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How digital technologies are revolutionising out of home advertising

Out-of-Home advertising is changing, in a big way.

The OOH market is huge, worth £1bn in the UK alone. Half of that is expected to come from digital out of home revenues in 2018 as DOOH technologies scale up, and the global DOOH market is expected to grow over 10% year on year to 2023.

And yet, digital still isn’t the norm for OOH. Many billboards and posters remain static, unresponsive and certainly don’t follow us round in the same way that online ads do. But that’s changing: the number of digital advertising screens in the UK is increasing – from 2056 in 2009 to 17,000+ in 2017. Combined with technologies like touch screen, facial recognition and location services including near-field communication (NFC), geofencing and GPS, brands have the opportunity to create more dynamic, targeted and engaging campaigns using datasets from the physical AND online world. From weather data to the age range of passers-by, there is a wealth of information to be captured and measured.

Take location services. With DOOH, placements and exposures can move throughout the day to reach the intended audience at multiple places based on current GPS and historical movement data. The same technologies could be used for retargeting in much the same way that online advertising happens now.

Here are some examples of creative use of the DOOH medium:

  1. The Emoji Movie campaign for Sony Pictures. Ocean Outdoor’s facial recognition technology read people’s emotions and displayed associated emoji’s son top of shopper’s heads as they walked by.
  2. Grand Visual produced a UK campaign for Waitrose, with boards that toggled between live streams from 3 organic farms that supplied to Waitrose.
  3. The Battersea Dogs Home used location (in this case a chip embedded in a leaflet) to target potential donors. Every time the leaflet passed one of their digital billboards, a lost dog was displayed on screen as if following people around to encourage them to donate.
  4. MarchforGiants campaign for saving the elephants allowed people to sponsor a ‘virtual’ elephant via text that appeared on a digital billboard along with their name.
  5. At Heathrow Terminal 5, The Financial Times used digital billboards along with flight data obtained via API to target passengers travelling specific US cities.

Are you working on a digital out of home campaign, or in the wider digital space? Connect with us for the latest opportunities. You can view our live roles here, or contact us here.