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Leading DOOH Agency Shares The Opportunities in Digital Out-Of-Home

28 May 2019

The digital out-of-home (DOOH) industry continues to drive innovation and growth within the digital signage industry.

One Times Square advertising display lit up at night

We spoke to Vince Mastria, Partner at New Tradition Media - one of the top out-of-home (OOH) media companies in the United States - about DOOH best practice, how it compares to traditional outdoor media, the impact of increasingly personalized online advertising, and what future trends and challenges are ahead for the industry.

Based on your experiences, how are brands using DOOH effectively?

There are no surprises here - effective use is down to creativity, flexibility, and interactivity.

Picture of Vince Mastria next to a quotation from Samsung's interview with him

With personalized, contextually relevant content, and the ability to instantaneously change creative, we've witnessed some incredible DOOH campaigns, across all formats. With day-parting, reactive content, one-to-one interactive experiences, and live-streaming, it has been an exciting time to work in the space.

Can you share some New Tradition DOOH campaigns that were particularly effective?

Dove's weather campaign in Times Square stands out as a large format campaign. The campaign used weather data from to trigger their signage to react when it began to rain. The creative was changed in real-time, allowing Dove to deliver content to the right audience at the right time.

Dove real-time weather-related ad display in Times Square on a rainy day

Another example is Amazon's Holiday Gift Guide, which ran on our touchscreens in the New York City Subway system.  This campaign created a one-to-one point-of-sale (POS) opportunity, inviting commuters to browse and purchase curated products directly from the kiosks. It was exciting to see the buying patterns and types of products people were purchasing in the moment. This was a true OOH success story, leveraging the significant dwell time on the subway platforms.  

Female interacting with Amazon's holiday gift guide on Samsung display in NYC subway

A long-standing criticism of outdoor advertising has been the perception that it’s difficult to measure. How do you measure the success of your DOOH campaigns?

OOH is measurable, with dependable data, in a number of ways.

At New Tradition, we use 3rd party data from sources such as GeoPath (the universal system for measuring OOH), along with 1st party data we collect from our digital displays. GeoPath provides location data and strong audience analytics. We then use this information to measure the success of a campaign and provide predictive recommendations based on behavioral patterns.

Technology is rapid, and the metrics will only get better with the integration of cameras, sensors, and software, along with mobile location analytics. Beyond impressions, many of our clients have also integrated with Google Analytics to measure lift in site traffic by area or geofence mobile ads to measure engagement rate by area.

With online advertising delivering highly targeted and personalized ads to consumers, how can digital signage be utilized to ensure the outdoor market competes with this?

I don't think competing with online advertising is the answer. However, online and mobile advertising certainly face their own challenges surrounding bots, click fraud, data privacy and brand safety. We are in an interesting position to exploit some of the negative press. It is hard to resist the reports that "A third of all online advertising is lost to ad fraud" and the ex-Reddit CEO Ellen Pao tweeting about fake online and mobile traffic.

I think a more popular and much more relevant talking point has been the Nielsen study, which reports OOH drives more online activity than any other offline media channel (TV, Print, Radio).  Online and OOH are powerful channels alone but together they amplify impact and boost engagement.

Graphic overlay of a quotation from an interview with Vince Mastria

What aspects of the DOOH trends do you see most brands missing or ignoring?  What could be the consequence? What are some brands that are ahead of the curve on this?

Generally, I'm seeing more success stories than missed opportunities.

However, although creative is at the heart of our industry, we are still finding that a lot of creative is not designed for OOH. Instead, it’s been developed for other channels and then repurposed. By developing great OOH specific content, brands can create stories, localize their message and offer memorable, shareable experiences.

New Tradition utilizes digital signage outdoors and at transport stations. What are the benefits of each different location?

As a nationally focused OOH media business, New Tradition looks to secure premium billboards and transit assets in top designated market areas (DMAs). Our large format walls can dominate a neighborhood, showcasing a brand, providing an immediate response from the community.  These massive signs become part of the cultural fabric delivering impact and prestige. We also look to operate a flagship property in each city.

In New York, for instance, we operate the world famous One Times Square Tower, home of the NYE ball. This is the most valuable advertising signage in the world.

Samsung OOH one Time Square tower celebrating on New Years

Our transit options offer incredible reach and one of the most effective ways of reaching a city.  They're designed to be a digital showcase for advertisers with unmatched creative opportunities and unlimited possibilities for targeting consumers on the move.

For transit, you work in both static and digital, what is the advantage for clients to choose a digital signage screen rather than traditional print?

Although many clients appreciate the authenticity of printed vinyl or even hand-painted displays, digital signage has many advantages over printed material. Beyond reduced cost, it is vastly more flexible, creative can be changed instantly, there are untapped interactive opportunities, and much of the process can be automated.

We have seen so much change in the DOOH industry in recent years. What do you see as the next step forward?

There is so much potential. Data sourced through mobile devices will provide more refined audience analytics along with attribution platforms where ROI among other KPIs can be easily calculated. Beyond that, programmatic and automated buying is the industry’s hot topic. This will be the next step forward for DOOH. I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops.

And on the other side, what are some challenges that you see facing the DOOH signage? What do you think is the biggest single threat to the DOOH market?

I don't think there is a single threat to DOOH, but I believe there are valid concerns with respect to autonomous cars and roadside signage in the future. I think it is a few decades away but my fear would be that highway billboards could be threatened.

Finally, how has New Tradition had to source signage equipment for your DOOH campaigns? Can you share what was that experience like? What aspects of the selection/buying journey did you find painful?

We typically work with digital signage consultants to help spec out the appropriate products for each project. Working with consultants have helped us RFP and analyze pricing and technology side by side.

For more information, visit New Tradition’s website. You can also stay updated by following them on LinkedIn.