Text: Divya Acharya, APAC director of products and solutions, Xaxis
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising continues to increase in popularity among marketers and agencies. A major appeal of DOOH lies in its ability to combine digitally-enabled buying automation, interactivity, and measurability with the ability of outdoor media to demonstratively capture the attention of customers in their increasingly media-cluttered landscape.
The figures are compelling: employing DOOH in an omnichannel campaign has been shown to make it 46% more likely that consumers will engage with a brand on mobile, while also increasing reach by up to 303% when added to mobile or web messaging. A 2017 Nielsen study found that, overall, OOH is the most effective offline medium for driving online activity, delivering four times more online activation per ad dollar than comparable campaigns on radio, TV and in print. According to a Magma report, APAC is the largest OOH region with almost USD$13 billion in sales in 2018, ahead of EMEA and North America. It is also the region with the highest OOH share—7.8% on average vs 5.6% globally.
This growth shows no signs of slowing. Over the next three years, DOOH is forecasted to grow 10% annually, while capturing 40% of overall OOH ad spending, per findings from WARC. Meanwhile, global investment in DOOH is estimated to more than double from US$16 billion in 2019 to US$34.2 billion by 2025. The rise in DOOH renders OOH the only traditional advertising category demonstrating sustained growth caused by its pivot to digital, notwithstanding a decline in the prevalence of classic billboard-style adverts and posters.
But what are the major trends impacting this thriving sector in the coming year?
1: Programmatic DOOH as standard
DOOH inventory is increasingly being sold programmatically, and this is set to become an industry standard in the coming years—bringing with it increased potential for integration with more extensive campaigns. By using computer programmes to handle DOOH sales transactions, programmatic automation alleviates the need for negotiations with network owners on issues such as pricing and targeting, while also eliminating the need for laborious, manual scheduling of campaigns across a network.
By harnessing the ability to access an entire network inventory and book DOOH adverts at will, according to pre-established prices and criteria, media buyers are presented with a huge efficiency boost, while enjoying the flexibility to refresh creatives mid-way. This approach enables the leverage of DOOH inventory through methods such as real-time bidding (RTB), programmatic guaranteed (PG) and invite-only private marketplaces (PMPs).
2: Reacting in real-time
Improvements in real-time, data-driven audience targeting are forging a new category of ‘hyper-targeted’ programmatic ad placement. Creative plays an important role in DOOH success. Creative overlaid with data to makes it an even more powerful medium. Xaxis Hong Kong designed a campaign for a pharmaceutical client using temperature and moments (commute home) as the two main triggers of the campaign. An ad was served during peak commute times every time the temperature fell below 25 degree Celsius resulting in a 20% uplift in small pack trial sales for the brand.
Earlier this year, Xaxis and Mediacom Malaysia devised a pioneering DOOH campaign to generate buzz and build footfall to Domino’s Pizza for the relaunch of the Ssamjeang Pizza range. DOOH adverts on screens near to physical Domino’s locations were adapted in real-time using factors such as weather and geography, time of day, vehicle type and traffic conditions. Within two months, the campaign had reached over 5.4 million people and directly generated 1,300 visits across seven Domino’s Pizza outlets – a 10% increase in average footfall.
3: An omnichannel approach
As well as extending the reach of digital campaigns, DOOH offers a new array of functionality for advertisers that become even more powerful when integrated with other channels. This is especially true with mobile where, for example, mobile technologies enable conversion tracking in combination with location-based targeting in outdoor sites.
In mid-2018, Xaxis set out to measure and optimise OOH to drive footfall for Indian menswear brand Manyavar. Given the high mobile penetration rate in India (1.1 billion mobile subscribers in 2018), Xaxis used mobile location data to attribute audiences exposed to OOH against in-store footfall, and then retargeted exposed audiences through their smartphones.
This integrated campaign approach saw footfall almost double against a control group.
4: More video campaigns, but shorter videos
Full-motion DOOH campaigns can deliver a powerful, head-turning effect. One study by Ocean Outdoor demonstrated how video placements can create up to 2.5 times more impact than their equivalent static placements. Full-motion video also has a valuable brand-building effect – full motion DOOH is comparable to television in its ability to generate emotional attachments between the audience and the brand with mass impact.
But it’s Short-form DOOH video (SFVOOH), videos lasting a few seconds at most, that are gaining particular traction. These snappy shorts are designed to capture the attention of an on-the-go audience, and have been shown to be more effective in an DOOH environment than they are online.
In turn, this makes SFVOOH an important element in generating online activations. SFVOOH enhances the effectiveness of linked online content by ‘priming’ the brain to respond favourably to online short-form campaigns. Expect to see a lot more of it in the coming year.
5: Enhanced capabilities
As DOOH continues to gain in popularity and prevalence, its capabilities are improving to keep pace. As advertisers seek to increase engagement, screens are becoming increasingly interactive, with facial recognition, touch screens, and gamification helping to increase dwell time and improve brand awareness. Integration of QR codes on DOOH displays helps drive mobile traffic directly to specific landing pages.
Because of this high level of interactivity, DOOH isn't just helping to drive mobile traffic, it is also helping to drive physical footfall, as in the case of the aforementioned Domino's Malaysia, where highly targeted ads helped to drive 1,300 store visits, translating into a 10% increase in footfall. Meanwhile, Xaxis' DOOH campaign for Manyavar revealed that audiences exposed to both OOH and mobile inventory recorded 1.98X store footfall against controlled group of audiences who walked into the stores.
Thanks to DOOH, out-of-home advertising will form 6.3% of advertising budgets in 2019—the highest proportion since 1999. With a mix of smart technology and savvy content, advertisers have the perfect platform to create emotional, engaging content for millions.