Earlier this week I had lunch with a smart OOH (out-of-home advertising) executive. His company is one of the largest OOH companies in the business. Not all that long ago (twenty years) OOH advertising primarily consisted of billboards and stadium signs, which are really another type of billboard, and the tops of taxicabs.
Today OOH exists in many places that when first noticed appeared a bit out of place. Like elevators and bathrooms (above the urinal displays are becoming more popular every day). Digital OOH advertising has been game changing both for advertisers as well as media providers. The new darling term of display advertising (and now television) – programmatic buying has already begun in the area of digital OOH ads.
The OAAA Outdoor Advertising Association of American reported that in 2014 OOH constituted 5.1% of total advertising spend. Below is the list of the 2014 top 20 OOH USA advertisers.
Top 20 OOH Advertisers
Warner Bros Pictures
20th Century Fox Pictures
Cracker Barrel Old Country Restaurant
My associate and I were discussing that creating interactive OOH ads have a long way to go before they provide true utility to passers-by. OK maybe that was my having said that. But he understood my point and did not disagree that creating easier methods of interaction on the part of viewers of an outdoor ad was a work in progress. When it comes to an OOH many people feel that the average viewing opportunity is less than seven seconds. Not much time to get a message across at least not one that requires any deep interaction.
When you look at the list of the top 20 OOH advertisers it becomes clear that all of those brands have no need to ‘explain’ what is their brand and it’s promise. They advertise in OOH platforms because driving the brand toward top of mind is effective. And as he and I talked about it’s even more effective when part of a multi-channel marketing effort.
Because of the specific geography of OOH product, distributors like to see outdoor advertising near the places of business of their customers since it allows them to point out that there is support for their business right around the corner. If we are talking about a coffee shop that makes sense as the message is easily understood. However if the OOH unit is for a new product, or something that is somewhat complex it would less than ideal (to say the least). Unless there is other channel in-market support that would offer some point of reference – don’t do it. Remember – in OOH advertising there are less than seven seconds to get your message across.
With attention spans diminishing by the day I believe OOH advertising can actually be ahead of the curve since it plays into the snackable content shift. For that reason I believe there are better years for OOH ahead as the move continues away from traditional static roadside billboards.
Do you notice pass certain OOH ads on a regular basis?