Asia is an important region to marketers for its diversity, size and affluence. Household income (HHI) and ultra high net worth individuals (uHNWI) in the region will grow over the next five years and Asia's consumers are expected to lead global consumption over the next decade.
There is a persistent demand from marketers for proof. Pre-proof in the form of audience, movement, psychographic/behavioural, and buyer-graphical data. It can also include neuro-impact scores, traffic counts, population, demographic, reach and frequency. Post-proof in campaign verification (physical, digital and programmatic), research, case studies and campaign analysis are also essential.
If there is no trust or recency in OOH 'proof', investment is at risk of reduction or removal. That lessens the opportunity to demonstrate the power of OOH and the opportunity for the industry to grow.
OOH is measurable, therefore continual investment in research, data and reporting with verified, validated data that is recent and relevant will contribute significantly to OOH remaining on future media plans. Equally important is industry collaboration to build unified platforms like Outdoor Media Association's MOVE to provide accepted industry standardised benchmarks that contributes to the planning process. It will also build more trust and acceptance from marketers inside and outside the region.
The media-buying world is rapidly moving to self-service with a growing demand for faster access and engagement with media owners. Pace does impact media investment whether it is speed to market, speed to respond or accessibility via technology to speed up processes.
We are in the era of self-service. Technology is fuelling this expectation. Media that does not embrace it, will be left behind.
OOH media needs to open up and automate access to inventory, access to avails, access to specifications and access to long range planning. This will remove complexity, fuel self-service and contribute to a position for OOH on the plan.
From the use of printing techniques, digital screen tech, data-informed creative, use of public space or hardware innovation. It all contributes to the use of OOH media beyond simple spots and sites.
Production innovation is epitomised by Dole Sunshine Company, screen-printing posters using ink made from real fruit waste. 3D, anamorphic screens across APAC including Big Tree's CUBIG@ KLCC Junction in Kuala Lumpur, oOh!'s Bourke St Mall in Melbourne and Ten Square, Landmark of Good in Singapore create iconic, brand enhancing campaigns. Continuous innovation including AR, VR, 2D extensions, will grow the OOH APAC industry and importantly drive results for clients.
Innovation in the application of compliant data to inform creative needs to continue with OOH, especially since research has shown it to be at least 19% more effective. Persistent innovation in this area is essential and will continue in the future.
Innovation in hardware and infrastructure has a lasting impact. This can be seen in sustainable materials, for more efficient use of energy (JCD), repurposing posters/skins for multi-purpose (oOh!) and the implementation of theBreath® by Clear Channel Singapore Pte Ltd that will have traditional bus shelters significantly improve air quality.
Consumers are more aware of purpose when deciding to buy. Brands find themselves under pressure to deliver authentically on purpose and demonstrate commitment to DEI - Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and ESG - Environmental, Social, Governance and sustainability practices. Gen Z is leading increases in preference to buy from sustainable brands, but uplift is across most generations.
At the time of the WOO conference, Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific announced a partnership which illustrates of where 'purpose' is leading the media industry. He said: “Having a better understanding of the emissions is only the beginning of the journey, beyond measurement: our goal is to reduce and optimise these emissions. As a sustainable media platform, we are looking to do our part for future proofing the media industry. - Paul Shepherd, CIO & President of Annalect, OMG APAC
World Out of Home Organization also announced in December 2022, the industry's first Global Sustainability Task-Force lead by WOO Board member Katrin A. Robertson.”
The physical manifestation of purpose with OOH is evolving at a pace. Living Walls - Using live plants on billboards that eliminate 10kg of CO² per sqm per year. Eco Paint – paint that purifies the air and transforms pollutants into salt molecules. Poster Evolution - Urban Vision s.p.a. introduced pollution-eating banners. Green Roofs - Bus stops that increase biodiversity, support nature recovery, absorb rainwater, urban heat and contribute to cleaning the air.
For the OOH media industry, if it does not continue to adapt and make inroads into measurability, attribution and independent verification (proof), harness technology to create self-service, ease of planning and speed to market (pace), persistently push the boundaries of OOH capability (innovation) and authentically commit to positively impacting public spaces, the environment and people's lives (purpose), OOH as a medium runs a significant risk of insignificance.
Melanie Lindquist is the managing director for Asia Pacific at Talon Outdoor.