Five trends in UK OOH advertising for 2016
Naren Patel, CEO and Customer Service Rep for Primesight | 15th February 2016
Out of Home (OOH) adspend in the UK broke the £1 billion barrier in 2014, and is predicted to grow by 4.8% in 2016, according to forecasts from the Advertising Association and Warc . But what are the trends that will help the industry achieve – and hopefully better – such predicted growth?
1) Audience selling: moving from panel to people
Route, a research firm which produces audience estimates for OOH advertising, is now an intrinsic part of any outdoor campaign planning process. But in 2016, the industry will actively move towards Route becoming the base point for the entire trading process. This is being driven by two streams of influence.
Firstly, the rise of the internet and programmatic trading has highlighted the core function of ad investment to buy audience exposure, rather than investing to own a piece of real estate. Whether the platform is a classic poster or a digital display, it is necessary to quantify the audience reached and allow advertisers to integrate this data with their increasingly sophisticated econometric investment models.
Secondly, as automated trading systems are developed by buyers and sellers to improve operational efficiency, they will need to incorporate a base audience impact measurement which is recognised by both buyers and sellers as part of the OOH format and location valuation. Route provides this underlying base data for nearly all the frames in the UK and has been a successful joint investment by buyers and sellers across the industry.
2) Layering: better blending of digital and classic OOH
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) will continue to develop at pace throughout 2016, with research from BrandScience suggesting an optimum 45% of the OOH budget should be allocated to DOOH. The same research, however, also concluded that digital should only account for 20% to 25% of frames, which presents a problem as digital costs significantly more than classic OOH.
Advertisers will begin to use DOOH more effectively alongside classic OOH, making use of the unrivalled reach of traditional poster sites with the ability to buy digital posters in day parts that are best suited to deliver the required audiences, making DOOH more effective in the process.
Digital amplification of the power of classic OOH requires a fundamental link between the creative process and the delivery platform in order to create the right ad at the right time. This year will see creatives think more broadly about what "out-of-home" means to their specific advert in terms of the what, why, where, when and how.
More frequently, the medium itself will contribute to the message – and creatives need to design with this in mind for both digital and classic OOH.
Global spend for programmatic digital display advertising is estimated to reach $53 billion by 2018, according to Magna Global. And OOH will play a meaningful part in that growth.
As hinted at by this shift, we are about to enter the third era of transaction. The first involved carbon copy and Royal Mail; the second, in the early-1990s, brought Excel and email. The third is all about demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platform (SSPs) and application programming interfaces (APIs).
This requires improved data structures and encoded transaction rules, both of which the OOH industry is actively engaged in developing, having launched SPACE as the core inventory database in autumn 2015. The unique data-management application – which stores, categorises and standardises every piece of OOH inventory within the UK market – means the transfer of data will be improved, and makes automation and programmatic ripe for growth in 2016.
There are three important developments for transaction technology in OOH:
1. "Pull-to-trade" links the inventory management systems of media owners to their major trading partners and enables partners to pull details of suitable inventory by format and location, as well as providing a real-time assessment of classic poster inventory availability.
2. "Click-to-buy" enables the open purchase of a billboard through online search, transaction and artwork provision. Several software companies have developed interfaces to make this work. The system effectively operates as a selfservice shop enabling easy access to new customers, as well as improved efficiency. It is already in use in some markets around the world.
3. "Download-to-digital" is seeing companies develop plug-ins that connect online digital trading desks to the outdoor digital inventory.
4) Media owner cross-fertilisation will begin
Areas of interest among media owners will become less siloed. Companies in the OOH industry will branch out further from their original areas of expertise and develop links with mobile, tech and data companies. Expect to see OOH strengthen relationships with mobile and hyper-local online ad sales. If OOH is being used to target audiences based on proximity, it would make sense to serve online and/or mobile impressions to the same audience.
Digital OOH also makes it possible to sync advertising across multiple channels. Lucozade's "Find Your Flow" campaign is a good example of this cross-fertilisation, as it effectively synced radio spots with digital billboards.
Media owners will look to offer more than just advertising space and will adapt to the changing, connected urban environment. We expect to see more beacons and WiFi networks deployed in 2016, and live data feeds will be used more frequently to drive the creative content on Digital OOH.
5) OOH will be seen as the next growth medium
The presence and reach of OOH continues to grow as the population – and the amount of time people spend out-of-home – increases, while the substantial financial investment in product is accelerating, too. OOH's ability to act as a primer for more interactive channels is being better understood. This traditional medium has never been more current.
Research from BrandScience confirms this, finding that increased investment in OOH as part of the communications mix drives ROI for advertisers. More specifically, the report recommends that, for sales effect alone, grocery retailers should use OOH as the lead medium for spends of under £25 million a year.
The article was first published on 11th January by Warc, a source of ideas and evidence for marketing professionals.
"As an industry, I believe, we have forgotten the power of repetition. Effective communication isn't small. It isn't cheap. It isn't once."
"Advertising isn’t supposed to be private. It’s supposed to be overheard, shared, stumbled across and discovered."
"And then there’s advertising’s past. The intrusive, inflexibile and mute billboards. They feel like throwbacks to the old way of doing things. A flat image with an unyielding rule that the consumer can take in no more than eight words (unless they’re Economist readers). How boring. How old school. Until you remember 2015's ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ campaign. Simple, traditional and utterly un-missable pieces of art in the urban landscape."
"Out of Home is the oldest medium of all There’s still huge power in the public message – the power of the public comment. It’s a big thing – it’s why people get married in front of an audience of 150; it gives a public sense of commitment."
"We've chosen to use digital to make everything more efficient...but we've forgotten how to explore and discover. It's a loss of serendipity and we've lost a lot of the humanity. We're becoming very reliant upon digital and the internet to make us incredibly efficient and we're losing out."
"The beauty of OOH is that it can double as a TV screen, a social feed, a camera, a vending machine, a download site, or a purchase point."
"OOH is constantly evolving, and its ability to integrate so brilliantly with new technology is one of its main strengths."
"Media changes, driven by digitisation, have left consumers facing a tyranny of choice—yet OOH is a channel that can still deliver huge audiences, and can increasingly do so in creative and engaging ways."
"The Out of Home sector has been tremendously resilient throughout the recessionary years, showing consistent growth driven by its fundamental benefits. In an ever-fragmenting media landscape, you can still reach pretty much the entire population, all at the same time."
"Out of Home is booming right now: OOH is the most ubiquitous media – you can’t turn the page, change the channel or switch it off, and Out of Home continues to integrate itself brilliantly with other new and innovative technologies."
"Posters decorate the world "
"Speed of change is all around us and no more so than in the rate at which advertising investment in traditional posters is being transitioned to include a far more flexible Out of Home canvas; the digital poster."
"I love OOH because the diversity of opportunities makes it a realistic option for almost any client. Add to this the ever growing possibilities for new innovation and it’s a media channel that is truly exciting to both agencies and clients alike."
"As DOOH becomes more “digital,” it becomes more agile, richer, and better able to play its part in a big idea. As a plugged in medium, DOOH can be the active element in a multi-layered campaign. It can create buzz, break news, invite interaction, and help to drive content and discussions online. Great DOOH campaigns are ones that sit comfortably within the wider brand strategy and capture the imagination."
"By its very nature, Out of Home’s remoteness from the consumer living room, from the office, and from the home computer, has made it a natural bedfellow of mobile marketing."
"OOH inhabits a wonderful space in which we benefit from a rich heritage of memorable, iconic campaigns and a truly exciting future unfolding before us. A broadcast medium that just keeps getting better."
"DOOH is a really interesting storytelling medium, beyond advertising. It allows you to touch and feel and interact in a way no other medium does. That's the real beauty of it, and usually overlooked"
"Show me any brief, for any client and any campaign and I guarantee that OOH will be able to have a justifiable role to play as part of the media solution. That role maybe big or small; local or national, classic, digital or both, large format, small format or anything in between... but it will be justifiable and worthwhile. There isn’t any other medium that can replicate that claim, or indeed come anywhere near doing so."
"London’s very large public transport network carries a great deal of OOH advertising. As a result, London alone has 170,000 advertising sites, more than 40 per cent of the national total. This makes London the most valuable city for OOH advertising in Europe and among the most important in the world."
"Digital OOH networks are multi-sensory and with the development of touch technology things are moving fast. Stimulating the senses more creatively generates social shares, great PR and awards."
"Central London will undergo a transformation and cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will get even brighter and more connected"
"It makes sense for the most welcomed and least intrusive media to deliver presence for brands interacting through the media"
"OOH remains the flexible canvas for which a guaranteed audience is never too far away"
"OOH may be the oldest medium, yet it has shown remarkable resilience in reinventing itself"
"Smarter brands are contextualising their ad messaging, reaching a target audience when it matters most and can change behaviour"
"Poster sites really are the last true broadcast medium capable of near universal reach"
"Immediacy, targeting and excitement are what DOOH can offer that other media can't - its just very very cool.The opportunities are endless"
"The combination of classic and DOOH should be an intoxicating mix for any marketing director"
"Out of Home is an accountable, measurable and effective media for advertisers"
"Reaching people in the right place, at the right time is still Out of Home’s biggest strength"
"Posters are the purest and most effective form of communication"
"I would advise marketers using OOH not to see a poster as a Wikipedia entry, think of it as a piece of art"
"OOH engages hard to reach audiences on the move with inspiring and innovative communications"
"Using data to plan OOH enhances campaign performance by up to 200%"
"London is the most valuable city for OOH advertising... and among the most important in the world "
"Super premium digital Out of Home is one of the quickest ways to get into the conversation and make your brand famous"
"For a brand to live, it needs to appeal not only to the people who buy it, but also to the people who know about it "
"Media isn’t about the number of impressions you make. Media is about the power of the impression you make."
"In advertising, we have the power to change minds, change beliefs and change the world"
"DOOH offers deeper engagement than other media, more of a story and feedback"