Believe the hype around digital OOH

Digital video out-of-home (OOH) advertising is one of the fastest growing sectors of advertising in the US. It grew more than 20% in 2008. According to PQ Media and Veronis Suhler, this sector produces $1.3 billion in annual media spending. There isn’t too much hype about this sector; in fact, there’s far too little.

The promise of place-based marketing hinges on moving marketing communications closer to the point of consumer consideration. Also, companies who deliver place-based video deliver that proximity – usually with compelling reach, frequency and value. Place-based video networks offer highly compelling rationale for advertisers and media agencies to rethink their media plans. The media act like intimate, highly targeted billboards. Messages can be addressed as precisely as clients’ desire. Advanced place-based digital networks combine the power of databases and Internet tools and protocols to allow targeting to any screen in any location at any time.

Often, the space represents an exceptional value. On a CPM basis, place-based video screens deliver viewers affordably, often in the neighborhood of $15 nationally. The surge in digital out-of-home advertising by companies is reflective of its ability to engage and create high aware­ness. According to a 2008 OTX report, digital signage advertising has stopping power. Sixty-three percent of adults said that it catches their attention, which was the highest level reported across all media surveyed.

One of the most profound challenges to place-based advertising is where to fit it into agencies’ silos. Planners have the responsibility to allocate budgets in order to optimize results for their clients. To make things easier for agency buyers, the digital video OOH sector is moving to standardize research metrics and units. Companies are auditing and reporting audience counts, demos, engage­ment time and ad impressions delivered.

Because ads on place-based digital video screens are consumed at varying lengths, creative on these screens should have the brand and call to action — whether Web, text, Bluetooth, or 1-800 number — in nearly continuous view. Creative on these screens can be brand-driven, but can and should be offer-driven as well. For example, Starbucks could feature a new drink on screens that allow viewers’ to text for a trial offer and deliver a coupon code or multimedia barcode to them instantly.

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