thanks to advancements in this field. Increased access to data from motion and facial recognition, along with dynamic content opportunities, allows for appropriate creative material to be served to the ideal audience, increasing DOOH advertising relevancy and effectiveness.
4. Programmatic technology
All of the aforementioned hardware developments have established the framework for software to come in and correct the inadequacies of previous OOH advertising. Programmatic technology has changed the way DOOH advertising is delivered. The tried-and-true advertising technology struggled to have an impact in OOH advertising at first because the infrastructure was simply not in place to capitalize on programmatic’s enormous benefits.
Advertisers can now generate ads based on campaign-based real-time triggers such as weather, sports outcomes, and airline schedules. Brands can create more meaningful advertisements that capture attention and drive greater results by incorporating external data on known variables that consumers would encounter at the time of viewing the display, as well as utilizing big data and AI to match the current viewer to the appropriate advertisement or sequence of ads.
5. Advertising technology platforms
Advances in complementary and supporting advertising technology platforms have aided in streamlining the end-to-end OOH advertising process. This includes stand-alone and integrated solutions for all areas of outdoor advertising, from planning to attribution and financial management, as well as smart planning tools, data management platforms, and other solutions for campaign planning, delivery, optimization, and measurement. This improved access to measurement data and capabilities has permitted a transition away from screen purchasing and toward audience buying, which, when done appropriately, may greatly increase the effectiveness of outdoor advertising efforts.
Because of the massive volumes of data generated in today’s DOOH advertising, advertising management solutions that help capture, gather, and arrange this data so that it may be used efficiently are critical. Extracting meaningful intelligence from a multitude of data points without the help of these technologies can be a time-consuming procedure.
6. Mobile technology
When paired with mobile, OOH advertisements offer a trigger for rapid client action. Brands may now easily create omnichannel campaigns across platforms thanks to the advancements in mobile and DOOH advertising technology. Geofencing allows advertisers to detect and retarget people who are in close proximity to an outdoor advertisement through mobile. Allowing them to target customers across DOOH and mobile with parallel branding for effective omnichannel experiences. Customers may also be offered simple Augmented Reality (AR) experiences by scanning a QR code from an OOH unit, which can serve to drive one-on-one interactions among large groups of people. They are then connected to the display over the Internet and can use the browser to interact with the content on their mobile device. There is no Wi-Fi connection, and no program must be downloaded in order to connect. These approaches let users engage with kiosks and other touchscreen displays without actually touching the screen, as well as bring interactivity to displays behind retail store windows, projected content, and LED displays.
The rich and complex data now available means that OOH planning and execution can be done to a level of sophistication only dreamt about a few years ago, and data-led, dynamic ad-serving technology can optimize digital OOH content in real-time. There are endless opportunities for brands and advertisers to create innovative and attention-grabbing advertisements that drive results in a cost-effective manner.
With a multitude of DOOH advertising technologies becoming available to prospective outdoor advertisers, managers will eventually need to come up with innovative ideas on how to use “big data” to streamline outdoor advertising models and make the best use of the data being made available to strategically support their OOH advertising efforts.