How Is Digital Out Of Home Evolving?

The emergence of the driverless and connected car has major implications for Digital Out of Home Advertising, says DPAA President and CEO Barry Frey.

“Digital” is no longer a tacked-on qualifier to Out Of Home advertising — it’s become an integral part of all billboards, whether there’s an electronic screen directly embedded in such placements or not.

That’s because smartphone toting consumers and the rise of autonomous vehicles and the connected car are all about the interlocking use of data, says Barry Frey, President and CEO DPAA (formerly known as the Digital Place-Based Advertising Association).

Still, the revenues have to catch up to those facts, as the DPAA itself notes that by 2018, 53 percent of OOH revenue will be digital.

We checked in with Frey to continue our look at the state of Out Of Home, as the oldest form of mass advertising undergoes its greatest period of change.

GeoMarketing: What is DPAA’s mission these days and how has it evolved?

Barry Frey: DPAA’s mission is to educate and inform the advertising industry as to the incredible digital opportunities now available outside of the home. We also create a learning exchange and forum for our members which include media owners, research, mobile data, programmatic, tech, hardware, location and content companies, whereby they can deeply understand the needs of advertisers and the total media ecosystem enabling then to partner and drive advertising revenue budgets. We continue to grow and evolve as all of these digital capabilities are enabled in our space.

What’s the state of “Digital Out of Home?” What are the most recent statistics? 

DPAA represents everything outside the home digital, and the state of the industry is very good and growing fast. This is due to certain societal patterns and consumption factors which come together as a perfect storm for digital out-of-home (DOOH).

First, we have become an urban and mobile society, out and about more than ever, increasingly consuming content and advertising outside the home.

Second, advertising inside the home is rapidly declining and fragmenting.

And third, advertising outside the home is now digital, offering all of the capabilities that have driven the enormous shifts to more effective forms of advertising.

DOOH advertising spend has become the growth driver for OOH. Globally, DOOH generated $11.9B in 2016 according to PQ Media, representing a 12.6 percent gain over 2015. In the US, we are looking at a very steep curve of spend. From its US inception, in approximately 2000, DOOH has now generated $2.9B of ad revenue in 2016, almost a 9 percent increase over 2015. These are very good numbers relative to other ad sectors.

Is there any sense of whether all outdoor advertising is digital in some form? Even static print billboards often mention a website, correct?

Yes, that’s a keen observation, David. What may be perceived outwardly as more analog in creative presentation is increasingly powered by more automation in systems, billing tracking content delivery and other supply chain elements acting digitally in the background. Digital is supporting the growth of out-of-home beyond the digital screens you may see.

Barry Frey, Pres. & CEO, DPAA

One thing brands and consumers are wondering about is what happens to billboards and radio when cars drive themselves? 

The driverless and more digitally enhanced car offers exciting opportunities for advertisers and our digital out-of-home members.

People will have more time to scan their environments and again the digital empowerment will enable more targeted, relevant, engaging and informative advertising. Already we have members like Lamar using visual detection from companies such as Quividi and AdMobilize to see autos on the road and use screen advertising to serve up relevant, targeted ads. Geo-fencing, mobile data and, of course, auto data will inform precise targeting. Data collection from GPS, Alexa, Siri and their cousins plus infotainment selections, will enable strong behavioral targeting from these cars of the near future. Of course, we will work out privacy issues and policies before that.

How does geo-data and the use of location analytics factor into DOOH measurement and ad creation by members?

Our members Vistar, Hivestack and Broadsign have driven a litany of targeted programmatic campaigns with many of our media owners using location data from other members, including Ground Truth, PlaceIQ, Measurance, and SITO Mobile.

Hivestack understands location data of consumers who have frequented auto dealerships. They then use mobile data to target these audiences with relevant auto advertising when they are in front of screens.

Another example of this targeting ability is where Timberland Boots historically used a now seemingly less sophisticated M18-34 cohort for selling their boots. Now, via mobile location data, they see activity by people in the city during the week, in the country on weekends and visits to sporting goods stores. What an incredibly better target! Then after developing this new audience segmentation, Vistar enables advertising on OOH screens and on mobile to these audiences, further delivering attribution when they walk into stores. Of course, all data is aggregated and anonymized where no PII is revealed.

What’s the influence of Internet of Things devices and AR/VR devices in the DOOH mix at the moment?

Our members are leading the charge with IoT and Smart Cities. As mentioned, connecting and understanding traffic patterns, movement of consumers, weather data, time, day and temperature enables better addressable advertising.

Our members, Intel, Intersection, Civiq and LinkNYC, are also contributing to public information and welfare with their new kiosks, replacing NYC and soon London phone booths. Admobilize is creating artificial intelligence tech to target ads and collect data.

What initiatives and programs is DPAA pursuing in the second half of the year?   

We have our big Video Everywhere Summit on November 1 where we bring together the largest multi-screen advertising conference for the fifth year in a row in NYC. Major brand CMOs, ad agency CEOs, digital, thought leaders and celebrities will come together for an invigorating day of “Ted” type talks. We will discuss all of the topics mentioned here as digital empowerment is being offered outside the home.

Additionally, we have the national DPAA Planner Study, DPAA Curated CES Experience, Advertising Week Panels, Lunch and Learns, Programmatic Forums and much more.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.