How Outdoor’s Digital Transformation is Winning Over Advertisers

Digitalisation has welcomed the era of hyper-personalised customer experiences and mobile shopping. In fact, according to a Euromonitor International report, smartphone usage permeates all aspects of a consumer’s life. Shoppers in the Asia Pacific, in particular, are increasingly using their phones for an array of purposes across social, lifestyle and commerce activities. Unsurprisingly, this shift in consumer behaviour has forced marketers to switch to advertising strategies that better serve the expectations and demands of their target audiences. The question now is this: does outdoor advertising still have a place in a mobile-first landscape? The answer is yes. As digital technology transforms all aspects of marketing, it’s also making a positive impact on the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry. Outdoor digital advertising offers a wealth of advantages for marketers, which explains why the market is expected to grow at 18.14 per cent in the APAC region.

The Digital Transformation of OOH

DOOH delivers digital ads through traditional outdoor advertising media formats like billboards, posters and even on public transportation. As a result, outdoor ads are no longer just static sales pitches that people pass by on the road; they’ve becomevibrant, dynamic and engaging content pieces that are specially curated for your target audiences. Digital outdoor ads can deliver data-driven, real-time and contextually relevant content to consumers, allowing marketers to come up with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas. These types of ads have higher chances of attracting and engaging passers-by compared to traditional static posters, which don’t always make a lasting impression. Interactive and social experimental ads are some of the unique formats of DOOH. One good example is Skoda’s 2020 DOOH campaign. The Czech automobile manufacturer decided to promote its new range of SUVs by allowing people to test drive their vehicles using screens installed in malls. People only had to gesture their hands at the screen to explore the inside of the SUV and take it out for a spin.

Sophisticated, Contextual Storytelling

digital billboards Aside from providing dynamic ad formats, outdoor digital advertising also allows for richer brand storytelling. Experts expect brand storytelling to take centre stage once again in the marketing industry, especially since consumers are constantly looking for ways to connect more deeply with brands. Only this time, marketers will be moving away from traditional media and leveraging digital channels to communicate their purpose. We’re already starting to see an increase in the number of brands that use digital as their primary channel for telling their story. Online dating app Bumble, for instance, launched a humorous OOH campaign in London during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Using its recognisable yellow branding, Bumble installed eye-catching digital billboards on premium DOOH sites across London. The ads referenced dating amid the pandemic, saying, ‘Add falling in love to the list of crazy things that happened in 2020’ and other similar concepts. This campaign emphasises the unique role that Bumble plays in people’s lives through outdoor digital channels, making it a great example of DOOH storytelling.

DOOH and Programmatic Ad Buying

The rise of programmatic ad buying is also bound to boost brands’ DOOH efforts. According to PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index, programmatic advertising entered 2021 in a position of strength because of the spike in digital media consumption. Programmatic advertising is the automated buying of ad spaces. The platforms this technology uses have advanced targeting features that segment your audience, so you only pay for ads delivered to the right people at the right time. Marketers can leverage programmatic technology to secure prime DOOH spots. You can either bid on ad spaces that get the most exposure, just like what Bumble did. Another option is to target specific audiences based on their locations. This strategy is great for when you’re opening a new branch or trying to increase your presence in a certain area because it can supplement your geo-targeted digital marketing efforts.


The outdoor ad industry embracing digital transformation has led to generous opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences in new, exciting ways. As more businesses realise the value of this marketing technique, DOOH ads will continue growing, and you can expect them to inject more creativity into their projects than ever. Marketing, after all, is about listening and catering to what your ideal buyer needs from you. With that, it’s your responsibility as a marketer to find fresh ways to delight your audiences, and utilising DOOH ads is one effective way to do so. Don’t let your competitors outshine you; incorporate digital outdoor advertising into your overall marketing strategy to establish an offline presence that strengthens your online campaigns, making sure your target audiences remember you.
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