Out-of-home: What’s driving digital?

August 28, 2014

Technology and creativity in digital out-of-home is positioning the medium as the only true multi-sensory advertising platform, says Kinetic UK’s Rosh Singh.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) ad revenue jumped 30 per cent in Q2 2014, the largest quarterly revenue increase ever recorded for the burgeoning sector (OMC). So what’s fuelling this rapid growth?

Creative opportunities are undoubtedly the main catalyst. There is a desire from clients, now more than ever, for creativity within OOH. You only have to look at the recent Cannes awards, where 98 per cent of all shortlisted entries contained an element of out-of-home, for proof of this.

As an advertising medium, we are able to make a commitment to our clients to deliver them the outdoor audience they require, be that in the form of traditional billboards or through experiential, digital production, mobile or via emerging technology.

Thanks to heavy investment from media owners, the DOOH infrastructure is quickly becoming the perfect platform for running innovative and engaging experiences. Connectivity is vastly improved so we have the ability to run truly dynamic campaigns triggered by any number of data sources.

There is an increasing opportunity to reach and engage with potential consumers by triggering their senses.”

Huge screens such as JCDecaux’s Waterloo Motion are disrupting the format, but also causing challenges as to how best to use the vast screens as traditional creative and engagement tactics need to be changed to make the most of the sheer scale.

Unilever made great use of Waterloo Motion’s versatility with its recent Dove Invisible Dry deodorant campaign which offered women heading to Royal Ascot the chance to have a professional photo taken on Waterloo’s rail concourse. Selected images were then beamed to JCDecaux’s screens using Open Loop Technology before being shared across social media. It was a great example where the DOOH tech and scale really brought the campaign to life.

Clear Channel’s Storm screens are also hugely exciting as they take a step away from the standard “spot in the loop” format and allow us to buy screen time when we need it and where we need it, the creative opportunities that this allows is hugely inspiring.

On the back-end, we are edging ever closer to replacing the old antiquated ad-serving software that relies on old versions of Flash for the most part, with HTML5 and web protocol standards, which will serve as a tipping point for the industry.

From a creative point of view, as we continue to shift the majority of our day-to-day experiences and interactions digitally (will our kids know the smell of a dusty hardback?) there is an increasing opportunity to reach and engage with potential consumers by triggering their senses and providing them with an experience they simply can’t feel online… yet.

Creativity in DOOH is also positioning out-of-home as the only true multi-sensory advertising platform. Generally other media only has the ability to trigger two of our senses – sight and sound, which are said to be the most rational of our five (or six) senses. DOOH gives us the unique opportunity to target all senses at once and create unique and memorable brand experiences.

It’s clear the industry is calling out for more transparency and collaboration.”

A recent campaign for Surf fabric conditioner made use of scent emission units from digital six-sheets placed within shopping malls, 20-second audio snippets which were activated when shoppers entered the lift, an interactive hopscotch game on digital screens and vinyl wraps covering the lifts. They only needed to satiate the taste buds and it would’ve been a full house.

Kinetic Active, our newly-launched division, is based around the notion that OOH is a behaviour rather than a media type. We are committed to reaching the on-the-go audience outside the home, regardless of format or platform. In essence, OOH is a convergence of different media types, technologies and platforms and Kinetic Active sits at the epicentre of this convergence.

In terms of challenges, it’s clear the industry is calling out for more transparency and collaboration. Everyone is protecting their slice of the pie, which is understandable, but for us to fully push forward and truly innovate we need to be open and embrace collaboration. Smoke, mirrors and obfuscation can only get you so far.

We should also bear in mind that DOOH ad revenue still only accounts for 26% of the total OOH spend in the UK and any worries about the sector overshadowing or cannibalising the more established OOH formats are unjustified. UK outdoor revenue grew by a further 6.4 per cent in the previous quarter, the fourth biggest quarter ever recorded for OOH (OMC).

Increasingly though, as well as taking advantage of all the exciting, innovative opportunities that continue to open up with Digital OOH, and bearing in mind that DOOH is still a very small percentage of total Oh inventory, brands must strive to connect the digital world with the real world by underpinning this with the stand out, trusted, broadcast presence that only national OOH can provide.

There will always be a place for established broadcast OOH. Emerging technology is helping us create innovative new ways to reach people OOH, driving incremental spend in the sector. A broadcast OOH campaign does a totally different job from an experiential event, but they work together to achieve the same goal and complement one another rather than cancel each other out. Again, collaboration is key.

via: MediaTel