Digital Outdoor And Mobile -- The New Superhero Duo?

The problem with outdoor has always been that you blink and you miss it or the perennial questions arise of how many people walked past, and what proportion looked up and saw the message. If they did, what next? These are exactly the same questions that all advertisers have with traditional channels, which they hope digital will attempt to answer.

Outdoor is fascinating because the entire industry is becoming increasingly modernised to answer these questions. It's expected to tip over the 50% installations being digital before the end of the year. You can see it all around you as shopping centres and tube escalators buzz with moving images instead of a static image of people whose noses once attracted used blobs of used chewing gum, for some bizarre reason.

It's interesting to see, then, that the mobile phone is being used as a conduit to take outdoor campaigns further, spreading the message to those who may not have seen the outdoor ad or taking it with them for those who have. 

The new Fiesta model is a good example. Primesight, which owns the digital screens where the car is being showcased, is working with digital marketing company RadiumOne to deliver mobile ads to people near the sites to reinforce the message. It works via beacons that know a device ID and so can tell, with permission, whether it has been used to look at anything that suggests the owner is the right fit for the Fiesta. Apparently, the technology can also be used to pick up people who appear to be in-market for a new small car as they pass other digital billboards within the Primesight footprint and serve a mobile display ad away from where the campaign is actually running. 

A similar approach has been attempted in conjunction with Global, which owns radio stations such as Capital and Heart. An E.ON outdoor campaign ran in sites that could identify device IDs and owners who later streamed a radio station or some music on their smartphone were presented with an E.ON audio ad. Apparently, research showed a favourability lift toward the brand, from 26% among those who had seen the outdoor ad, to 31% among those who had also been served an audio ad. 

It's these kind of developments that are helping outdoor buck the trend of traditional channels -- growing 6% in 2016, according to Warc/AA, and being forecast to grow nearly 2% this year and next. I've always thought that people should write off outdoor at their peril as it digitises. The permissions that allow the cross-channel tie-ins will need to be made GDPR-proof in time for next May, but if they can be, there's no reason to think outdoor won't continue to beat the general low-single-digit growth forecast for UK advertising.

Next story loading loading..