Digital advertising | Outdoor Advertising
Outdoor is Changing: What this Means for the Media Industry

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Michael Smith
June 8, 2022

Outdoor media, sometimes also referred to as out-of-home (OOH), has been a mainstay for advertisers of all kinds for many years. This type of advertising can help brands to reach new audiences or target existing ones through everything from billboards to advertising inside shopping centres and gyms, or on the back of buses.

This type of advertising took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic as people were told to stay at home, for month after month in some markets.

On the other hand, the pandemic also presented new opportunities for outdoor, with an increased proportion of events being held outside, even if the number of events and meetups fell overall.

As we move through 2022, we’re seeing more major changes to outdoor media, which are set to have a big impact on planning and buying into the future.

The Move to Digital

The world is going digital these days, and outdoor media is no exception. In the US, digital outdoor is projected to grow to 42% of all outdoor advertising in 2023, up from 17% in 2015, and Australian markets are showing similar trends. In particular, digital billboards are trending in 2022, and they offer an incredible amount of potential for advertisers.

Digital billboards offer almost endless options when it comes to creative choices – you can choose virtually any colour scheme, typography, or design that you like. Additionally, you can easily incorporate unique animation or other dynamic features.

Digital media offers a range of other exciting opportunities and we’ll probably see these impacts on outdoor media in the not-too-distant future. For example, we’re likely to see more interactive digital signage after some early experiments with this format, like this cool interactive ad from Swarovski in 2018.

Shift to Programmatic

Another major trend we’re seeing in outdoor at the moment is a shift to programmatic advertising. In essence, programmatic outdoor advertising is an automated system where advertisers can buy or bid on digital billboard space, and the sale is automatically approved when certain conditions are met.

This type of system has been common in online advertising for some time, and we’re now seeing it trend in outdoor media. This makes it easier to run creative, impactful campaigns that reach the right audience at the right time. Automated programming allows you to easily pick the ideal time, ensuring that the outdoor media goes out at the most relevant times to reach your intended audience.

Programmatic also allows campaigns to be more flexible and responsive to consumer reactions. If a brand feels like they’re not getting the response they want, they can adjust the messaging without the need to make more direct buys.

Impacts on Future Planning and Buying

Digital outdoor involves a much shorter and easier setup process compared to traditional billboards and signage. Once a digital ad is made, all you need to do is rent a digital space. Additionally, you can keep using the ad for as long as it’s relevant, with minimal running costs.

Thanks to lower costs, advertisers can afford to buy more and get more exposure for the same investment. Equally, smaller advertisers who may not have had the budget for outdoor previously can now explore this medium. Additionally, with much quicker turn arounds possible, campaigns can be launched and expanded on shorter timelines.

As part of this shift, agencies are now able to plan outdoor campaigns in much the same way as online ones. This, in turn, will allow for better integration between online and outdoor in the future. Agencies will be able to launch holistic campaigns, where outdoor media are essentially just another screen they can buy. Creative elements and content can be repurposed from online to outdoor and vice versa with only a few minor adjustments.

By using digital and programmatic effectively, agencies can plan campaigns more quickly, run them more efficiently, buy more for the same investment, and better target the right audience at the right time for greater impact!

Keep checking back to the blog for more updates on the latest industry trends and advice.

About Michael Smith
If you need to know more about Michael, you can ask pretty much anyone. After more than twenty years in Australian media, it can be hard for him to make it from one side of a room to another – without bumping into someone he’s worked with along the way. Michael has built a steadfast reputation in media planning and brokering, which has been built over decades of growing small businesses into large companies.

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