The old billboard gets the flick as digital OOH advertising takes over

The rapid evolution of digital out-of-home capabilities means brands now have more powerful ways to enhance customer engagement. We look at how

New innovations: Temperature parting

One of the latest innovations in DOOH advertising has been ‘temperature parting’, which gives advertisers the opportunity to dynamically change their message based on the local temperature at each location. Brands that have rolled out temperature parting and seasonal parting-type campaigns locally include Holden, Unilever, McDonald’s, Suncorp and Dimetapp.

“With McDonald’s, you could be playing an ice cream ad because it was boiling hot, then if it started to rain you could play the chicken wrap ad,” Cook explained. “That’s exciting because as we get better data, it allows us to market different components of a client’s campaigns in multiple ways, subject to their creativity.”

Iconic triggers

Another fresh development is linking OOO to other channels, such as TV, through triggers. oOh! Media recently conducted the first global ‘Iconic Trigger’ study, which found that by identifying the most powerful or iconic moment in a TVC or video pre-roll, and applying it to out-of-home environments, advertisers could increase a respondent’s long-term memory measure by an average of 42 per cent.

One of the ads used in the testing was Carlton United’s ‘The Great Beer Chase’. The TVC can not only be analysed to understand what the iconic moments are within the campaign, but also to demonstrate how to utilise these moments in outdoor signage to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Cook said results showed out-of-home campaigns that used iconic triggers in their creative strategy had greater impact by tapping into consumers’ long-term memory, which is linked to enhancing the overall ROI of a campaign.

“This research provides advertisers with an actionable tool that identifies moments from their TVC or video pre roll, most strongly held in the long-term memory, which we know has a positive impact on ROI,” he said. “This process has really been about providing capability for clients and creative agencies to have confidence in a process to develop their outdoor campaigns, knowing that doing it this way would ensure they improve long-term memory and coding, which leads to sales.”

Proximity and location

A third innovation is connecting OOO with beacons. AdShel recently announced it is deploying 3000 beacons across the network in what it claims is the largest beacon deployment in the world.

The beacons will initially be used as ‘listen and learn’ devices to build insights on consumers, as well as for advertisers. Longer term, Adshel hopes the technology will allow advertisers to leverage their existing customer databases to send geo-targeted and contextually relevant messages to customers standing within the vicinity of an enabled Adshel panel.

Tyquin dismissed any privacy concerns with linking beacon technology and DOOH advertising, and data collection and sharing with third parties.

“Beacons are quite an interesting technology, in that they’re permission based, but they also work specifically between consumers and app owners,” he commented. “With the brands themselves, we’re providing a piece of technology but ultimately all the communication takes place is between the consumer and the brand owner – we don’t play a role in terms of personalised data collection at all.”

Limitations and challenges

While the technology making real-time outdoor interaction has officially arrived, there are challenges to how DOOH utilised effectively. According to TubeMogul ANZ MD, Sam Smith, one the major limitations is that it is bought and sold through lots of complex packaging, along with negotiations and locking down of the media schedule, which is done a lot ahead of time.

“You’re basically packaged up with screens you want and screens you may not necessarily want, which is common media practice – and you are locked in well before the campaign goes live and you can’t change that,” Smith said. “So once you’re locked in, the cancellation policy is pretty stringent. That’s one of the bigger challenges.”

The other big hurdle is measurement. To combat this, TubeMogul has been working aggressively in Australia to prove the audience measurement, Smith said.

“Measurement for us is all things like verification of whether or not it actually is displayed or not, right through to what kind of consumers were exposed to the ad – and then what was their reaction to that exposure,” he said. “It’s a pretty traditional model when you think about it.”

Smith said TubeMogul wanted to standardise the way brands applied and used DOOH, with a focus on programmatic video advertising.

“Then we obviously wanted to automate the process,” he continued. “Automation of everything through our business has been very attractive to agencies and advertisers because the more we can automate, the less contact with humans and the more the technology can actually do. This allows the marketer and the agency to spend more time on strategy and focus a lot more on the creative.”

TubeMogul is also through programmatic buying allowing advertisers to move money in the OOH solution and then move money out without having to commit long-term to any screen.

“By doing that, the solution we provide is more real-time positioning,” Smith said. “Every hour the platform can actually start bidding on screen, based on location, time of day and the actual panel itself and that kind of opportunity for advertisers has never presented itself before.”

For Adshel’s Tyquin, one of the biggest frustrations is regulation preventing development of roadside digital advertising in Australia, compared to other global markets that have embraced the trend.

“That’s a regulatory and governmental issue, but the industry is working pretty hard through the media association to work with a number of government bodies at both federal and state level to ensure that there’s a balanced approach to development,” Tyquin said.

According to Cook, while there are always limitations and challenges across different technologies, the key is to find innovative ways to keep customers engaged using the right capabilities.

“There are various roads throughout Australia where you can’t have full motion, by the traffic authority, whereas you go in other environments and they’re all full in motion like shopping centres and airports,” Cook said. “You’ve got to think through the physicality of the medium and work through strategies around how it works both from a standard signage point of view right through to various engagement models that come up.”

Mcintosh pointed out billboards come in all different shapes and sizes, which adds complexity from a design and implementation perspective. To overcome this, oOh! built templates so brands can type the message once, choose which image they want and have it up instantly. The company is also rolling out interactive panels.

“We have been talking to a lot of advertisers and we’ve taken the investment and installed fifty of these across shopping centres in Australia,” he said. “From our perspective, these units are a blank canvas for marketers to have conversations with people in a way you couldn’t dream of two years ago.”

Where DOOH is headed

According to Tyquin, the next generation of new technology falls into four key areas, the first being developments in digital display.

“We’ve seen some fantastic digital display technology, be it flat screen or LED products, and they will become lighter, slimmer, more high resolution than they are now and cheaper – so that’s very exciting,” he said.

A second significant developing opportunity is mobile crossover space conversions, Tyquin said.

“That’s clearly what our beacons play is all about, being able to help advertisers connect through out of home and mobile, with consumers to have a deeper, richer engagement, and help advertisers build those customer relationships,” he added. “So we think that’s a massive opportunity for the sector.”

Data generation and management is another area Adshel continues to works closely with its clients and advertisers, while automation and programmatic are both significant areas of future commitment for the business.

“Automation, inclusive of programmatic, is something we’ve been involved with clients like Cadreon, it was a good experience for us and it’s a pathway we’re very much committed to,” Tyquin said. “I think as an outlet for advertisers to be able to get a look at digital out-of-home as another screen medium, and to improve the velocity of the business model we have. That’s a massive opportunity that’s still got a long, long way to go. It’s something as a business we’ll be investing in for a couple of years.”

Whatever the next innovation, Cook said the thing brands need to learn more about is how to achieve more direct response engagement through DOOH.

“That comes back to the simple rules of what’s the proposition and what’s the value point,” he said. “Just as people learnt the art of direct marketing and other engagement forms, it [DOOH] is about… having a value proposition and finding a way to create and communicate that in a way that gets the reaction you want.”

DOOH is more than just digital signage, Cook said, it is part of creating an overall strong brand proposition.

“This is one of the most powerful things you can do in an advertising sense,” he claimed. “What digital is doing is enlivening other aspects of the total campaign, so the collective together works very well in really reaching people.”

Smith added that if a brand’s video strategy on digital OOH screens sits alongside what it is doing with desktop video, mobile video and television, engagement becomes much more powerful.

“Looking to the future, if you think about putting all of your intelligence and all of your trading into one platform, then you can start to build a cohesion amongst your branding strategy, so that eventually once data can be verified and duplicated across all the different screens – it becomes incredibly powerful,” he said. “As a scalable solution, suddenly this becomes very efficient and very exciting.”

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