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The future of out of home advertising

1st October 2020
Reading time 6 min
The future of out of home advertising

Out of home advertising (OOH) is a well-established method for its scope, scale, and affordability. Now that it’s going digital, advertisers will be able to develop dynamic, interactive, and even real time display ads. Just imagine – ads that can change dynamically depending on location, time of day, weather, or even who’s walking by them. A very exciting prospect for the industry, and one that is sure to gain traction in the years to come. Here, we’ll take a look at the past, present, and future of OOH, and how it can help your business.

"Just imagine – ads that can change dynamically depending on location, time of day, weather, or even who’s walking by them."

What is OOH?

OOH advertising is marketing material consumers are exposed to when they are in a public space or in transit from one place to another. The important things to consider are size, location, and graphic design – in other words: smart visibility. Visual storytelling using first-rate graphic design is essential for successful OOH, so creative designs should be bold, eye-catching, easily comprehensible, and tell a memorable story that can draw people in. It should use best practices for color theory, typography, size, and contrast to stand out against competitors.

Typical OOH formats include: · Billboards (still, digital, or interactive) · Posters · Buses, commuter rail, subways, taxis · Transit shelters, street furniture · Point of sale displays


  1. The only way to reach consumers on the go Generally speaking, people spend most of their time outside their homes. OOH can reach consumers at any point in their daily lives – whether they are on their way to work, going shopping, or even walking their dog.

  2. Immune to disengaged consumers and ad blockers Consumers will notice real, tangible ads more than online digital content to which they are overly exposed. These ads can’t be skipped, blocked, or ignored, and are often more well received because they feel less intrusive.

  3. Cost-effective OOH is affordable for small and large businesses alike and drives higher ROI than its digital counterparts – while also driving online engagement. Companies like AdQuick can be used to track the campaign and measure its reach and effectiveness.

  4. Drives brand awareness and engagement OOH offers an uncluttered space for creative impact while commanding consumer attention. Combining OOH with other media channels such as mobile campaigns can almost double engagement.

  5. Continues to innovate Introducing digital to the OOH environment adds a new level of creative flexibility, stands out more, and can be booked by time, date, or weather. These can be displayed in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the manual insertion of traditional OOH.

From OOH to digital out of home media (DOOH)

The transition from OOH to DOOH is already underway, and has been gaining momentum as the inevitable future of out of home advertising. New technical innovations are giving brands the opportunity to engage in outdoor real-time marketing. They can choose their desired location, screens, slots, budget, and dynamic triggers and upload their content in just a few clicks – and then even track, personalize, and retarget their campaign. These capabilities provide an exciting new avenue for businesses to reach the right audience effectively.

Its typical formats match those of OOH, but include dynamic elements such as video, motion graphics, animations, or even CGI. Also, while users can interact with OOH using social media, with DOOH they can become part of it. Meaning, their message, photo, or video shared on social media can be displayed, which increases the campaigns ability to connect with and reach broader audiences. DOOH can therefore be integrated into a brands social media content strategy, amplifying both formats.


  1. Enhances OOH The data feed, video, and programmatic elements of DOOH draw more attention, improving viewability and online activation. Brands can use this live data to create highly visual ads with a powerful message.

  2. Dynamic content is the way forward DOOH is one of the fastest growing advertising mediums today, and this trend is predicted to continue into the future. Digitalization is beginning to enter the urban landscape, and it only makes sense for advertisers to follow suit.

  3. Programmatic buying brings ease and flexibility Digital allows you to automatically book whenever you want, wherever you want, for as long as you want. This flexibility allows you to optimize your budget, making it both high impact and affordable.

  4. Seamless targeting Advertisers can use DOOH to display targeted, dynamic media based on the demographic and behavior of mobile devices in real-time – meaning better optimization, personalization, and versatility.

  5. Synergizes physical and digital Integrating DOOH campaigns with smartphone and marketing data can help advertisers offer messaging according to the audience, time of day, or other conditions such as environment and location.

DOOH and dynamic creative optimization (DCO):

To create the hyper-relevant, personalized ads discussed, DOOH makes use of dynamic creative optimization. DCO uses live smart feeds to choose – for each shopper and context – the most relevant and reactive creative combination to display from premade elements. Dynamic allows brands to tell their story in a memorable way that’s tailored to the moment. This optimizes user experience, click-through-rates, conversions, and sales. In the future, it is likely that DOOH will embrace DCO as technological capabilities continue to grow, and dynamic becomes the new normal.

The growing importance of DOOH offers unique and exciting opportunities for today’s brands. With future trends pointing towards smart and well-connected cities with a plethora of digital inventory, embracing DOOH while it’s still in its infancy can give brands an unparalleled competitive advantage – and certainly something to consider adding to your marketing mix. In fact, it’s very likely the not so distant future will live in digitalized cityscapes with dynamic ads spread out over public infrastructure, and our science fiction dreams becoming reality. So, why not take a shot and become one of the first players in the game?

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