Nick Mawditt of Talon Outdoor: new Out of Home research shows growing power of digital

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Out of Home has embraced the new decade truly transformed. Growth, brilliant assets, smart thinking, creativity, better insight and measurement. We are well on the road to a more automated future and generating real momentum.

Digital screens are delivering critical reach, expanding across the UK and appearing in places where brands want to be.

There’s an ever-increasing body of evidence that shows Out of Home is making a difference to advertising outcomes, shifting ROI, consideration, action and sales. In recent years, digital out of home has made OOH more effective for brands with reach and activation strategies embracing location device data, behavioural planning and real-world measurement.

But brands could be getting so much more out of DOOH. This was highlighted at an event this week hosted by Clear Channel, JCDecaux and Posterscope, to showcase some original research into the effect of dynamic digital OOH. The Moments of Truth event opened with the perhaps sobering if not surprising observation that brands’ dynamic use of digital screens accounts for less than ten per cent of (growing) industry revenues. Even though custom dynamic digital OOH solutions can integrate data feeds directly into campaign creative, ensuring we’re communicating to audiences in the moment to ensure impact, relevance and memorability.

As an industry, we’ve been delivering context-led campaigns that consistently stand out for many years. Those early hay fever and temperature-activated campaigns have morphed successfully into location-based contextual ads that successfully elevate brand messages in the public space.

Behavioural scientist Richard Shotton, who co-hosted Moments of Truth, likened the effect of context in advertising to hearing your name mentioned above the noise at a cocktail party, building the necessary intrigue, attention and blandishment that can make a lasting impression.

The research piece comprehensively delivered some real evidence and insights borne out of neuroscience, ad recall and genuine sales effect. For me, highlights included how OOH ads can help brands weave into our narrative to drive brain stimulus – by a significant +32 per cent – when the right moments and context combine. These came from campaigns including weather-activated and locationally relevant messaging.

As Neuro-Insight CEO Shazia Ginai referenced: “Brains don’t generally like brands, but they can be woven into the narrative by location, context and other dynamic triggers.” Like hearing your name at that party, ads can use formats like DOOH to build necessary intrigue and engagement to give the brain a reason to respond.

Dynamic context was also found to drive spontaneous ad recall, revealing the true effects of that neurological stimulus and – and in a full circle effect to the research – delivered a measurable +16 per cent sales effect that is twice the expected effect of an OOH ad reaching its audience in a conventional way.

I particularly liked the way Clear Channel, JCDecaux and Posterscope introduced client endorsement from Mondelez’ EMEA media head Julia Sparrow who recounted the real value of executing smarter digital OOH, in driving brand effect and sales for her brands.

And the research concluded the combined values of the three elements of brain response, noticeability and sales effect (quite a lot for one execution in one channel in any case) generates an overall +17 per cent uplift when using dynamic digital OOH to drive stronger and smarter messaging. All using the amazing assets and formats now delivering over half of all OOH ad revenues nationwide.

The event also touched on the effective payback advertisers can see from executing dynamic digital activity. This is estimated to be a media value contribution of £74,000 on a £500,000 OOH campaign that incorporates an element of dynamic digital. When you might only be spending £10-15,000 enhancing your campaign by dynamic location or daypart messaging, this should present real value and opportunity for brands increasingly delivering more sophisticated content across varied platforms.

DOOH can be right at the heart of that offer, reaching valuable audiences in decision-making mindset at a key moment.

These Moments of Truth, combined with Moments of Trust associated with a quality medium in the public space, give real momentum to OOH and brands at a time when we can deploy such dynamic content across many media platforms. We should all applaud a real moment of truth embracing genuine industry collaboration and welcome the appetite it should generate for smarter and more OOH executions across this creative mainstream media channel.

Nick Mawditt is Managing Partner of Talon.

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