out of home advertising


By Gabriela Barkho.

For years, startup brands have used out-of-home advertising campaigns in major cities to get people talking about them.

From Thinx’s provocative subway ads to Casper’s Broadway-inspired billboard campaigns, the goal for many out-of-home campaigns has long been to get more people to remember their brand, share photos of the activations in social media, and, hopefully, ink some sales down the line.

That is largely still in place for many new brand advertisers. However, as profitability has become a bigger concern and marketing budgets have shrunk, more brands are weighing whether the money spent on splashy billboards is worth it. Increasingly, outdoor advertising is viewed as more than just a top-of-funnel channel. Now, companies are using it to target particular groups of shoppers, and help drive sales by running OOH campaigns in areas that are close to where products are stocked.

Brands like Saint James, Dagne Dover and Coterie, for example, are using OOH to not only build brand awareness but also to drive sales at particular events, promote new product launches and change people’s perceptions of their brand.

Kevani founder Kevin Bartanian, whose out-of-home media company specializes in localized advertising, said, “Traditionally, back in the late 1800s, out-of-home started out directional and had a clear call to action.” But when DTC brands began embracing the channel years ago, they saw it as an opportunity to create clever or provocative campaigns. By virtue of being venture capital-backed, these brands had the cash to buy out big billboard placements. Particularly for DTC brands, they viewed an OOH campaign as a significant company milestone, as it was a way to bring their presence offline and into the real world.

But in recent years, the goals of OOH campaigns have gotten more granular.

“Here in the real world, we have real-life ‘cookies’ that can be leveraged,” Bartanian said. For example, he said, brands can use digital, AI-powered displays that can be programmed to target local demographics in each city — and promote a nearby retailer where customers can purchase the product.

Venturing off Instagram and into the real world  

Indeed, digitally-native brands testing the out-of-home waters are trying to be more intentional with their investment in this channel.

One example is Coterie — a diaper brand that launched in 2019 — which is using its first major OOH campaign to establish brand awareness with the help of Coterie investor and brand ambassador Karlie Kloss.

More specifically, the goal of the test is to target areas that are frequented by children and their high-income parents who may be interested in Coterie’s diapers. Starting February 5, Coterie kicked off a four-week run of the out-of-home campaign in its key markets of New York City and Los Angeles, which featured Kloss and several babies wearing Coterie.

The company’s director of brand marketing, Brittany Deems, told Modern Retail the idea was to utilize storytelling to showcase modern parenting. Deems said featuring Kloss, who has appeared on countless billboards throughout her career promoting fashion brands, is a way to spark enough interest for passersby to at least look up the brand she’s promoting.

“Karlie has been on a lot of billboards, but you’ve never seen her on a billboard with babies,” Deems said. “You also don’t see a lot of diaper brands in out of home, so it’s a good medium to stand out.” The concept’s theme, Deems said, leans into debunking expectations of modern parenting after having a baby. “Seeing Karlie wrangling babies, we’re conveying that being a parent doesn’t take away from what you do for a career,” Deems explained.

Some of the biggest Coterie placements include the City National Bank wall on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard and Wythe Ave & N. 12th in Williamsburg. Additionally, digital video OOH placements went live across select malls, including Century City in Topanga and San Diego’s Westfields. In addition, the campaign is being cross-promoted on Coterie’s social channels, email, Instagram and TikTok to drive added views and engagement.

The company will assess metrics after the campaign’s run wraps up. But Deems said in New York and Los Angeles, thus far average sessions on Coterie’s website have increased by 20% and 18% week-over-week, respectively.

Meanwhile, iced tea brand Saint James, which launched in 2022, is another company delving into out-of-home ads, but is timing them with specific performance goals in mind. Saint James president and CEO Brad Neumann said out-of-home has been performing well for the beverage brand. Its first foray was a Times Square ad that announced the brand’s launch. To track the outdoor campaigns’ performance, the company places QR code coupons on billboards and wild postings.

Saint James’ next major out-of-home push is set for this spring. For Stagecoach and Coachella festivals, Neumann said the company will have “billboards along routes out in the desert heading towards the event,” which will promote the brand’s sampling activations on Coachella’s festival grounds. Select Uber riders will be met with coolers of iced tea when they get into their ride, with those vehicles also featuring car wrap Saint James ads. “We’re going to look at how many bottles and samples were distributed at Coachella, and the net sales from Stagecoach – where we’ll be sold at all concession stands,” Neumann said.

Moreover, Neumann said the brand’s OOH strategy is doubling as a means to target retail buyers and shoppers. The brand began to roll out in Costco at the end of February and is running OOH placements near the highest-grossing Costco locations around the country.

“Right now we’re trying to get into Whole Foods — so I’m taking out a bunch of billboards in the Austin area near their headquarters,” Neumann said, quipping that if a buyer is faced with seeing the brand’s teas daily, “you’re going to return my call.”

On the other end of the spectrum, brands experienced with the ad format are now viewing OOH’s role as an effective customer conversion tool and not just an awareness play.

Out-of-home advertising is not new to bag brand Dagne Dover, as the company has been running billboard and subway ads for nearly a decade. Deepa Gandhi, co-founder and COO at Dagne Dover, said the company’s latest OOH campaign was centered on promoting its new travel bag collection; The campaign ran throughout the fourth quarter of 2023 to align with the new product launch and holiday season.

“We launched our Travel 1.0 collection in late 2023 and this was a perfect moment to tell the story of Dagne Dover and our new collection through targeted OOH placements in high commuter and traveler locations,” Gandhi said. These New York City spots include Moynihan Station, Long Island Rail Road trains and JFK International Airport.

“The focus of the campaign was to pique the interest of potential customers to learn more about our fantastic products through strong imagery and enticing copy,” she said. Dagne Dover’s bag organization features are the most important value proposition to highlight, so the creatives specifically targeted travelers’ lifestyle needs. For instance, packing videos of Dagne Dover’s best-selling commuter bags ran on LIRR’s digital screens.

Evolving expectations

Over time, Gandhi said, the brand’s expectations of OOH’s impact have leveled up — with an increased aim to target more specific demographics that are likely to purchase the bags.

“It has definitely evolved,” Gandhi said. “With our first push on NYC subways, we were a much younger brand, so we saw this immediate pop in traffic in NYC during rush hour.” The company began to monitor whether the traffic is steadily increasing in the areas where Dagne Dover has done OOH pushes. Gandhi said this is because the now-established brand now experiences “a steadier flow of traffic to site from all major markets at all times.”

With the recent travel-themed campaign, Gandhi said the company ended up seeing increased interest in demographics outside of its target audience of young urban professionals. In turn, the new conversions skewed toward suburban commuters.

When entering into channels like OOH, Gandhi said the hope is to expand a brand’s top-of-funnel reach. “Being able to appeal to demographics outside of our ‘norm’ was a huge win,” she said. Another on-the-ground finding was that Dagne Dover started to physically spot more of its products in the areas where it had longer placements, like on the LIRR commuter trains. “This is the best proof point of the OOH placements resonating with specific audiences,” she said. To build on the momentum, the company expanded the campaign in some of its key designated market areas like Dallas and Austin as it continues to expand its footprint across the country.

Despite the increased use of data to target specific marketsthe OOH format largely has had the same perception for decades: that is, that it’s solely an awareness play. “The basic fundamentals of out-of-home have largely stayed the same,” Bartanian said. “It’s a one-to-many way to reach people out in the real world, but now it’s a matter of utilizing this channel in a modern and more effective way.”

But that theory may be changing.

Saint James’ Neumann said investing in billboards can quickly bring legitimacy to a new brand, but it can also double as an effective conversion tool when used in specific instances. “It’s a way to bridge the gap between awareness and a direct call-to-action to promote products at retailers nearby,” Neumann said.

Feature Image Credit: Ivy Liu

By Gabriela Barkho

Sourced from Modern Retail

The sector has fully recovered in the US and is expected to recover worldwide this year, one report says.

As summer roadtrippers likely know, out-of-home advertising is alive and well—or at least alive. The “well” part is up for debate.

Though OOH advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing, it’s kept up with the times and has recovered from the massive downturn it experienced at the onset of Covid. Market research firm Magna called OOH “the success story of 2021 and 2022,” noting that in some countries—including the US—the sector reached pre-pandemic levels by the end of last year, and is on track to “complete a full global recovery” this year.

Other recent reports and OOH company earnings indicate brands will continue campaigning alongside highways, at transit hubs, on vehicles, in the sky, and anywhere else in the world they can find real estate, especially given digital advancements.

“Out-of-home really is a pretty durable, relevant portion of the entertainment and media ecosystem globally,” CJ Bangah, a principal in PwC’s customer transformation practice, told Marketing Brew.

Get out (of home)

In 2021, as Americans ventured back outside, marketers showed renewed interest in OOH campaigns.

As recently as this year, major OOH companies reported increases in Q1 revenue:

  • Outfront Media brought in $376 million in revenue in the US, up 6.3% year over year.
  • Net revenue at Lamar Advertising, a company that operates in the US and Canada, was $471 million, an increase of 4.4%.
  • Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, which operates internationally, reported a 3.8% increase in revenue to $545 million, excluding the impacts of foreign exchange rates.

Those three companies combined hold a 63% share of the US OOH market, which saw $10.1 billion in revenue last year, according to PwC, making it the biggest OOH market in the world.

That being said, OOH is a small channel compared to TV and online advertising. Global spend on OOH is expected to hit almost $40 billion this year, according to Dentsu’s global ad spend forecasts from May, representing about 5% of all global ad spending.

Room to grow

PwC’s report says that “DOOH is the only growth area of the wider OOH market in the US,” driving growth for the overall market, which it projects will be worth $11.5 billion in 2027. Dentsu, which anticipates about a 3% increase in the global OOH market this year after two years of double-digit increases, also attributes much of this growth to DOOH.

Many OOH companies have recently upgraded their screens and software, according to Dentsu, changes that offered advertisers more digital opportunities in OOH with the likes of 3D projections and interactive experiences, plus better targeting capabilities.

Though the type of targeting that happens with OOH typically isn’t as granular as digital platforms like social, it’s essentially “immune” to issues like click fraud, according to PwC. “You may question the models of how cell-phone identifiers and other audience data is measured, but you can’t set up a server farm to have a bunch of humans drive their cars by your out-of-home billboard. It just doesn’t work the same.” Bangah said.

Still, OOH hasn’t been spared from the industry’s move toward more privacy-oriented ways of targeting audiences. While the sector might not rely on trackers like the third-party cookie, it still uses customer data—like mobile IDs from opted-in devices—in digital campaigns. Recently, companies like Clear Channel have invested in privacy-centric tools like clean rooms.

Looking up

Like any advertising channel, OOH is subject to changing economic conditions. For instance, PwC’s report points out that entertainment and media companies, who are among the biggest OOH spenders, would likely “refocus their budgets” if an economic downturn leads to fewer new movies and shows to promote (though the report does not take the current writers and actors strikes into account). But, the report says that digital OOH opportunities will “outweigh” that potential change.

Kevin Bartanian, founder of OOH media sales company Kevani, said 90% of its inventory is digital, which brands appreciate because it lets them create campaigns that are “contextually relevant” to changing situations, like quickly updating creative to incorporate masks during the early era of Covid.

Bartanian also said he hasn’t noticed a pullback in spending associated with talk of a recession, even though entertainment is one of Kevani’s biggest verticals.

Though OOH is “coming in from a place where we have a very small portion of the overall advertising pie,” Bartanian said the industry has a bright future. Recently, brands ranging from Supergoop to Tinder have upped their investments in OOH advertising.

“Digital tools are now helping us really make that transaction process a lot easier for brands and agencies to conduct, and the measurement is there now, and all sorts of attribution data is available,” he said. “I think all those things represent a lot of growth for us.”

Feature Image Credit: Kevani

By Alyssa Meyers

Sourced from Marketing Brew


Many people think they know what OOH advertising is, but some perceptions are still very much stuck in the past.

As marketing has increasingly moved in a digital direction over the past two decades, a lot of myths and misconceptions have prevailed about “traditional” media channels. This is especially true for out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Many people think they know what OOH advertising is, but some perceptions are still very much stuck in the past.

The truth is, OOH has changed a lot over the past few years.  So here are nine reasons you should consider allocating more budget to OOH advertising in the coming year. Hopefully, you’ll come away with an entirely new appreciation of outdoor advertising, including its ability to amplify your other traditional and digital marketing efforts in a big way.

1. OOH goes way beyond brand marketing

In the past, OOH advertising was primarily used for brand marketing campaigns — think Times Square or Sunset Boulevard, where the billboards dwarf everything around them with the splashiest possible brand advertising. However, the original focus of OOH was to drive an immediate, direct response that viewers could perform even before returning home, and it still has the power to do that. In addition, OOH can also drive offline-to-online responses, because prospects can immediately take action on their phones. A study from Nielsen found that OOH is the most effective offline medium in driving online activity – delivering four times more online activity per dollar spent than TV, radio and print. This factor gives OOH huge potential to be included in any marketing mix, not just brand advertising.

2. OOH is much more than just billboards

While billboards play a substantial role in OOH, the medium is much bigger than this particular ad format. Outdoor advertising includes a range of ad formats from murals to transport wraps, branded food packaging and street furniture such as park benches. OOH can use practically any real-world surface available, and companies employing the full range of opportunities can increase their chances of reaching an audience at multiple touchpoints during a day.

3. OOH is affordable

OOH advertising has the reputation of being expensive, but it actually offers the lowest cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of all traditional media. With an average CPM of around $5, it’s a steal compared to other options available. The belief that OOH is expensive stems from the cost of billboards in places like Times Square, but it’s the location, not the medium, that determines the price. And it’s possible to uncover high-value placements even in popular locations like Times Square if you have the right data and technology at your fingertips. For advertisers looking to drive real results in a specific geographical area, there are multiple ways to do so on any budget.

4. OOH is accessible for everyone

In the past, buyers had to have close, 1-to-1 relationships with OOH media owners to get the advertising real estate they wanted at a reasonable price. Now, with OOH buying platforms, tools that offer real-time inventory availability, historical pricing data and historical performance data, buyers can access the information they need to determine which placements will give them the best return on their ad spend. The best platforms also offer pre-negotiated, low rates, so buyers can forego the hassle of haggling with media owners.

5. Local expertise is not necessary

Before OOH data tools existed, media buyers needed local expertise to uncover OOH ad placements. However, now that advertisers can search, target and measure 98% of available inventory with OOH buying platforms, the need for local expertise is obsolete. Additionally, with the data and insights built into these new tools, any media buyer has the information at their fingertips to plan and buy effective OOH placements that deliver a stellar performance.

6. OOH is easy to execute

In the past, executing OOH advertising was a long, laborious process that included sourcing, RFP-ing, haggling over price, creative development, approval, production, proofing and eventual installation. Today, some OOH buying platforms have shortened this process, even for static OOH. And since the rise of programmatic digital OOH, brands can buy and launch campaigns in 48 hours. Buyers and managers can modify, pause and resume their ads in real-time. The OOH tools available allow advertisers to perform ad buying and execution faster than ever before.

7. OOH is data-driven

One of the most powerful aspects of the newly tech-savvy OOH world is that advertisers can target audiences precisely. Ad buyers use data to pinpoint the exact OOH units most likely to reach their target audiences, and can even layer in first-party data to build accurate lookalike audiences.

Third-party, anonymized foot traffic and mobility data help advertisers understand consumer movement patterns at a granular level and identify areas with the highest densities of specific customer segments. This means companies can buy OOH ad units in areas where they will have the best possible chance of being seen.

8. OOH is measurable

Every advertiser wants to know what return they’re getting on their ad spend. With the right tools, today’s ad buyers can track, isolate and compare performance for both digital and static OOH media. They can accurately assess offline-to-online conversions, measure ROI and optimize their campaigns in real time to produce excellent results.

9. There’s lots of inventory

Many people mistakenly believe that OOH advertising operates within a highly consolidated marketplace. This couldn’t be further from the truth. OOH buying platforms make it possible to reach the many independent media owners in every market, opening doors to one-stop negotiations for strategically located placements.

OOH advertising has changed tremendously over the last few years. With the latest technology, OOH offers advertisers excellent opportunities to plan, buy and execute ad campaigns that deliver results across every objective and campaign KPI. Don’t make the mistake of thinking OOH is outdated. Take a step into the future to see how this advertising option can impact your company’s bottom line.


Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe


Out of home (OOH) advertising has been making fast changes and progress over the past few years, especially in the digital space but according to director of technology and innovation at WCRS, Dino Burbidge, there is still space for traditional OOH. Digital is boundless but it is overly misused and sometimes paper and paste get the job done.

Talking to The Drum ahead of his appointment as a judge for the Creative Out Of Home Awards 2017, Burbidge speaks candidly about OOH and how augmented reality (AR) has changed the playing field.

What has been the most innovative thing you have seen from the industry this year?

What has really impressed me is augmented reality. It is fundamentally going to change the game and that is something I rarely say.

As an example, developers have taken Apple’s ARkit and recreated the Ah-Ha Take on Me music video and that was brilliant. Essentially you look through your camera and augment the singer into your world through the camera. AR may start to challenge out of home in their own back yard.

Imagine in 10 years’ time when nobody is really looking through their eyes anymore because they have augmented eyes. All of a sudden you don’t need a billboard anymore because the advert can be mapped onto a building. You’re looking through a camera and augmenting adverts around you. So, in 20 years’ time, media owners who have a big square attached to a building might just seem a bit weird.

What do you think are the key trends right now?

I am seeing a resurgence in effort from creatives to look at the location of a billboard. But it’s happening in hotspots. Many creatives have become used to writing a big line in their ad and make it fit every billboard. Whereas I’m seeing some interesting examples like the one from BBC World Service who did a really good one in America. It was about seeing both sides of the story and therefore they only put their billboards on corner placements so it had two sides to it. They were using the location to benefit the message.

I think mobile interaction is really interesting. OOH can be very much a passive thing. You see it and you walk away. Whereas if you interact with a mobile you can not only control the screen but also an advertiser has the possibly give you something on your phone that you walk away with. So, it’s not a simple transient experience anymore. It helps that we’re seeing the majority of screens becoming internet connected.

How is location tracking and beacons changing OOH?

Quite frankly they’re not. Beacons are only useful in very small cases. I think they are the big white hope that didn’t deliver. They only work if you have an app that can talk to the beacon. Therefore, if you are an Asda customer and you walk past the screen outside Asda then your app can do something, but for everybody else it’s useless.

Where it will become interesting is the new version of the Apple iOS. It has indoor mapping so you can now go onto Apple Maps and it can map somewhere like Gatwick Airport and tell you where all the shops are. It does that through Wi-Fi beacons but only because Apple Maps can read them. I think it will become useful, but beacons specifically, as an agency, we have never needed to use them and they are only a very closed loop experience.

What is the current mood of the industry?

I think it’s really exciting because nobody knows what is possible and that’s the sort of mood I felt when Flash first came along in the industry. The internet was boring, then along came Flash and it attracted creative people and all of a sudden, they started to question things, break things and make awesome things happen.

Nobody quite knows whether you should be tracking somebody’s phone, taking pictures of them in the street and making them the centre of the billboard, making the billboards move or have them augmented with light projections. Nobody quite knows how exciting it should really be.

Where do you see the industry going in the next 12 months?

A lot of the big media owners are updating their screens with internet connections and so on, but they still have the same people or structures in place and don’t know what to do with them. Where I see OOH going in the next year is people getting their head around the possibilities or getting the right people in to make those choices for them. Right now, it’s a very male dominated industry (many of us have grey hair too) and that’s a diversity problem.

How is digital changing OOH?

Paper and paste is still brilliant for certain things if you don’t want it to change and you need it to be low cost, needs no energy and is very environmentally safe. It’s the carpet bombing of advertising, you need to know it’s there.

Digital is great but it is underused. So, when we say digital, what a lot of people do is still deliver the same printout but they just deliver it as a JPEG and it sits there on a big digital screen and it doesn’t move.

I don’t think the creative agencies have really caught up yet with what the possibilities are. You have someone like Clear Channel and Ocean Outdoor putting amazing screens in everywhere, spending a lot of money doing that and then we are essentially delivering creative that doesn’t take full advantage of it.

The main thing about digitisation at the moment, is anything is possible but I don’t think anybody really has the time to engage with it. That has to change.

As a judge for The Drum Creative Out Of Home Awards 2017, what do you want to see from the entries this year?

Simplicity. Agencies can tend to put their practical brain away when they come up with ideas. I want to see people using the location sympathetically and use it with a mischievous twinkle. It needs to tell a beautiful story and make people stop and look at it. I also want to see something commercial. I think too many charities get though because they have less KPIs to worry about. I want to see a beautifully executed commercial project, that you can say was brave and brilliant.

How important do you think these are awards are to the industry?

It crosses the boundary between advertising and creative and OOH which is a different world altogether. We never interact with media owners and OOH is something that is part of what we do. So The Drum getting involved joins the gap.

Feature Image: Dino Burbidge on out of home advertising and how AR has changed the playing field.


Sourced from The Drum