Experts Predict What's in Store for Digital Out-of-Home in 2017

2016 has truly shown how dynamic an ecosystem the digital advertising industry is. There have been highs and lows, but it has certainly been memorable. In a series of features reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to what we can expect in 2017, ExchangeWire invite over 100 thought leaders from across the industry to share their views. In the latest instalment of the series, experts deliver their predictions for the 2017 outlook for digital OOH.

Creative technology driving interactivity at scale

dandawson_grandvisual“For too long, interactive DOOH projects have been viewed as special, one-off, premium activations; as PR stunts, essentially, where scalability is delivered via a coordinated PR effort and social amplification, rather than OOH audiences on the ground. However, the medium and technology are evolving. DOOH can now deliver memorable, personal, and interactive experiences across multiple markets. A modular, tiered approach to interactive projects allows territories to push the technology envelope as far as their local limits allow, for touch, gesture, or mobile control of the same game interface and, looking ahead to 2017, I expect this to be a huge growth area for the medium. Brands are already starting to capitalise on the new opportunities. This year, an AR campaign for Batman v Superman allowed participants across the UK and Australia to become their favourite on-screen superhero. Canon ran a Europe-wide campaign that included interactive hotspots where consumers could explore specially shot film footage and camera techniques. In the UK, Lego and Pets at Home have both run scalable campaigns on Primesight’s digital 6-sheet network spanning 40 cinemas nationwide. So, next year the challenge is on for planners and creatives to think bigger and to make their client budgets work even harder through scalable interactive campaigns that deliver personal, emotional engagement. Delivering successful interactive projects requires a collaborative approach between all stakeholders. But, with the right team, it’s never been easier to produce engaging, responsive DOOH experiences, seamlessly across borders and markets.”

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Technology Officer, Grand Visual

Context enabling content

stuart-taylor-kinetic“In 2017 we will plan and buy more contextually to a targeted broadcast audience. Continued digital investment is enabling the increasing digitisation of environments and a greater number of digital screens. This is allowing advertisers and planners to work in more innovative ways around how to engage consumers. As the cost of content creation comes down, we will start to see more campaigns take advantage of out-of-home’s contextual capabilities with richer and more relevant messaging. And advertisers will start to see the benefits as context delivers value, as seen by Clear Channel’s research, which showed that contextual OOH messaging increased visual attention by 20%.”

Stuart Taylor, CEO, Kinetic
The advent of fully automated DOOH 

jamie-evans-parker-wayve“When footage from the Rio Olympics was broadcast to digital-out-of-home (DOOH) screens across the UK, predictions the format would go mainstream this year were vindicated. The combination of affordable hardware and better tools brought digital touchpoints within the reach of any brand from ASDA to WHSmith – making DOOH an attainable and essential part of omni-channel advertising campaigns. In the year ahead, we will see this evolution reach the next phase, as brands seek to improve advertising efficiency. With UK screens already primed for programmatic, the stage is set for DOOH automation and, in 2017, it is set to take hold. Just as it transformed the way desktop and mobile ads were bought and sold, programmatic will bring new scale and effeteness to DOOH ads, allowing brands to instantly connect online and offline elements of their campaigns, and unify delivery. But this will raise a key challenge for brands: how to boost results by automating DOOH messages, without losing creative quality and impact.”

Jamie Evans-Parker, founder & CEO, wayve

Unlocking the power of beacons

matt-teeman-primesight“Beacon technology has come a long way in the few short years since it was first launched by Apple in 2013. Now, in 2017, we will see this embraced at scale. Applications have been initiated in a wide variety of environments, including retail and sports stadiums across America – where they help the big clubs drive revenue with merchandise and food offers, as well as seat upgrades – and closer to home, in infrastructure, with MTR Crossrail deploying the largest number of beacons for enterprise anywhere in the world. In marketing, the focus on hyper locality and personalisation when communicating to customers can be facilitated through the use of beacons and the outdoor industry has collaborated to create a marketing Beacon Network called Presenz. With a common infrastructure and beacons located across taxis, buses, the Underground, cinema, and convenience retail, the possibilities for campaign execution are now being realised. Early tests have been encouraging, with Skyscanner publicly reporting positive levels of connection and engagement. As technical innovation continues with Google’s creation of The Physical Web, accessed via Eddystone beacons, and Apple’s increased reliance on bluetooth for connected devices, marketeers will progressively look to unlock the power of beacons. This will require app makers and owners to facilitate the technology and create user experiences that add value. The building blocks are now all in place: technology, infrastructure, and marketing desire. Beacons have every opportunity to create a new channel that will broadcast personalised communication in precise time and location, augmented with visual, public out-of-home advertising.”

Matt Teeman, Managing Director, Primesight

OOH merging with digital/data

miles-pritchard-lotame“We’ve scoped half a dozen POCs, this year alone, that speak to supporting OOH media owners in becoming more sophisticated in audience planning and targeting. Not just using static survey data in order to infer demographic, but instead using specific hyper-location data in order to understand which devices are traversing through an OOH site and have an opportunity to see a particular placement. In the same way we’re working with Vizio, we can use cross-device to map that mobile data back to a cookie ID in order to provide demographic information, interest information, and intent information on a particular audience. OOH media owners can then say, in a far more real-time and dynamic way, what the average profile of a user in, for instance, Times Square is versus the average profile of a user in Wall Street. This can be pushed into planning tools in order to improve the overall efficiency of planning media. The next step will be the activation of that data in order to make more informed creative delivery decisions on the serving of the ad.”

Miles Pritchard, Head of Marketer and Agency Solutions, Lotame

Scalability in programmatic DOOH

Robert Webster, Crimtan talks Programmatic Creative“In 2017, programmatic techniques will, for the first time, be used in digital-out-of-home at scale. Early adopters will get huge value in being able to plan with more detail but, more importantly, optimise campaigns on the fly and add targeted creative.”

Robert Webster, Chief Product Officer, Crimtan

Precise targeting & data quality

david-hillier-adform“We’re seeing more and more signage companies looking to reposition themselves as digital channels to try and access new budgets and play more of an integrated role within brand campaigns built around immersive storytelling. In 2017, the success of these DOOH businesses will be determined by their ability to combine precise targeting with improved data quality; for example, the ability to identify and target mobile users with a digital billboard and then to track an individual user through to a physical in-store sale.”

David Hillier, Creative Lead, Adform

Emergence of new formats

mikhail-marchenko-stickerride“In spite of all the noise around digital advertising, OOH advertising is also showing a very healthy growth rate. Data from the Outdoor Media Association shows a 14.2% OOH revenue increase from the first three quarters of 2015, to the same period in 2016. Next year, we expect this growth trajectory will continue with new formats, like on-vehicle advertising, emerging to complement billboards and transportation. According to a recent survey, viewers noted a preference for on-vehicle ads over traditional billboards, using words like ‘appealing’, ‘catchy’, and ‘unusual’ to describe ads placed on cars. These new formats are revolutionary because they let a brand’s biggest fans (as opposed to marketing dollars) do the work, by acting as brand ambassadors. We also expect OOH ads to become more measurable, with advertisers leveraging mobile apps and third-party data sources (like traffic patterns) to better quantify impressions.” 

Mikhail Marchenko, CEO, StickerRide

Treating mobile as an extension of OOH

charlie-smith-blis-media“Out-of-home advertising is typically perceived as a format that is difficult to measure, especially when we’re now able to accurately quantify and evaluate the performance of key marketing channels. Despite this, OOH still has considerable value – not only is it effective in raising brand awareness, but recent studies demonstrate OOH drives sales and increases engagement on mobile. For this reason, we can’t deny its clearly untapped potential. As marketing technology continues to evolve, we can combine hyper-accurate location technology with mobile, enabling marketers to not only measure – but also proactively increase engagement. Treating mobile as an extension of OOH, rather than a separate channel, enables advertisers to target consumers in new ways based on their real world behaviour and create meaningful conversations wherever they go. Location data takes advantage of a growing arsenal of connected devices that gives us the ability to combine real world and digital activity in a powerful new way. Over the next year, the perception that OOH is a strictly ‘traditional’ and static format will change as we harness the power of location technology to create compelling interactions between brands and consumers. Mobile will also enable advertisers to continue the conversation with the consumer after OOH exposure and measure its impact on brand awareness, intent and ROI.”

Charlie Smith, MD UK, Blis

Shift from selling panels to buying audiences

dallas-wiles_jcdecaux“Out-of-home is digitising rapidly; and having invested heavily in transforming our business and inventory through 2016, we’ve moved from being category leaders to become a pioneering digital media owner in our own right. Having rolled out tools that allow brands and agencies to create and deliver dynamic customised campaigns at scale across an already extensive digital network we’re on track to double our audience to reach one billion real eyeballs a week. As the conversation shifts from selling panels to buying audiences, 2017 will see us continue to invest in the digitisation of our network, and inspiring the creative community to innovate on an unique creative canvas offered by digital out-of-home.”

 Dallas Wiles, Commercial Director, JCDecaux