How Can OOH Complete the Media Puzzle?

I left our industry conference, OAAA/Geopath #LookOut2017, a couple of weeks ago with profound excitement about where our industry is headed, the opportunities that abound and our society’s future.  All the right questions were asked as the industry is moving towards an embrace of technology, data and audience identification. There was unabashed optimism regarding where advertising is headed and how integral Out of Home will be as part of it – as a core component to a robust media plan and execution.  With creative possibilities like no other media, outdoor advertising has the power to stimulate, engage and run rampant in the physical and virtual worlds.

It’s a PHYGITAL world!

The term phygital (a blending of “physical” & “digital”) started cropping up a few years ago, mainly in reference to how brands should build their retail experience to seamlessly blend the two worlds – the real one, and the digital one. A 2015 report from Microsoft (Digital Trends report) showed that almost 50% of consumers “were more likely to engage with digital experiences that offer seamless integration with their physical world—signaling a shift in how consumers expect the physical and digital worlds to blend.” Out of Home is poised to take full advantage of that connection, by connecting with digital media to provide a more integrated experience.

When you see an ad on your daily commute, and then see that brand again on any type of device, consciously (or not) it resonates, it has greater weight and makes a longer lasting impression.  The 2 reinforce each other.  When you layer on mobile ads – with incentives like a coupons and other offers, it can motivate behavior.  OOH is a core media buy to break through and strengthen the digital messages in the real world. It drives audiences online to search for more information almost 50% of the time (Nielsen OOH Online Activation Survey, March 2017). It is contextually relevant, planted in our everyday lives, ready to deliver a message at the right time to the right audience.

It’s telling that many of the top technology & social media companies are also major Out of Home advertisers. Tech companies have harnessed this powerful combination, recognizing the impact the phygital message can have.  Nearly a quarter of the top 20 Outdoor advertisers in 2016 were companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.



There is plenty of it, not all good.  The most compelling creative is a mechanism to connect emotionally with an audience, and tell a story.  That emotional resonance can be so powerful little else needs to be said.  Take Twitter’s OBIE award winning campaign as an example:


Advertising of late is charged with this task, to break through the clutter of thousands of ads an individual sees in a day.  Outdoor advertising has a physical footprint which, when combined with impactful creative content, can interrupt and cement the brand in the mind of the consumer. As David Beebe, one of the guest speakers at the conference, stated it best: “Great content should inform, inspire and entertain”. And it can be simple, becoming an extension of a viral campaign while going viral of its own volition.  Take a simple billboard, like the XBOX campaign for The Tomb Raider release.  One billboard, 8 people, social media extravaganza = powerful results.


What do you do with BIG DATA?  Data for its own sake is overwhelming; it builds at 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily according to a study by IBM.  The important thing is not how much data you have, but what insights that data can provide. How can that data change behavior, drive efficiencies, inform a media plan?

Geopath, the OOH industry’s data interpreter and metric company, is on an ambitious schedule to release a new measurement system for Out of Home that will dramatically shift how we look at the media. Formerly known as OOH Ratings, the platform was intentionally rebranded as an Audience Location Measurement tool to reflect the shift in focus from the media, to the audience.  It will leverage data with inventory, impressions, reach/frequency along with trip and audience analytics from our mobile phones.  As a result, the new measurement platform can be precise at a local level and scale to a national one, based on

  • Audience profiles tracking behavioral characteristics
  • Reporting time of day and week, unmasking seasonal variations
  • Predictions of actual audience delivery

No need to overspend in our media channel when you can precisely target very specific demographics by day and time, based cyclical trends; there remains the question: What elements define your campaign’s success?


For each dollar spent on out of home (OOH) advertising, an average of $5.97 is generated in product sales, according to a new report released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) as reported by Omnicom Group’s  Benchmarketing. OOH produces the highest ROI at the most cost effective spend of any other media channel.  As a core media buy, OOH offers advertisers powerful ways to reach audiences with memorable and measurable media options.

We ask often, is it the tool or what you do with it that makes it powerful?  When we see amazing OOH creative work planted within our daily lives as part of our environment, the opportunity to surprise, delight and connect can be measured by increased sales and brand loyalty.

The Out of Home industry is committed to elevating its game, providing measurement and evidence that clearly articulate how OOH is Real. Powerful. Advertising. Check it out and give us a call; my fabulous team of OOH media strategists are ready to tackle and provide solutions to your challenges.

Originally posted to the EMC Outdoor blog.