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Out-Of-Home Advertising: How the Underdog Medium Is Staying Relevant While Growing

August 27, 2019

The state of Out-of-Home (OOH) billboards that decorate our highways and that capture our attention while driving, is changing. This is a positive evolution for the medium — and the change is happening right before our eyes.

As an OOH specialist, I love this medium and know that it is the underdog of media (By “underdog,” I’m referring to the fact that while only 5% of advertising dollars is spent on this medium, it packs a punch). By 2022, while most of the other traditional channels (aside from digital) will have shown decreases in spending, OOH is anticipated to have remained steady. I’m proud to report, the Out of Home Advertising Association just revealed the highest growth in the industry since 2007 – actually up 7% for 2019 across all OOH channels with Digital OOH revenue representing 31% in Q2! So, why is this medium so relevant in today’s media world?

OOH has been reinventing itself.  In the last several years, OOH companies have added or converted some 8,000 billboards to digital, which was no small feat financially. They gambled that digital billboards would make more money because of their ability to provide creative flexibility, accommodate more advertisers on a single board, and convey a higher production quality. The payoff for digital OOH is that advertisers can change up their creative artwork without the additional installation cost. They can align their message to concur with weather (for example, 7 Eleven can change its message from hot coffee to a cold Slurpee when the temperature rises to 85F). Likewise, once an Innsbrook Afterhours concert concludes, the venue can immediately advertise the next one. RSS feeds are now implemented where local hospitals can advertise their wait time and lottery companies can advertise their jackpot amounts in real time. OOH can garner more engagement by allowing consumers to share photos for contests, to vote for their favorite foods at local festivals, to upload and share their favorite Valentine (wouldn’t you like to be on a 14’ x 48’ billboard?), and can uniquely assist with the real-time execution of any number of other creative ideas.

Moving forward, OOH has now instituted geofencing and programmatic marketing to capture the eyes of Generation Z who, by the way, don’t like clicking on ads when browsing websites, but do love their smartphones. Let’s say that a Gen Zer is looking at a bank ad on a billboard. OOH companies can now pick up your IP Address so that the advertiser can continue to market to you over the next 30 days on that smartphone.

Google, Netflix and other digital companies are seeing digital OOH as a needed addition to their marketing plans. Why? Because DOOH reacts quickly and they see the value of an integrated approach with broader digital marketing efforts. Growth continues to come into play with OOH companies including more digital additions in their proposals – not only for digital boards, but for tactics including search retargeting, contextual targeting and event targeting.

OOH realizes we’re “multi-taskers”, consuming media differently. They’re embracing this, blurring the lines of traditional and digital media while targeting you even more. By layering in these programmatic options, the media underdog takes ad placements up a notch yet again. Should OOH be a part of your media plan? That’s something that we can evaluate for you at LMP, but if you’re not considering it, signs say you’ll be missing out.

Vickie Brooks