Out of Home (OOH) advertising is once again in the spotlight thanks to Pokémon Go. Augmented reality, or the live view of a physical environment superimposed upon computer-generated elements (e.g., Pokémon Go), will further bridge the physical and digital worlds and benefit the OOH advertising industry. The same user that was once willing to pay a delivery fee and wait an hour at home is now spending an average of 33 minutes a day walking up to three miles to collect Pokémon. This would represent exposure to billboards, transit advertisements, signs, wallscapes and faces—all ads that cannot be turned off by ad blockers. Advertisers will increasingly need to be out of the home to reach consumers of augmented reality.
The exciting part about Pokémon Go for OOH advertisers is that the augmented reality app provides a new blueprint for OOH ROI. OOH has always championed street level, “can’t miss” advertisements, and mobile is making it easier for brands to justify advertising spend on OOH with a clear ROI. Pokémon Go can potentially track daily user movements down to a city block, providing OOH advertisers with a goldmine of location information and behavior patterns for millennial consumers. Businesses such as L’inizio Pizza Bar, which is a PokéStop in the game, have already seen a conversion increase of 75 percent since buying a $10 lure (an item used to attract Pokémon users to a particular location). Further, there is an opportunity for out of home advertising billboards and screens to come “alive” through augmented reality partnerships.
With augmented reality, beacons and other location-based advertising solutions will be increasingly launched into the mainstream together. With Pokémon Go, advertisers can track consumer movements in the physical world and provide real-time advertisements on big and small screens at the precise moment and place that brands want to reach these customers with an effective call to action.
While it has only been a week, Pokémon Go has already proven that user behavior is changing. As other media channels continue to fall out of favor, mobile and OOH are natural partners.