Caveat Outdoor: Getting the best from OOH

A quiet revolution has been underway for some time in out of home (OOH) media. Digital sites are now commonplace – a third of sites in the UK market are now digitized, and the pace of transformation is accelerating.

Digital OOH offers advertisers innovative opportunities for arresting creative. The medium also allows advertisers to reach ever more targeted audiences, by location or time of day, with messages appropriate to both.

But with these new possibilities come challenges. Media owners are investing in this lucrative side of their business and are understandably keen for digital sites to feature prominently on our streets and media schedules. There’s an obvious temptation for advertisers to get carried away by this innovation, and this should be balanced with common sense regarding campaign objectives, fundamental cost-efficiencies, and campaign reach.
Response 26 key facts-10-OOH

And it’s not only in media planning where advertisers need to be more demanding of their trusted OOH partners – in this medium comprising media agencies, outdoor specialists, creative agencies, and media owners. Digital OOH raises challenges for creative, trading, and transparency and, for advertisers to get the most from these opportunities that digital offers, they should ask the following questions when considering OOH plans as a matter of routine.

Targeting: Who am I targeting? When and where should they receive the message?

– Environment, time of day, day of week, location

Formats: How do the proposed formats contribute to my strategy?

– Are they all efficient, effective, and necessary? Are there better options?


Campaign weight: Does my budget reach sufficient people for long enough?

– By format, environment, and overall?

Cost-efficiency: What is the point of free ‘value’ activity?

– Does it contribute to audience delivery and campaign objectives, or just exit costs?

Transparency and validation: How will I know my digital ads appeared?

– How will the campaign activity be verified?

Impact: Will the creative solution achieve standout and recall?

– Digital sites deliver much-reduced screen time for advertisers

Success: How will I know my campaign worked?

– Are expectations clear and are metrics in place to verify them?

A viewpoint paper on DOOH will be available in Spring. 



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About Author

Head of UK Media

Judith Warn-Ford is Head of UK Media, having started her media career at Dorland Advertising as a Planner/Buyer in the early 1980s. When the media world decided to split the planning and buying function, she chose to align herself to the discipline of strategic media planning. Judith left Dorland to join Yershon Media (an Aegis company) as their lead Strategic Media Planner and consultant responsible for many clients, including Birds Eye Wall’s, Unilever, TSB, and ICI. She left Yershon to join Fairbrother Lenz Media (FLE) and set up the non-TV auditing department and later the online auditing department. FLE became part of Ebiquity 2013.

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