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2019: An Exciting Year for OOH

Out of Home
London, UK
INFLUENCER: As 2019 shapes up to be an important and exciting year for OOH, Posterscope’s head of data and innovation, Nick Halas, looks at what we can expect in the year ahead

Global’s acquisition of three media owners demonstrates the enduring strength and potential of the medium and its investment in the industry will drive more innovation from all media owners.  Digital out-of-home (DOOH) inventory will continue to increase and reach c65% of the adult population, while its share of revenue will reach similar levels.   

Here are some of the key developments that we believe will continue to drive OOH’s rapid evolution: 


Global has very quickly acquired one third of the UK OOH market, buying Exterion, Primesight and Outdoor Plus to form a new wing of the business, Global Outdoor. It remains to be seen if this is the end of consolidation but either way 2019 will be a year of serious innovation in OOH as Global launches its new proposition and its competitors drive to counter its offering. Global is known for innovation in the radio space so we expect it to push the boundaries in OOH through digitisation, cross-media collaborations and the launch of new formats.  

Better data, better results 

2019 will see more data-led OOH campaigns than ever, with over 50% of campaigns using data that go beyond demographics to online behaviour, card transactions and more to decide where OOH ads appear. Data-led campaigns drive better results, and technology solutions with the ability to ingest multiple data sets such as Posterscope’s location analytics, planning and trading platform ECOS, make implementing data into OOH plans simpler to do.  So as the cost of incorporating data has been driven down, and made simpler and more effective, the number of clients embracing data-led OOH planning in 2019 can only increase.  

Dynamic becomes the norm 

Fuelled by several factors, dynamic content in DOOH is set to become the norm. The number of digital screens available to buy has sky rocketed. Digital 6s are now in 80+ towns and cities and this number is expected to double by the end of 2019. With DOOH reaching c.65% of the UK population each week, advertisers can now unlock at scale the flexible capabilities of DOOH by running creative bespoke to key triggers such as time, audience and weather.   

Research proves using dynamic DOOH to deliver a more contextually relevant message increases advertising awareness by 18%, recall of the specific creative message by 53% and creative/brand perceptions by 11%.  Moreover, Neuroscience research has found that dynamic DOOH improves a campaign’s visual attention, memory encoding, desirability and emotional intensity, offering a great opportunity for advertisers to create deeper connections with their audience.   

Scale, simplicity and the now proven effectiveness builds on DOOH’s flexibility to make dynamic content in DOOH a must for advertisers 2019. 

Special builds are more effective than ever 

In a competitive media market place, where multiple channels continue to battle for consumers’ attention, the use of unique, immersive and impactful brand communications is increasingly essential.   

With consumers now always connected, the opportunity for special build productions in the OOH space to help drive brand fame across both the real and virtual world has never been more apparent. We spend more than two hours every day on social and messaging platforms4 with much of this fuelled by sharing the things we stumble across and catch our eye. With 99%5 of OOH consumers using their phone whilst OOH in a given week, now more than ever your special build can deliver attention and engagement far beyond where it stands in the real-world through digital sharing. 

For the digitally engaged, 18 – 34 demographic too, special builds will continue to be a great brand builder, proven to drive increased awareness (+122%) and word of mouth (+85%)5.  So, in an era when the importance of branding is once again being recognised, the special build’s renaissance will undoubtedly continue. 

Every action occurs somewhere  

Location is critical to business success. Put the right thing in the wrong place and it doesn’t matter how good it is - it’s a poor decision. The way to counteract this is to be better informed about location when making decisions. Every action occurs somewhere and there’s plenty of data out there describing people’s actions, but often these data sets sit as separate unconnected dots. The power of location is its ability to act as a common thread to tie multiple data sets together to create a clear story of what’s happening where. More than 80% of marketers have used location data to grow their customer base and this is set to grow in the next 12 months. Location data isn’t just used for OOH and other location-based marketing channels- from store openings to closures, store operations to acquisitions, marketing and more, location data is helping businesses make better decisions. 

Visual Search disrupts consumer interactions with OOH  

There is growing awareness and interest in visual search driven by major mobile players such as Google (Lens), Samsung (Bixby) & Pinterest (Lens). Pinterest has already seen searches on its Lens increase by 140% over the course of a year showing a clear shift in consumer behaviour. With the ability to ‘search what you see’ becoming easier to do and heavily promoted, we could see a disruptive impact in OOH, where cameras pointed at OOH lead directly to sales, immersive AR experiences and more. Brands will respond by optimising their OOH content towards Visual Search, in the same way they have optimised their websites for text search, to lead OOH searches into brand benefits. 

Social Impact 

Positive contributions to society will enable OOH to be a force for good. Media owners have long been committed to delivering a range of schemes for local councils (such as battery recycling and green lighting). As consumers look towards brands and organisations to have a social purpose, these schemes will increasingly become more overt. These initiatives present unique opportunities for the OOH industry to reinforce its essential functions in society and for advertisers to align media with long-term CSR goals. Expect to see bio-tech ‘breathable’ billboards, plastic recycling and air quality monitoring programmes mark an evolution of civic utility. 

City regeneration  

A new area of urban development is upon most major cities globally, coined under the ever-ambiguous term and scope of ‘smart cities’. The way in which technology will redefine everyday tasks, transport and logistic services is now becoming a reality and not just a comic book sketch.  

With such endeavours underway, early adopter brands are either on the cusp or already there in supporting this transformation, which in turn means they will begin to reinvent brand building – by becoming synonymous with everyday life. Via partnerships with leading smart city development organisations, The Digit Group and DG Cities, Posterscope is creating opportunities and encouraging brands to lean in, learn and redefine how this investment can last a lifetime, and not just two weeks.  

In 2019, OOH will be enabled by technology and data.  It’ll be always-ready, dynamically triggered, personally relevant and increasingly engaging but still delivered at scale.  Most importantly, it’ll achieve better business results.   

Nick Halas is head of data and innovation at Posterscope

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