Why DOOH Advertising is Big Thing…

Basically Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising is about reaching target consumers while out at work, travelling, in transit, shopping or socializing. DOOH is its Digital offspring.

According to a Posterscope USA OOH consumer survey, 23% of 18-34s search while on the street; 26% search while travelling on a bus/train/car; and 26% shop while on their mobile. This trend is not only an American exclusive. It is being experienced almost everywhere, like in South Africa poised to become the World’s 16th OOH market with revenues of the order of R5.1 Billion. South Africa also tops the continent in terms of digitized OOH sector, with a R1.7 billion-worth market.

However, OOH advertising is not a new concept. It is indeed, one of the oldest known forms of advertising, that had to do with billboards, sign-boards, posters mainly. With advertisement skipping technologies, home is tending to become an advert-free haven. OOH advertising just needed to be revamped… re-invented, at a time when most people thought that technological revolution would get humans to spend more time behind static screens at home. It only went the other way round…

Smart urbanization, ultra mobility, digital and social innovation are all concurrently changing the way advertising is being conveyed. In contrast with traditional commercial publicity, where static adverts and commercials would mostly reach us in our homes, mostly via conventional TV and Radio, today’s advertising environment and usage have radically changed.

Today, advertising goes far beyond the simple act of displaying sophisticated messages. OOH Advertising, through its digital component, is now the perfect medium for relevant and precise mass communication exercises, where information exchange goes both ways; down to the target group and more importantly, up from the individual, to feed the Internet of Things….

Why is it seen as one most profitable endeavour ?

In its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019, PriceWaterhouseCoopers suggests that OOH will lead the industry granting an impressive CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of the order of 13.2%.

It also points out that in 2019, Singapore and London will see +60% and +53% of their OOH revenue coming from DOOH. This tends to prove that the OOH market is on a sustainable dynamic up-trend fuelled by phenomenons like sustained urbanization and booming digitization.

The role of Urbanization in OOH resurgence

In 2016, it is expected, for example, that two thirds of South African population will be urban based, and this type of move seems to be a worldwide trend. Urban areas are going to be, if are not already, the next place where consumer concentration and behaviour will determine the type of advertising industry of this millennium.

Urbanization brings people-on-the-go, with a constant affluence of captive audiences, more tech consumption and even more importantly, more mobility. Such new way of life brings new psychology, new mindsets and new approaches towards consumption and message conveyance. A recent study by YuMe and IPG Media Lab suggest that consumers are 41% more receptive to advertising in public places than at home… and in urban areas people tend to be more out-of-home, between work, commutes and socializing.

OOH in 2016, is Tech-driven

30% of people exposed to an OOH advertisement, have searched online afterwards, said Exterion Media’s Activating Europe 2013, a pan European research study, in 2011.
… By now this figure should be close to 40% and rising.

One of the most meaningful breakthroughs of all time, was that of social media. With it, in less than 15 years, there has been what can be called a convergence of resources, that readily placed advertising at the center of redesigned revenue models.

Social Media had that capacity at fast driving consumer technology and habits at next levels. It even triggered accessibility to more innovative technologies like the Cloud and the Internet of Things, amongst more…

In fact, Social Media came in as very disruptive. It contributed heavily at bringing the notion of engagement at the heart of the Marketing sphere and this changed many things. The appearance of free apps, freemium games and a new generation of digital services, compelled mobile phone builders, for instance, to rethink their hardware, software and marketing strategies. With all that structural reshuffle, came new ways of making advertisement more sociable… more accessible… more “broadcastable”. With Wearable technology, marketing can now reach each and everyone at any time, anywhere, even when not at home… and retrieve information from the user’s experience.

Yesterday’s billboards, posters and signboards have become touch-sensitive screens… Tablets and other laptops are today’s Traditional newspapers, Magazines and Library… PCs have become the new Television and Radio sets… and Smartphones are the shortcut to all of these… when linked to the Internet.

Enter : DOOH (Digital Out of Home)

The tangible carriers of OOH are infinite, even if the best known to-date are, Street-level kiosks, bus shelters, and shopping malls. With business model revolutions in the OTT (Over The Top) sector, other innovative outlets are finding their way to accommodate the Digital version.

In 2016, there are serious signs that point towards the significant Digital Out-of-Home advertising tsunami. Dedicated streamed video/ audio advertising, Intelligent Interactive booths, Low cost ad self-production, etc… everything has become affordable and possible.

2014 market research from PQ Media showed 8.6 % growth rate increase in the consumer exposure time to DOOH media. When in 2013, consumers made eye-contact with DOOH media for a weekly average of 14 minutes, rocketing from 8 minutes in 2007, this exposure time is estimated to rise to 20 minutes per week in 2017. If for an individual this figure might seem to be just insignificant or « anecdotique », for media companies that prey on mass effect, this means an increase in spending and substantial returns in form of a 14% growth in revenues, against a 4.1% growth for traditional channels. These figures are proving to be right these days.

One of the main reasons for such an expected boom is the democratization and attraction power of all-digital communication media channels. People are actually turning away from static billboards and lower-margin traditional displays are making place for dynamic digital screens.

On an other side, the flash evolution of the social innovation sector has changed the rules by adding the notion of engagement into the ways of advertising. The ever-growing use of Social Media is turning OOH advertising into a an efficient strategic choice and a perfect seeding option.


The media business has thoroughly changed. People are relentlessly on the move, Commuting, Working, Socializing away from home. In this world of absolute mobility of both people and information, traditional OOH advertising is undergoing a serious mutation that is making it bigger and more effective, with its digital offspring. OOH and DOOH are to be seen as indissociable support to social media marketing, online commerce and conventional advertising.

Any learned marketor shall now appreciate that conventional billboards can no longer stand alone as the brand authority flagship, nor shall a traditional campaign profitably exist without a total rethink of the OOH and DOOH component.

In fact, the time is right to invest in innovative DOOH solutions.

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