OOH Media Planning and Buying Media

Advertisers are now closer than ever to understanding how OOH drives search


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

January 26, 2023 | 6 min read

The out-of-home (OOH) industry has conducted research showing that its inventory isn’t just good at brand building, searches conducted in proximity to OOH sites are 38% more likely to drive a purchase than those at home.


Advertisers are now closer than ever to understanding how OOH drives search

The Point of Search study, conducted by industry stakeholders Clear Channel UK, Global, JCDecaux and Posterscope looked to uncover how the medium drives search and sale, in a bid to prove it can work for marketers focused on performance outcomes.

An online search diary recorded by more than 1,000 people was able to determine the triggers of these searches.

It found that the more time consumers spend OOH, the more often they search across different categories, according to a survey.

Point of Search

Here are some findings from the research.

  • The most common searches were to find nearby store addresses.

  • Searches were more impulsive than at home, likely spurred by OOH creative and outdoor stimuli.

  • Search was found to add value to consumers in the OOH space and ad value.

  • Sight, sound and smell were other things that triggered search, experiential advertisers are making use of these tools.
  • Habits can be built from location primers such as billboards. If that location is part of a commute that likelihood should increase.

  • OOH searches were more likely to occur on Monday to Thursday when commutes are most prevalent. Around 80% occurred during the morning commute. 40% of at-home searches took place at night.

  • The data also uncovered that outdoor mobile searches tend to take place in groups, providing more opportunities for word of mouth.

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The research also looked into how OOH media can be optimized to drive search. It’s here that the medium matters OOH format, whether it’s a digital out-of-home (DOOH) installation, screen size, ad frequency, consumer dwell time, experiential add-ons, and of course the creative itself was all found to impact search likelihood. This is particularly notable with DOOH now able to deliver dynamic messaging and local calls to action (like a shop address).


Respondents “overwhelmingly” agreed that dynamic messages would help encourage a text, be it a reference to the weather, time of day, sports results or local monuments. During the presentation, experts agreed that by anchoring the creative to local landmarks (particularly with a map) could drive footfall.

Chris Forrester, director of commercial for Outdoor at Global, said: “The results of this groundbreaking, collaborative study will arm marketers, media planners and brands with evidence-based research that demonstrates both the effectiveness of outdoor media and how it can be optimized to drive audience behavior. It provides unequivocal proof that combining creativity, technology and data can really supercharge growth for brands.”

Mark Bucknell, chief commercial officer at JCDecaux UK, added: “With 83% of people now visiting a city every month and the increased investment in DOOH across the biggest UK cities, the opportunities for brands to get the best from the public and private screen grows ever stronger.”

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