Programmatic Digital OOH is Boosting Advertising Efficiency, Accessibility & Meeting the Needs of Modern Marketers

Photo of Digital Billboards (out of home advertising) on a city street

By Cathy Muldowney, Senior Vice President, Programmatic Sales, Clear Channel Outdoor

If you’re gearing up for a trip to Advertising Week in NYC next week, don’t be surprised if a story on Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising and its post-pandemic comeback popped up in one of your regular industry newsletters. While OOH has always been an effective way for advertisers to reach their audiences (frankly for over 185 years now), the sector has experienced an enviable resurgence in interest and for good reason.

Over the past year, people have been returning to their offices on a regular basis, going on more vacations, socializing more frequently with friends and simply spending more time out of their homes. They’re putting their phones and laptops away and immersing themselves back outside into the world at pre-pandemic levels, which makes them prime for engaging with OOH ads in a meaningful way. OOH offers a fresh take on marketing by meeting people where they are — out and about in the real world.

On top of this, consumers have shifted their attitudes toward some forms of media, expressing appreciation for the creativity and mass appeal of OOH, where context and content converge. While people have grown weary of some online and traditional ads, with some declaring these campaigns as invasive, OOH sits at the juncture where advertiser meets consumer and in a context where they’re not being interrupted!

With OOH continuing its rise in popularity among consumers and brands, what’s also invigorating the medium is the range of innovative solutions around programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH) – including real-time biddability, data-driven audience targeting, attribution measurement and coming soon, mid-flight campaign optimization – that’s inspiring marketers to incorporate digital OOH into their broader omnichannel digital media strategies.

Here’s what else may surprise you about pDOOH:

Clear Channel’s pDOOH Connects Brands to Premium Digital Displays in Top Markets

While the benefits of OOH advertising are clear, programmatic technology elevates the medium to a new level. With real-time biddability and triggers, advertisers can select when and where an ad will appear on a premium digital display, by a simple transaction via SSPs and DSPs. And, with our high-quality, beautiful screens, we offer brands a unique ability to activate responsive and innovative OOH campaigns that intersect with real-world happenings (think weather patterns, Election Day results, social media integration, etc.) with audiences at scale, in a brand safe environment. As the programmatic digital OOH sector continues to mature, we believe that a focus on quality and the specific formats of screens that advertisers are buying in DOOH will be a key factor that drives campaign performance and protects brand safety.

Some of the largest brands in the world are complementing their traditional OOH ad campaigns with pDOOH to maximize reach or focus in on moments that matter: to reach their targeted audiences on roadside digital billboards in the top markets across the country, via our national footprint of airports (the largest in the county) and across our Times Square Spectaculars. Additionally, brands are dynamically tapping into our national roadside network to broadcast breaking news content, countdown clocks for premieres and highlight live sports scores to provide relevant and real-time content to audiences on the go.

Programmatic DOOH is a Nimble, Accountable and Measurable Ad Solution

Simply put, programmatic solutions allow marketers to have the best of both worlds — the high visibility and allure that comes with OOH advertising and the ability to target their audience more precisely. With programmatic buying, brands can purchase inventory that reaches the highest composition of their audience based on time, weather, location, index, etc., allowing for a campaign to adapt and change alongside its needs.

On top of this, pDOOH allows brands to be nimble, optimize their campaigns on the fly, and be accountable for digital KPIs, such as visits, brand lift, website visitation, app install and sales. This means OOH is getting closer to performing on par with our digital peers by offering incrementality data. Looking ahead, we’re innovating this solution to gather “inflight insights,” which will provide real-time data on live pDOOH campaigns so brands can optimize their buys to more accurately reach their OOH audience and drive toward their performance goals & KPIs.

Programmatic DOOH is More Accessible Than Ever Before

Access to premium DOOH formats and screens has never been better than in the last year. The largest programmatic platforms, including Google’s DV360 and The Trade Desk, are now moving into DOOH in a powerful way, which will significantly bolster the adoption of this emerging channel. And pDOOH advertising represents an increasing proportion of overall DOOH spending that is forecasted to jump from 3.2% in 2019 to 14.8% in 2022.

Marketers are incorporating DOOH into their omnichannel digital media mix — this means they are leveraging the same audience data, ad buying platforms and measurement partners that they rely on for their other media channels.

I hope to see you at this Advertising Week session where I’ll share more about how programmatic has transformed the way brands engage with their audiences in an out-of-home setting — resulting in ads that champion quality, relevance, reach and performance.