What Foodpanda's blockchain out of home pilot means for the future of media
Having recently launched ‘Pandamart’ and ‘Pandanow’ to offer on-demand delivery services, Foodpanda has identified the need to be present across offline moments where consumers usually make their purchase decisions.
DOOH has been described as digital’s “final frontier".
In addition, it has invested in digital out-of-home (DOOH) media across South East Asia as it aims to deal with the huge competition among daily use apps like Grab, which are moving towards becoming super-apps.
Now, Foodpanda has begun a pilot with blockchain platform Aqilliz and ad tech company Moving Walls to facilitate what it claims to be the “world’s first blockchain-powered digital out of home (DOOH)”.
“As we rapidly expand across key global markets, OOH has been a major channel we leverage to consistently stay top-of-mind for our consumer base,” says Hasnain Babrawala, the head of marketing for offline channels in APAC at Foodpanda.
“As we embark on this campaign, we’re excited to see what benefits blockchain can bring by way of providing a real-time, independent view of OOH ad delivery in order for us to better strategically plan our marketing expenditure.”
DOOH has been described as digital’s 'final frontier' as the media assets themselves are being transformed into digital screens and host of ad tech platforms are also making it possible to buy these screens in an automated manner.
However, Srikanth Ramachandran, the chief executive of Moving Walls, points to the lack of information around whether these ad slots were delivered or which audiences had the potential to see the ads, which means outdoor advertising planning and assessment has remained siloed.
“With this pilot, brands will now have confidence that DOOH media can be as accountable as other digital channels and will be able to include it as part of outcome-driven media plans,” Ramachandran explains to The Drum.
The pilot will also help Foodpanda with targeting, buying, execution, distribution, and measurement across DOOH screens as blockchain lets brands and advertisers gain real-time visibility of campaign performance, as well as transparency of the impression lifecycle.
According to Gowthaman Ragothaman, chief executive of Aqilliz, with such insights, brands can benefit from real-time campaign optimisation in a cost-efficient manner.
“Having evolved from traditional billboard advertisements, DOOH represents the exciting new frontier in OOH media. Despite the many developments that have taken place in recent years along with the rise of digital innovations, measurement remains a challenge in DOOH campaigns due to the lack of independent means to verify ad delivery,” he explains to The Drum.
"As an immutable, distributed ledger, blockchain lets necessary transparency provide greater assurances to all stakeholders involved in a given campaign. The use of smart contracts can be used at the reconciliation phrase to verify the delivery of promised spots and impressions based on pre-agreed rules encoded as metrics in a given contract.”
As the ability for brand managers to see real-time and independent third-party verification of campaign play out is essential, Ragothaman says with blockchain, all stakeholders involved in a DOOH campaign will be able to benefit from a transparent, immutable ledger of transactions, enabling them to verify the performance of their campaigns in near real-time.
“This means stakeholders are no longer reliant on intermediaries to verify campaign performance,” he adds.
OOH still has its peculiarities where creatives need to be approved by a host of parties depending on the type of location the site is placed at. This means dynamic creative changes will always have some limitations.
The pilot aims to change this so that the distribution of content can still be done through platforms where these approval workflows can be accommodated.
For example, in this pilot, Foodpanda had three different pieces of content and they were able to independently track which specific creative played at which location. This information could be then be used to connect creatives to specific outcomes like app usage, among other things.
“The real challenge with content distribution has been proving that the right content played for the promised number of times. Beyond an initial photo that passes as 'proof of play', advertisers have no more information on the content that played,” explains Ramachandran.
The campaign will be run on 2750 digital displays in Singapore, operated by three different media owners including Target Media screens in lifts and lobbies of condominiums and housing board blocks, Focus Media’s network of office lobby screens, and Moove Media’s in-taxi entertainment screens.
It will be powered by Location Media Xchange (LMX), a DOOH media supply-side platform.
For years, the lack of transparency and clarity in DOOH campaign performance has been a factor that may have hindered greater investment in the space. By introducing technology such as blockchain, which claims to give greater cost-efficiencies across the entire DOOH media supply chain, DOOH investments could be made with greater accountability, allowing brands to clearly measure how well their campaigns are doing and how they can optimise them going forward