Advertisers need to 'DOOH' better with outdoor campaigns

| by Bradley Cooper
Advertisers need to 'DOOH' better with outdoor campaigns

DOOH gives a unique opportunity for advertisers to really capture a captive audience on the move. However, the time you have to capture that attention, especially for drivers, is incredibly short. That is why it's such a shame when I see advertisers waste their expensive digital billboards with half-baked content, such as static ads or uninteresting images. They can 'DOOH' better.

Static content

When I was driving on the highway, I saw a digital billboard that was looping content for Meijer's. The actual content itself was just static images of a few different products, such as a rather cheap looking frozen pepperoni pizza in its wrapping.

Static imagery isn't problematic necessarily, but unless it is particularly compelling, it isn't actually going to draw a viewer's attention. It might be worthwhile to use more dynamic content, such as animations.

Animations, if done correctly, are a key means of capturing attention, sometimes even through the environment around the individuals who will view the ad, in this case, drivers. For example, British Airways deployed a DOOH campaign in 2013, that featured an animation of a child walking around while pointing at the sky towards an actual flying plane. The display also featured customized text that would display the flight number of the plane that was just taking off.

Of course, regardless of the style, the content needs to be engaging and interesting.

Uninteresting content

Another time, I was driving down the highway near Knoxville and I saw a digital billboard advertising an event at a nearby fairground. The event might have been the most enthralling thing happening in the world, but as a driver past that billboard, I would never have imagined that based on the billboard's content, which simply had the event name and subject, along with headshots of the speakers. It also used a "shutter" effect to switch from speaker to speaker, so drivers would know what each individual looked like. However, unless you personally knew the speaker,it's doubtful many passersby were impressed.  

Uninteresting content is a killer, even if it is shown on the brightest 4K display. An easy way to avoid this problem is to know your audience. Find out what interests them, and appeals to them visually. As my advertising professor in college used to say, we need to do everything to target our audience short of knocking on their front door.

The second way is to use eye-grabbing content. This doesn't have to be anything fancy. For example, another time when I was driving down the highway, I saw an LED sign that said, "Crap, Traffic! Come look at RVs!" It was clever enough to get a chuckle out of me and if I was looking for an RV, I might have made a stop.

Content isn't king, the customer is

It can be easy to get caught up in trying to one-up your competition with the best and most creative content. However, the goal isn't to create the best art project.The goal is to appeal to your customer and you can't do that without really investing in engaging and interesting content.

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Topics: 4K Ultra HD, Advertising, Content, DOOH Advertising, Outdoor Signage

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.

wwwView Bradley Cooper's profile on LinkedIn

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