What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)? Definition, benefits, programmatic approach, trends and examples | spice plants (2023)

In this article we explain what DOOH advertising means to marketers, its components, measures, benefits and examples.

Table of Contents

  • What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)?
  • DOOH vs. OOH: Key benefits of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising.
  • What is programmatic DOOH advertising (pDOOh)?
  • Key benefits of programmatic DOOH over DOOH
  • Key implementation challenges
  • Top 6 Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Trends of 2020

What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)?

Digital Outdoor Advertising (DOOH) is defined as a marketing channel in which advertising media is dynamically and digitally displayed in public spaces outside the home.

Here are some examples of DOOH advertising that you may have come across in your daily life:

  • A dynamic display of hotel advertising played on screens in airport arrival halls
  • Grocery store chain deals with ads played in or near a food court in a mall
  • Dynamic roadside car ad displays (often in locations with a branded showroom nearby)
  • Digital display WiFi hotspot kiosks in major cities like New York and Chicago.

While out-of-home media isn't new (in fact, it's one of the oldest traditional media in the world), the digitization of outdoor advertising is happening at a rapid pace, and the market is responding, between 2016 and 2023.The global digital out-of-home industry is expected to growOpen a new windowfrom $3.6 billion to $8.4 billion. As we go digital, we are also seeing multiple integrations, apps, and SaaS solutions being offered, something that OOH is experiencing as it transforms into a more intelligent, data-driven version called DOOH.

DOOH vs. OOH: Key benefits of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising.

What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)? Definition, benefits, programmatic approach, trends and examples | spice plants (1)

Digital Out of Home (DOOH) plugs many holes that make traditional outdoor advertising obsolete by the post-digital standards set by online advertising platforms like Google and Facebook.

As DOOH rapidly evolves and grows, here are the 6 key areas where DOOH is a much-needed upgrade to OOH:

1. Economic, dynamic and flexible:DOOH is all about digital ads, which means multiple ads can appear within the physical confines of a single space or banner. This not only optimizes revenue for the media unit owner, but also helps marketers save printing costs and share media costs with multiple advertisers. Perhaps most importantly though, the ability to dynamically change creatives based on everything from outdoor weather conditions to flight arrivals is a huge benefit of DOOH. This gives advertisers a whole new level of flexibility when it comes to dynamically displaying and customizing creatives. Because real-time bidding for DOOH media is done programmatically, media buying can be centralized even for widely dispersed media entities, increasing the cost and operational efficiency of DOOH. Last but not least, the fact that a single media unit is seen by several target groups at the same time leads to the so-called impression multiplier effect.

(Video) How impressions are measured in OOH

Keep reading: What is advertising technology (adtech)? Definition, Ecosystem, Programmatic and TrendsOpen a new window

2. Get online outdoors: As DOOH evolves, one of the trends already in play is the movement of DOOH data to the cloud. This is already happening in cities like New York, where kiosks with advertising screens have been installed on the sidewalks that not only connect to the Internet, but also serve as free public Wi-Fi hotspots. This allows you to track the number of devices connected to each kiosk and measure visitor traffic much more accurately.

There is also a growing opportunity to connect DOOH to mobile and other smart devices: from wearables to smartphones, anything that can be connected to the cloud can help with smarter dynamic visualization in DOOH.What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)? Definition, benefits, programmatic approach, trends and examples | spice plants (2)

A person using an interactive free public Wi-Fi kiosk while displaying a drink advertisement on the screen

One use case for this is that since consumer information is stored in the cloud, brands can connect DOOH to their core business.customer data platformOpen a new windowto redirect DOOH viewers as soon as they connect.

Another option is to use mobile location data to connect to dynamic ads that are shown to passersby.

3. More precise metrics and measurements:the mostdemand side platformsOpen a new windowfor DOOH provides analytical dashboards on ad performance, ad serving locations, watch times for each ad, total spend, etc. While digital ads offer much more transparency and granular detail, DOOH is catching up. One of the biggest problems with DOOH compared to web ads is that it is still catching up with programmatic buying and selling. DOOH attribution will be much more data-centric and clearer as more digital screens migrate to cloud data. The lack of metrics to measure ad performance has been the bane of traditional OOH advertising. Today, companies like Snap (owned by Snapchat) are beginning to offer innovative technologies for correlating individual smartphone data with public display ads. Of course DOOH still needs much better attribution of metrics, but the digital transformation of the outdoors is underway and the free market will respond to this digitization with apps and software to enable exponentially better tracking and measurement. DOOH is already affecting key advertising metrics, including brand awareness and correlated store visits.

Keep reading:What is an ad network? Definition, types and examplesOpen a new window

4. Using real rich media:The digitization of screens has resulted in more compelling video ad formats that tell a better story than just image banners, as is the case with traditional outdoor media placements. Video ads are known to far outperform static/print display ads, especially when it comes to grabbing the attention of the passing crowd. Unlike online inbound marketing, where a consumer already has the intent to buy and that's how they find out, the main game in outdoor media is to bet that while consumers aren't actively looking for the product/service , they will do it. the ad is attractive and interesting. This lends itself to the strong combination of placement advertising and impulse buying behavior. For example, imagine a fast food company that shows ads about lunch specials to people in a shopping mall. Video formats and emerging formats like augmented reality and holograms are critical to the success of outdoor advertising, and DOOH technology makes it possible.

(Video) Top Trends in Out Of Home Advertising in 2021-2023

Keep reading:What is an ad exchange? Definition, functionality, types and examplesOpen a new window

5. Better ROI:Complete elimination of ad printing requirements, low labor costs, along with more meaningful metrics and data on ad performance and associated dashboards – marketers free up resources while having the right insights to optimize your advertising plans and offer increasingly seamless interactions and brand experiences. both online and offline. This, in turn, leads to significantly higher return on investment (ROI) margins on the overall advertising budget, especially the outdoor advertising budget.

6. Weatherproof:All modern digital screens are weather resistant and advertising can be played all year round. Unlike physical display banners, which wear down the motif (and often the display stand itself) in the rain and wind, outdoor billboards are a very safe option. Although, of course, digital screens are also vulnerable to vandalism, it is possible to install surveillance cameras and integrated alarms for a faster response.

What is programmatic DOOH advertising (pDOOH)?

In simple terms, programmatic DOOH is automating the buying and selling ofad inventoryOpen a new window(advertising space) through computer programs. It's real-time, open to all bidders, and the highest price is chosen, much like the online advertising ecosystem works today.

Advantages of the Programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) Approach

  • Programmatic DooH increases speed and flexibility for spontaneous campaign optimization

One of the traditional challenges with OOH was that it was a manual, time-consuming, and cumbersome process to get creative to each location, set it up, and even retire it in a timely manner. With digitally connected display media units, sending creatives to media units is as easy as a few clicks, but more importantly, advertisers enjoy great flexibility and cost effectiveness by changing display ad creatives based on of the situation, and this makes Flight Optimization of campaigns for advertisers. Marketers often want to change creatives based on a specific event, and now DOOH offers the same flexibility to change creatives as digital advertising. For example, if a baseball team takes home the trophy, it's easy to get creative at the airport to welcome and congratulate them. Similarly, kiosks in malls can offer weather-based deals and coupons: when there's a storm, switch creatives to offer a hot cup of coffee, and when the sun comes out again, offer a cool drink. In fact, advertisers can now dynamically change creatives based on context, weather, time of day, etc.

  • Programmatic DOOH allows for better targeting

with the ability to integrate with the largestadtech programmatic ecosystemOpen a new windowMedia buyers can see a more holistic plan and ensure targeting is most effective for each medium in the mix. With the ability to run a campaign across devices, platforms, screens, and media units, it's easier to change budgets, adjust targeting, and tailor creatives to audience needs for optimal impact and results.

  • Real-time bidding (RTB) eliminates brokers, pricing, and ad space domination

The main reason for the sky-high prices of outdoor advertising is the manual pricing strategy of the advertising space owners. A reserve price is set and buyers can only bid at or above that fixed price. There are also intermediaries whose main function is to negotiate prices when buying media, especially given the geographical dispersion of OOH media entities. This effectively leads to DOOH/OOH dominance by the most liquid companies, while smaller and midsize companies cannot even compete for empty space. Ad space owners mostly prefer to leave the space empty than get lower prices and spoil their market.

RTB will eliminate any mandatory minimum bidding process and the need for brokers and intermediaries, allowing smaller buyers to bid fairly for free ad space. Since the digital format allows multiple creatives to share the same media unit, media owners can optimize revenue from a single unit by selling watch time to more than one advertiser.

Keep reading:The 5 Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms for 2020 and BeyondOpen a new window

(Video) How OOH leads the way in dynamic advertising

Challenges in the DOOH programmatic approach:

  • The need for advertiser awareness and education: DOOH adoption depends on all stakeholders in the ecosystem reaping the benefits of programmatic commerce, including media agency, advertisers and marketers, audience targeting, dynamic content, and campaign optimization in-flight, and make sure programmatic marketers understand that OOH is a one-to-many medium, so some digital programmatic techniques need to be adapted for pDOOH.
  • Industry fragmentation:Media buyers have called for more consistency in defining the specifications of OOH ad formats and media entities. This makes it easier to select units to buy across channels and larger geographic spreads (eg DOOH and smartphones or kiosks and CCTV).
  • More standardizationindustry measures, metrics, and applicable regulations related to audience and media performance measurement, attribution, and audience segments. For example, an industry standard definition of what constitutes an impression or how dynamic creative pricing should be monitored.

Keep reading:What is display advertising? Definition, Orientation Process, Management, Network, Types and ExamplesOpen a new window

Top 6 trends for digital outdoor advertising (DOOH) in 2020

1. The rise of programmatic DOOH:As we've discussed thus far, pDOOH is the way of DOOH, not just because technology makes it possible, but because there is a very real need for media buyers to integrate any type of media into a centralized programmatic console.

2. Stronger connections between mobile location marketing and DOOH:This is pretty much a no-brainer as mobile location data marketing lends itself very well to an ongoing or extended brand experience with DOOH. For example, when a known customer walks into a supermarket, he can not only receive offers and coupons based on his location, time of day, weather, etc. on your smart device, but the advertising media displayed on OOH media units can also be customized to fit your context, say in the aisle you are in right now.

3. Dynamic creativity based on data:From the DOOH display, which can read data from smart devices on the fly to personalize creatives, to facial recognition and contextual advertising, DOOH is getting smarter every day. With rapid technological advances in video, voice, AR/VR, and the upcoming 5G revolution, advertisers can expect real-time intelligence to power DOOH entities with the data they need for campaign optimization on the go.

4. More brands will use DOOH to offer true omnichannel marketing

More and more brands value the fact that DOOH is the only form of digital advertising that extends beyond the consumer's personal devices, thereby closing a key gap in brand engagement across multiple channels, devices, and platforms. This trend is expected to gain momentum with the advent of digital signage kiosks that are compatible for indoor and outdoor use.

For example, the Marvel's Avengers movies have been promoted with one of the most crossover ad campaigns in theaters. From online ads on YouTube, social networks and search engines (all of which were compatible with devices of all kinds) to television, newspapers and DOOH! New York cities recently installed public Internet access points, advertising screens lit up with Avenger commercials as people walked by on the sidewalks. This will also be followed by standard DOOH advertising on digital screens at subway entrances, commuter train screens (where available) and in popular public places. In other words, a true omnichannel ad campaign definitely helped expand the Marvel and Avengers brands beyond their initial popularity and reach newer audiences.What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)? Definition, benefits, programmatic approach, trends and examples | spice plants (3)

Popular example of DOOH 1

What is Digital Out of Home (DOOH)? Definition, benefits, programmatic approach, trends and examples | spice plants (4)

(Video) Webinar - Digital Production Flow Optimization and Digital Inspection of Really Large Assemblies.

Popular example of DOOH 2

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5. DOOH complements online and television advertising

According to a 2012 report from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), simply adding OOH advertising to your media mix can increase the effectiveness of TV advertising by 18% and online advertising (especially mobile) by 316 %. Today's DOOH screens are much more immersive, innovative (for example, advertising screens in street kiosks with free Wi-Fi) and effective.

This is because these ads drive searches for brands across the web, with a reach of 98% on OOH (which is evolving towards DOOH). The most impulsive action of consumers today is to Google what they find interesting. It should come as no surprise that public announcements drive brand searches online, and this has a greater cumulative impact when combined with online and television advertising.

6. New DOOH platforms will increase advertising effectiveness and improve metrics

DOOH platforms are evolving. The 1950s invention of large billboards on roadsides and in public squares is much less effective today in the digital age. As brands push for more immersive forms of advertising with mobile, VR, and big-screen HDTVs, DOOH is pushed to evolve.

Above, we show how Avenger movie screens take advantage of public kiosks, which is more than just another form of display – it's a form of utility, as these kiosks provide in-range public access points. The screen size is also closer to human size, making the viewing experience more immersive, just like a TV screen. And these ads are actually used by the government to fund these free public hotspots. Connected to the Internet, these kiosks deliver live ad impression data to the dashboard of their demand-side platforms for marketers to monitor in real time.

Both the technology and the monetary business model of DOOH are evolving. Rather than just being a showcase of commercials, DOOH has the opportunity to benefit the public, which is, after all, your target audience.

(Video) How purpose-led brands win customers and stand the test of time | Broadsign Webinar


What is programmatic digital out-of-home? ›

Programmatic refers to the automated buying and selling of media based on data-driven decisions. Programmatic Digital OOH offers access to vibrant, large format digital screens in the same platforms used to activate your existing programmatic campaigns.

What is the trend of digital out-of-home? ›

The digital technology trend: by 2025, DOOH alone is expected to reach 32% of total OOH ad spend. According to a DPAA study, 81% of advertisers will recommend DOOH in their media plans. Currently, store traffic has returned to pre-pandemic numbers and digital technologies have seen a sharp increase.

What is digital out-of-home advertising example? ›

The most prominent and probably the best example of DOOH advertising are the digital billboard signs that showcase your brand ads everywhere- from the packed-up freeways to motel rooftops. Studies indicate that 81% of users engage with brands whose billboards they come across.

What is DOOH digital advertising? ›

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a modern take on out-of-home, powered by digital signage technologies. Compared with traditional printed media, digital screens are dynamic—they can activate the right message to the right target audience at the right time.

What are the 4 main components of programmatic? ›

Four major components make up the basic framework of a programmatic advertising ecosystem. A demand side platform (DSP), supply side platform (SSP), data management platform (DMP), and an ad exchange. Each part of the system works together to serve both publishers and advertisers and allow them to trade effectively.

What does programmatic mean in digital? ›

Programmatic advertising is the use of automated technology for media buying (the process of buying advertising space), as opposed to traditional (often manual) methods of digital advertising.


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