By Liveposter’s Digital Development Director, Adam Cherry

OOH may be the oldest form of broadcast media, but data and technology have completely revolutionised the industry, from both an infrastructure and planning point of view, and they will continue to do so.  It’s no real surprise why: data and technology are facilitating some of the best dynamic advertising in the market.  Dynamic, or contextual, OOH advertising uses data to create, change and serve audiences with the most relevant and engaging ads, whatever the moment calls for.  It also makes OOH campaigns work much harder.

Dynamic campaigns can be activated whatever the budget and with research proving that it increases all elements of campaign performance, advertisers are reappraising how OOH can be used for their brands.  In fact, the number of campaigns running dynamic within OOH comms activity increased by 54% in 2018.

Consumers’ attitudes and behaviour are also being led by technology, we now spend over 5.7 hours a day looking at a connected device. With the advancement of access to useful content, people expect to be able to get relevant content and services wherever they are.  In fact, 49% of all young adults in the UK notice messages if they are more relevant to their current situation, whilst 40% of all adults globally want more brands to display content relevant to them. The rise of brands in the digital economy, such as Uber, Deliveroo and Prime Now, are testament to this.

Our actions on mobiles and online create a wealth of insight that can be used to plan better and more effective OOH campaigns. For example, it is now possible to understand which poster locations over-index against an audience that look at fashion content on their mobile phones, and the OOH selection can reflect that.

Many believe that OOH has reached its ‘big bang’ moment, as technology, data and infrastructure are seamlessly coming together to enable a new era of efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers. There’s now more than 18,000 Digital OOH (DOOH) sites in the UK and that aggressive digital focus will continue into 2019.  Fifty percent of OOH revenue will be digital, and digital alone will be able to reach 50% of the population, making it the ideal complement to a standard two-week traditional broadcast campaign or as a stand-alone.

This trend will only continue as more advertisers recognise the benefits that dynamic can add to their OOH campaigns such as:

  • Dynamic allows a brand to speak to its audience in the way that they want, providing consumers with more reactive and relevant content. OOH has traditionally been known as a broadcast medium that enables a brand to tell a story but with dynamic the story or message can be tailored to the moment, to the location and the context.
  • Dynamic increases the performance of OOH campaigns. People are subjected to a staggering 10,000 brand messages a day across all media channels. One way to cut through this clutter and be more memorable is to ensure that your brand message is as relevant as possible, and we know through proprietary research that over 50% of people expect DOOH advertising to be more relevant to them. Furthermore, campaign research across 12 separate campaigns delivered by Posterscope, demonstrates that by making an ad message more relevant increases message memorability by over 40%. Sales increased too.  When Pimm’s created a live feed using Wi-Fi footfall trackers in nearby pub gardens to show post work commuters where to their thirst on a hot summer’s evening, it created a strong affinity with the summer and saw sales increase by 13percent.  A direct result of using localised OOH media and dynamic copy.
  • A centralized ad serving platform allows brands react to situations in real-time. During this year’s World Cup, Heinz featured topical content reacting to specific tournament moments.  For example, the creative messaging “Swe – Done” went live within 30 minutes of England winning the quarter final.

Despite these proven benefits though, the industry still faces challenges that limit the potential growth of dynamic. A common misconception is that the reward does not merit the effort, both in terms of time and investment, but this is simply not true. The increase in turn-key, off the shelf products has significantly reduced the time, effort and cost of setting up and running dynamic DOOH campaigns.

Quite often, the perception is that dynamic is solely used for big budget campaigns requiring a lot of new innovative techniques or creativity.  As a result, it is dropped from a media plan if the brief doesn’t require a “media first” or a “special”.  However, dynamic DOOH is appropriate for briefs and budgets of all levels and this is demonstrated by the variety of industry award-winning campaigns that feature its use.  Dynamic should be considered the new gold standard when activating any DOOH campaign.

Media owners are continually expanding and upgrading their DOOH portfolios with an estimated £100m spent in the past few years on new screens. DOOH can now reach 32.3m UK adults in just one week, delivering 833m impressions in that time (Source: Route).  Advertisers’ adoption of dynamic, along with the growth of the DOOH inventory, has led to 30% of all DOOH spend being dynamically enabled.  Until now only 16% of all DOOH spend was dynamic. This level of adoption will continue to grow with an estimated 50% of all DOOH spend to be dynamic by the end of 2020.

There are dynamic opportunities in every digital channel but more often than not, the dynamic is planned in silos and the opportunity to combine data and insights across digital platforms is missed.

Advertisers and agencies need to consider the role for dynamic across all digital media channels when planning. Dynamic provides brands with the best platform to speak to the right audience in the way that they want to be spoken to, and with a central dynamic strategy an advertiser can ensure a consistent and relevant message across all channels.

What’s not to like?

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Posterscope has invested significantly in creating the most sophisticated suite of planning tools globally. ECOS, our end-to-end campaign management and automation platform, which includes advanced mapping systems, insight & data analysis, and the integration of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data, allows for an unmatched level of planning relevance that provides advertisers not only with more targeted campaigns, but also with campaigns that perform better.

Some advertisers are leading the way in their use of dynamic, where it’s seen as an essential asset to help delivery against their OOH strategy. Diageo, for example, use dynamic for the majority of their DOOH activity across their entire brand portfolio. The uses range from weather-triggered messaging for Summer drinks such as Smirnoff Cider, or the incorporation of social media, through to driving people into nearby pubs and bars based on the venue footfall, with different brands activated depending on a variety of different triggers.

Whilst other advertisers are adopting an always-ready approach to DOOH. With this model, an advertiser can have a bank of stored poster creatives which can be activated at short notice based upon criteria, such as extra media value being released, an advertiser shifting priorities and even real-time data such as the weather. As an example, Highways England’s Driving Safety campaign, over the winter months, only ran on roadside screens when it was raining.

As the industry further matures, there will be an increased opportunity for combined optimisation of media and creative collectively, where data can be used to trigger both the media and the creative. This has been trialled with a few brands already.