Commentary

Outdoor Advertising Association Pens Screed Decrying Value of Digital

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), as part of its earlier Feel the Real campaign, has released a white paper that works super hard to drive home the benefits of outdoor while pointing out the pitfalls on online advertising. 

With report sections titled the likes of "If a bot clicks a non-viewable ad, does the ad blocker hear it?", the report highlights some of digital advertising's more egregious failings such as the lost $7.5 billion (in the U.S.) due to non-viewable ads and the $7.2 billion (globally) lost from bot fraud. 

"This is What Reality Looks Like," written in partnership with agency of record Partners NYC (PNYC), will be made public as the 4A's Transformation 2016 kicks off in Miami, and is a comprehensive analysis of the OAAA's widely covered Feel The Real campaign. 

Of the campaign which led up to the study, OAAA CMO Stephen Freitas said, "With Feel The Real, we conducted a two-month-long experiment to prove the immense value of OOH while communicating its power and purpose. We believe these results will spur much needed conversation in our industry." 

Launched during Advertising Week 2015, the Feel The Real campaign plastered New York City and 20 other markets with upwards of 1,400 unbranded OOH units, both digital and traditional. The ads were deployed at eight different levels of targeting, narrowing in on media agencies and even individuals with over 280 custom messages. 

All ads drove traffic with a reported 40 percent of visitors falling into OAAA's core target, marketing and advertising professionals. 85 percent of visitors accessed the site, primarily through mobile, after seeing the outdoor campaign. 

While the campaign and the report both point out some of the failings of digital, the organization isn't going all Mad Men and ignoring digital completely. PNYC Chief Strategy Officer Ted Florea said: "In today's world of ubiquitous camera phones and social media, targeted OOH can be a powerful way to generate significant -- and 100% bot-free -- digital engagement. I think this report will inspire media planners and creatives to see OOH as playing an essential role in digital media plans." 

Further calling attention to the not-so-positive elements of online advertising, the OAAA created mirror sites and bought "100% guaranteed human" traffic from "highly reviewed" Web traffic brokers. But a look at Google Analytics revealed a different story, with, according to the OAAA, virtually all of the supposed U.S. traffic coming from botnets in Russia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere. 

Along with the white paper, the OAAA today releases a video case study of their findings, also available here. Attendees of the 4A's Transformation conference will be greeted at the Miami International Airport with a special OOH takeover.

3 comments about "Outdoor Advertising Association Pens Screed Decrying Value of Digital".
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  1. Garrett Donaldson from JKR Advertising & Marketing, March 22, 2016 at 10:32 a.m.

    Is it "Feel the Reel" or Feal the Real"?
    In the first paragraph it's reel, subsequent paragraphs say real. Is the ditor on vacation?

  2. Garrett Donaldson from JKR Advertising & Marketing replied, March 22, 2016 at 10:36 a.m.

    J'accuse!
    J'accuse!
    J'accuse!

    Correction! ---it's editor. My lame excuse for the day is I believe my keyboard needs new batteries.

  3. Garrett Donaldson from JKR Advertising & Marketing, March 22, 2016 at 10:55 a.m.

    I am looking forward to reading the "screed" as you editorialized. However, given your characterization, it raises the question prior to reading, as to whether you are being objective or not.

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