The Outdoor Advertising Association of America recently recognized Warner Brothers Pictures for excellence in out of home advertising.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America recognized Warner Brothers for excellence in out of home advertising. PHOTO: Outdoor Advertising Association of America

This is the year more advertisers will shift their marketing dollars to digital out of home (OOH) as the space gains traction and acceptance. As CMSWire readers have heard before, OOH — one of the more conventional ad channels — is ripe for transformation by mobile data.

With location data, brands can measure the effectiveness of using marketing channels like TV, mobile, desktop and OOH advertising in tandem to drive results in physical locations. At the same time, online ads continue to feel crowded.

Out of Home advertising can take many forms, including:

  • billboards
  • street furniture (bus stops, phone kiosks, digital signs)
  • transit (airports, buses and taxis)
  • alternative forms (arenas, cinemas and shopping malls)

OOH advertising revenue rose 3.1 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, accounting for $7.6 billion, based on figures released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

OOH spend was up 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 2015. The revenue total marks a record high for OOH with 27 consecutive quarters of growth since the recession.

OOH has set record revenue levels for two consecutive years, and every OOH format grew in 2016, the OAAA reports. OOH continues to grow alongside digital media, while most forms of traditional advertising struggle in today’s audience-fragmented environment, the organization notes.

OOH is ripe for continued growth. Here are four points that illustrate this trend.

Increase in Digital Billboard Inventory

All the major OOH advertising companies, i.e. Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux, Lamar and Outfront, have announced an increase in digital ad units going up to replace traditional static.

This represents an increase in efficiency for both billboard providers and advertisers, including access to more inventory and quicker turnaround times, ease in management and ROI tracking capabilities.

More Brands & Advertisers Break From Social

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat ads may be all the craze. But upon asking advertisers about the results, the sentiment remains: “Not sure what it means, we just know we have to be there.”

Meanwhile, Facebook users, as an example, are becoming savvier when it comes to ignoring these ads and are not engaging with them.

To drive successful online conversations via social media, an idea must first take shape in the offline world. Marketers that were previously only using social media advertising are coming to realize that they were missing that critical first step channel to connecting the two worlds.

New Unique Benefits

More and more advertisers will become comfortable with the idiosyncrasies of digital OOH including the idea of sharing ad-space with others in a loop, in exchange for having their ad appear in high-definition, bright, crystal-clear displays, all front and center of their customer base.

The process of booking the medium will also continue to be made simpler. Traditional billboards require coordinating with someone who works for the billboard company and waiting several weeks for a giant canvas to be printed.

But new and emerging platforms will continue to allow individuals to shop online by clicking the digital billboard they want, uploading their ad, swiping their credit card and instantly go live to hundreds of thousands of people.

Budget Friendly Alternative

The price point to launch a digital OOH campaign will continue to decline to allow more and more advertisers to create campaigns alongside the same budgets required for Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Google AdWords.

At the same time, they achieve an outdoor experience that still has the potential to create viral conversations online. Intelligent advertisers have always known that, now everyone else will start to get on board with it too.

In summary, thanks to the forthcoming increase in the supply of digital billboards, the unique benefits of the medium and declining cost of a campaign, along with the crowded feeling of social media ads, 2017 will see digital OOH advertising continue to provide marketers with an opportunity to make a meaningful branding impact.