A Look Ahead to the Second Half of 2016

It’s hard to believe summer is already here and 2016 is nearly half over. This year has again started successfully for OOH, with Q1 rounding out the 24th consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Morale was high at the industry’s annual gathering in Boca Raton, FL, in April, new services to help OAAA members have been launched, and Nielsen research was released to support the effectiveness of OOH advertising.

As we look ahead to the second half of the year, OAAA remains focused on top industry issues and trends, incorporating member feedback received and lessons learned so far this year. I’ve updated my earlier calendar summary to highlight important events and resources OAAA will offer over the next several months.

Industry Litigation

The industry is focused on high stakes court cases on both coasts. In Washington, DC, we await a federal appeals court ruling on Scenic America’s lawsuit attacking digital billboards. In the first round, a federal judge dismissed the case in 2014; oral arguments were heard on the appeal last year.

On the West Coast, the beverage, retail, and OOH industries plan to appeal a recent federal court decision to not block San Francisco’s mandated warning labels on the OOH advertising of sugary drinks, (i.e. sodas). Plaintiffs in this important case argue First Amendment protections against government restriction on speech.


OAAA members are using data (anonymous and aggregated) to make advertising more efficient, matching messages to target audiences. OAAA is working toward self-regulation, to respect privacy.  A task force appointed by OAAA Chair Bill Reagan will help guide the industry on this new, emerging topic.

Refreshing the OOH Brand

It’s been five years since the OOH industry unified around a well-defined vision for the future. A lot has changed since the original OOH positioning work was completed. A special committee comprised of industry leaders will meet over the summer to refresh the current OOH brand positioning, making updates that will be readied for a relaunch early next year.

OAAA Webinars

OAAA presented five webinars in the first half of the year, and more are scheduled in the months ahead. The most recent webinar held last week offered a deep dive into the latest Nielsen study about US travel habits and the value of OOH. If you missed it or others presented in the previous months, remember you can always find OAAA webinars archived on the website. Other topics to be presented this year include a look at privacy when using data for OOH campaigns and how the elections will affect our industry.

A new technology webinar series is in the works. Through multiple webinars, technology vendors will enlighten us all about the latest innovations available to enhance OOH campaigns, demonstrate how OOH can be improved using technology, and look at what may be coming in the near future.

An Eye on Innovation

The highly productive OAAA Innovations Committee will meet in Washington, DC, in July,  holding a full day meeting which will also include technology vendor presentations. The committee remains focused on establishing necessary best practices and guidelines as they relate to data integration and transformative technologies.

Harnessing ROI

A special task force has been created to address the growing need for better ROI (return on investment) measures related to OOH. The committee is chaired by Helma Larkin, Posterscope, and is comprised of both buyers and sellers. The group will develop a strategy for better defining how OOH attribution is used in multi-media modelling and campaign effectiveness. An important outcome of the committee’s work will be education and training for the industry.

OAAA Focus on Creativity

After a successful OBIE Awards in April, OAAA continues to focus on creativity through the implementation of several key initiatives. To complement OAAA’s agency roadshow program, a new creative roadshow has been launched targeting ad agency creative departments. And, OAAA’s popular online OOH Creative Testing Tool is being enhanced with more than 30 new formats added and four new scenes (mall, airport, subway station, and rural road). OAAA is also planning to release guidelines on effective OOH creative using data-driven insights that are based on the benchmarking of thousands of ads across multiple media.

Serving the Public Good

OOH has a wonderful track record for public service, serving the community and public good for more than a century. Recent nationwide campaigns that united the industry and earned us significant recognition include Art Everywhere US and our effort to support the National Park Service Centennial over the last two years.

OAAA is working with PNYC – the agency behind the compelling Feel the Real campaign – to develop a two-part public service campaign that will first encourage Americans to register to vote and get to the ballot box. This party-neutral effort will be bold, with eye-catching creative. Our goal is to make the American public consider its role in our election process and exercise its right to be heard.

Next year, we will launch an exciting new campaign partnering with the National Geographic Society to unveil a nationwide OOH campaign featuring the acclaimed Photo Ark project. Through Photo Ark, National Geographic and photographer Joel Sartore have photographed thousands of animals, many on the brink of extinction.

This awareness campaign, featuring captivating images of endangered creatures, aims to engage the public and encourage preservation. We’ll work with OAAA members to feature these images on OOH formats across the country. And with this campaign, we’ll further demonstrate the power of OOH, how it can captivate audiences and move them to act. Stay tuned for details later this year on how you can participate and help make this one of the most moving public service efforts we’ve ever presented.

OAAA Safety Seminar

OAAA will host a Safety Seminar in September in Indianapolis, IN. Operations personnel will hear from safety experts about the latest laws, regulations, and practices concerning safety in the workplace as it relates to the OOH industry. This is indispensable information to keep our construction and maintenance employees safe. Recently I read about a billboard employee in Kentucky who lost consciousness and fell while installing vinyl. Thankfully, he was properly harnessed, and that safety measure saved his life. It is scenarios like this that make this seminar so critically important.

OAAA Legal Seminar

OAAA will sponsor a Legal Seminar on November 3 in Las Vegas. Featuring top legal practitioners, this biennial event presents the latest industry legal developments and qualifies for CLE credit (Continuing Legal Education). We’ll take a look at Scenic America’s challenge to digital billboards, developments related to the Supreme Court’s decision in Reed vs Gilbert, privacy issues, regulation of e-cigarettes, condemnation, and other issues.

Members of Congress Campaign

After the November 8 election, OAAA will coordinate an industry-wide public service campaign to recognize winning candidates for Congress. Your assistance with this effort is greatly appreciated and very important.

OAAA OOH Media Plan Awards, OOH Day

This year’s industry events will wrap up with the Ad Club of New York’s annual OOH Day, scheduled for November 29. This annual conference features OOH industry visionaries and experts sharing important insights about today’s business. The OAAA OOH Media Plan Awards will be presented, recognizing effective media plans using multiple OOH formats and creative strategies. The call for entry is set to open this summer.

As you prepare for the second half of of the year, be sure to stay informed about industry news and trends. You can keep up to date with OAAA’s Outlook newsletter – the industry’s top source for updated and insights. Also, be sure to follow me and OAAA on LinkedIn and Twitter – on a daily basis we share industry trends, exceptional OOH campaigns, and news about the latest OAAA resources.

2016 is already proving to be a monumental year for OOH, and with your support, we’ll continue to make OOH shine.

As always, should you have questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected] or call (202) 833-5566.

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Modified: 2 years