You’re walking down the street and a digital poster suddenly flashes a music video of the song you’re playing on your app. Sounds like a coincidence? The most advanced outdoor advertisements capture the hearts of consumers by using data analytics in real time. This is just one of the many examples of outdoor advertising in the digital era.

All great advertising speaks the language of its target audience. In the past, traditional OOH media relied on static images to catch the attention of passersby, without the advertisers ever fully knowing how many eyes actually caught sight of the ad. 

Today, however, with the rise of analytics, mobile technology and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), outdoor advertising has become even more sophisticated in the way it understands and responds to consumers in public spaces. 

Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising is Growing Rapidly

Why has interest in DOOH grown stronger in recent years? For one, digital outdoor ads can be placed strategically in high-traffic areas without ever becoming an inconvenience to consumers. They are engineered to be less intrusive yet more meaningful.

In fact, one global ad trends report from WARC predicts spending on digital signs and videos – for use in high-footfall public spaces such as streets, malls, bus stops, train stations and airports – will increase by 10.1% annually until 2021.  

In some of the world’s busiest streets, billboards, posters, vehicle ads and transit ads are equipped with cameras and sensors. They function as ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ that enable them to interact with pedestrians. This is part of a revolution in digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH). 

Below are some of the major innovations in outdoor advertising with the use of modern tech:

1. More data for precise targeting

More data for precise targetingSource

New developments in advertising technology (AdTech) have prompted some advertisers to shift their focus on DOOH advertising as one of their main strategies.

Some new forms of AdTech can also analyze data from a distance. An emerging technology aptly called ‘Radar,’ for example, takes aggregated and anonymous data from mobile devices inside passing vehicles. 

The system crunches the data and uses them to tailor the content of billboards in the area according to the demographics and preferences of the group. This real-time adjustment ensures only relevant ads are displayed before the crowd.

Apart from anonymous user data, digital outdoor ads can also modify their messaging based on the weather or time of day. One promotion for Kmart, for instance, switched to an ad for snow shovels when a snowstorm hit Chicago.

2. Dynamic billboards

Dynamic billboardsSource

With the depth and variety of content DOOH offers, digital outdoor ads also serve as creative expressions of modern culture. These interactive designs represent the next generation of digital arts and often become part of the local scene, much like the bright lights of Times Square in New York.  

The strength of digital outdoor advertising comes from a number of factors: from the use of data and mobile tech, to an overall drive toward engagement, innovation and creativity in advertising.

Some dynamic billboards also offer a practical benefit to commuters. Samsung recently came out with digital displays that allowed people to charge their mobile phones at bus stations across Singapore.

3. Avenue for creative concepts

Avenue for creative conceptsSource

Digital outdoor advertising doesn’t just display a roster of video ads on a giant screen. The new breed of billboards and posters offers a smarter way of advertising – by listening, speaking and interacting directly with consumers.

One example is the ‘Coughing Man’ interactive poster from pharmaceuticals retailer Apotek in Sweden. Designed to help smokers quit the habit, the outdoor ad depicted a man who would suddenly cough each time a pedestrian smoking a cigarette walked by. 

Avenue for creative conceptsSource

The interactive system was equipped with smoke detectors, which signaled when the poster should spring to life. At the end of the coughing fit, the ad delivers its anti-smoking message and a lineup of products for addressing nicotine addiction. 

Not only is the ad dynamic in how it reacts to its environment; it is also targeted toward a specific demographic – cigarette smokers.

Another great example is how vehicle brand GMC Arcadia also fitted its digital outdoor ad with cameras. This time, however, facial recognition sensors were used to identify the age, gender and facial expressions of the passersby. These data points allowed the system to modify how the ad would greet pedestrians. It was also programmed to play staring contests and to react to people as the game progressed.

Another example of facial recognition software used in an outdoor ad is the award-winning campaign for Women’s Aid, in which special cameras detected the number of people looking at the image of a battered woman. 

To raise awareness about abuse, the ad showed the woman’s wounds healing more quickly as more people started looking at her and identifying with her cause. Echoing women’s empowerment, it ended with a message of gratitude from the subject.

4. Better campaign performance evaluation

Better campaign performance evaluationSource

These days, however, digital outdoor ads not only present richer, more colorful videos and graphics to impress their target audience – they also crunch real-time data on audience interaction. 

With the help of sensors and data trackers, advertisers get a clearer picture of the type of consumers that interact with their brands. The aggregate data from the activity in turn help advertisers target the right market and improve their campaign. As a result, DOOH advertising becomes responsive and, at times, even personalized.

This ample amount of data can also be advantageous for marketers and advertisers because of its accuracy. By looking at the right metrics, you can analyze if your campaign is performing or not. Since this is DOOH, you can easily make changes and come up with a finer ad.

5. Use of mobile for a 360-degree campaign experience

Use of mobile for a 360-degree campaign experienceSource

Mobile phones can be a solid source of data because it provides location-based information. Aside from seeing your ad on billboards, bus stops, or train stations, mobile phones can serve as an extension of your campaign for a 360-degree experience. Our ‘digital footprints’ on web browsers and mobile apps provide clues as to what we enjoy, what we are spending on, and where we love to visit. 

It’s up to you on how you can nurture the initial touchpoint and keep them engaged through their mobile phones. Connectivity between mobile devices and digital displays in public spaces has led to the creation of smarter billboards and posters that understand the needs and aspirations of a diverse set of audiences.

One Step Ahead

Advertisers have only started to explore new ways of recalibrating digital outdoor ads to make them more dynamic, useful and responsive to consumers. 

While most of the examples mentioned above are not yet available here, it is companies like Quick Brown Fox who can help advertisers navigate and understand the outdoor advertising in the Philippines.

With cutting-edge outdoor advertising, you can elevate your brand through agile, data-driven marketing strategies.  Are you ready to take your campaign to the next level? Send us a message.

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