Using digital out of home to engage consumers


Engagement with your audience is the key to a successful advertising campaign. And when it comes to interacting with consumers, Digital Out of Home packs a bigger punch than more traditional forms of advertising. It allows for greater flexibility, creativity and opportunity to open a dialogue with consumers.

Why consumer interaction is key

In the cluttered world of advertising, the ads that rise above the pack are those that motivate consumer interaction. And when it comes to engagement and brand recognition, adverts that encourage consumers to actively participate in a brand’s message are the ultimate winners.

The eventual goal of all advertising is to inspire recipients to do something – anything – in response to an advert. That doesn’t mean to say that all adverts should inspire an instant on-the-spot purchase. It could mean a Google search, typing in a URL, sharing the ad on social media, scanning a QR code or joining a Facebook group. And what better way to encourage that action, than to enable consumers to become active participants of the ad themselves?

Participation brings a sense of autonomy to the consumer. When they actively choose to interact with an advert, they are less likely to feel like its message has been forced upon them. Participation circumvents cynicism and resistance to a brand’s message.

At the same time, participation leads to greater personal relevance. As consumers participate, they can adjust the message to suit their own needs. And as they share that message amongst their social networks, that in turn allows for greater relevance to these recipients.

Using Digital Out of Home to motivate consumer participation

Advertisers are increasingly turning to Digital Out of Home (DOOH) to encourage consumers to interact with their brands. It’s a medium that, by its very nature, creates a multitude of possibilities when it comes to consumer participation. With its ability to incorporate new technology and offer relevant information to consumers, alongside its opportunities for creativity and online integration, DOOH really takes the biscuit when it comes to audience participation.

What is Digital Out of Home?

Digital Out of Home is outdoor advertising in digital format. It’s the digital screens you see at bus stops, stations or other public spaces, as well as digital billboards in high profile public areas. Take a look at some of our blog posts to find out what digital outdoor advertising shapes and sizes are available and what costs are involved for DOOH.

Incorporating new technologies

DOOH is capable of incorporating new technologies in a way that more traditional outdoor advertising formats are unable to. Take, for example, this 2014 billboard by Women’s Aid.

The billboard uses facial recognition technology alongside a digital billboard to deliver a powerful message; a message that the Internet is still talking about nearly 3 years later.

More recently, Meat & Livestock Australia used sound, touch and gesture recognition screen technology to provide shoppers with palm-readings in its Miss Fortune campaign. More than 53,000 shoppers interacted with the digital ‘fortune teller’ screens during the month-long campaign.

Offering relevant, time-appropriate information

This capacity to incorporate new technologies gives DOOH a head start when it comes to relevance. New capabilities in data collection and analysis have enabled OOH advertisers to target their audiences with greater precision. And this lends itself particularly well to DOOH.

DOOH is a flexible medium that can incorporate fresh technology whilst responding quickly to data insights and producing real-time updates. As such, it enables advertisers to deliver hyper-targeted, personalised and relevant messages that engage consumers on a deeper level.

Recently, Virgin Trains launched a data-driven campaign in key locations around the UK. The reactive campaign uses local traffic data and vehicle recognition technology to display relevant messages to drivers on a digital screen. When certain cars stop at traffic lights in front of the screen, the ad displays hyper personalised messages like “Hey Silver Ford Driver, stop seeing red. Don’t get cross on the roads. Newcastle to London 3 hours 7 mins”.

By using data to communicate a relevant message, Virgin enables passers-by to instantly participate with the ad. At this point, the consumer has become part of the advert itself.

Creative engagement

Another great campaign that encouraged passers-by to actively become part of the ad was Pepsi Max’s Unbelievable Campaign. It incorporated augmented reality technology with digital screens to launch passers-by into unbelievable situations.

The beauty of this campaign was that it combined creative use of technology with a YouTube channel and a Social Media campaign. The ever-illusive 18-34 target audience were invited to interact with this campaign online by uploading their own ‘Unbelievable’ pieces of video to the YouTube channel. As such, this single DOOH bus stop advert resulted in content that received over 50 million views online.

Digital out of home and Online: a match made in heaven

DOOH and online advertising can be integrated beautifully for greater social and mobile interaction. Studies show that outdoor advertising prompts online engagement and people who see an OOH campaign are 17% more likely to engage with the brand on their mobile.

Netflix’s Daredevil DOOH campaign capitalised on this consumer behaviour creatively by integrating DOOH technology with Twitter. Passers-by were encouraged to interact with the ads by using hashtags to “join the fight”. By using #Daredevil, #Punisher or #Elektra to support the different characters, passers-by could inflict damage on the other characters on the billboards.

Not only did passers-by actively participate with these Netflix ads, but they also resulted in free Social Media marketing across Twitter by creating trending hashtags.

As DOOH becomes more affordable and accessible, it will be exciting to see the ways in which advertisers use data and technology to actively encourage consumers to participate with campaigns. Out-of-home is no longer a passive advertising medium. The future is interactive.

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  1. […] that feature interactive elements and treat their audience as a community have been shown to be extremely effective. By participating […]

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