2017 has been a year of exciting developments in the out-of-home (OOH) sector, with the growth of digital-out-of-home (DOOH) affording greater accessibility and creative opportunities for advertisers. Links to digital have resulted in some truly innovative marketing ideas, and greater access to data has made the medium more attractive to advertisers than ever before.
So how can we expect OOH to develop over the next year, and what should advertisers be looking out for when it comes to making the best use of the medium? So in an effort to be first and predict some of these developments early, here’s a look at some of the OOH marketing trends that we think will shape the face of the industry in 2018:
- OOH ad spend set to accelerate in 2018
Despite political and economic uncertainty in 2017, ad spend has continued to grow, albeit slowly. Looking ahead, 2018 forecasts are predicting renewed optimism, with major events such as the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup playing a strong role in driving this ad expenditure.
After Digital and TV, OOH is set to be one of the largest contributors to ad spend growth. Magna Global’s forecasts show that OOH will grow by an average of 4 percent in 2018.
In particular, OOH is seeing significant investment from the technology sector, with 25 percent of the top 100 spenders in the medium coming from tech companies. 2017 saw big OOH advertising campaigns from tech giants like Apple, Snapchat and Twitter.
Whether digital or printed, OOH offers tech companies the opportunity to build their brand profile in the real world without the presence of ad blockers. In 2018, OOH can expect to draw more interest from the tech sector, particularly as we see increased integration between DOOH and mobile.
- Links to mobile will bring multi-layered, integrated DOOH advertising campaigns
OOH and mobile are converging. In 2017, Nielsen revealed that OOH ads prompted more online activity per ad spend than any other offline medium, with outdoor ads connecting to social media, and mobile technologies like NFC, AR and QR codes being used to drive sales and brand awareness.
Mobile location data can provide new capabilities in measuring OOH viewability by connecting OOH campaigns to in-store sales. And advertisers are able to identify smartphones that have been exposed to OOH ads and retarget those devices with mobile ads at optimum times.
As mobile and OOH continue to converge, 2018 will see brands connecting with their audiences more effectively, delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
- Data feeds and digital capabilities will start informing the creative message
2017 has been a year of exciting explorations into the ways that data can feed into OOH. Interconnectivity with digital has enabled OOH advertisers to fine-tune their targeting with detailed demographic data, as in Guinness’ recent OOH campaign (which uses data from Instagram and Twitter to pinpoint the best locations to reach their target audience). Brands have experimented with data to identify and connect with consumers in increasingly creative ways.
Jen Smith, the Creative Director of Maxus, predicts that digital will transform OOH “when we really start to get to grips with how all of those data feeds and the capabilities that we have can start to inform the creative message… When we start to play with digital a bit more and seeing what it is capable of, then it can change the industry.”
As 2018 unravels, it will be interesting to see how advertisers harness data to inform ever more creative and engaging ways to connect with consumers. The OOH industry is rapidly moving away from the 2D printed poster format to multi-faceted, multi-channel consumer experiences.
- Small businesses will have greater accessibility to OOH
The traditional method of planning and booking OOH advertising space through trading partners is shifting. An increasing number of tech companies are springing up on the Internet, offering new solutions when it comes to booking, planning and measuring OOH advertising space online.
Whereas OOH advertising required big bucks and nationwide campaigns in the past, this new generation of ‘click-to-purchase’ OOH ad space brings greater accessibility to the medium. Advertisers can pinpoint their desired ad locations and purchase for as long as needed, according to their budget. In 2018, we can expect more local businesses and small organizations to take advantage of this easier access to OOH advertising.
- Out-of-home will become more immersive
With some high-profile Virtual Reality (VR) gaming releases this year and tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft investing heavily in what they see as the next big thing in display technology, VR and Augmented Reality (AR) are expected to go mainstream in 2018.
This brings a whole host of opportunities to the OOH industry, and particularly, to DOOH. 2017 has seen a rise in the use of AR in OOH advertising, with campaigns like Ribena’s ‘Doodle Your World’ becoming more commonplace on our high streets. And big brands like Adobe and Ikea are already starting to venture into ways in which they can improve the consumer experience using VR.
It makes sense, then, that advertisers will look for new ways to engage consumers with immersive VR and AR experiences in their out-of-home messaging. And with Facebook and Google racing to produce standalone VR headsets that won’t require plugging into a computer, virtual out-of-home advertising may well be coming to a street near you…