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The Drum Awards Out Of Home OOH

How to choose the best OOH locations for your ads


By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

February 13, 2023 | 8 min read

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There’s always been a time and a place for OOH – but contextual data is unlocking smarter ways for advertisers to better integrate with communities. Here are three ways to do it.

Alight Media sponsor the OOH Awards

Alight Media sponsor the OOH Awards

You could say buying out-of-home (OOH) media is like buying a house. Every good realtor knows that the number one rule in real estate is location, location, location. Every savvy marketer knows that with OOH, location is key. But location alone is not enough. With more sophisticated targeting thanks to advancements in digital out-of-home (DOOH), advertisers have a unique opportunity to build human connections and engage communities.

“OOH is well known for helping build brands and audiences on a national scale in a cost-effective way – we shouldn’t ignore that,” says Ged Glover, chief revenue officer, Alight Media. “But we should agree that DOOH has opened a whole new world of targeting sophistication for individual campaign objectives where location, timing and context are key.”

These are themes that shone through at The Drum Awards for OOH 2022, with the top multi-winning campaigns proving that while the right location is foundational to success, there’s even greater potential for advertisers who are willing to get smarter with data, technology, creativity and contextual targeting techniques to drive campaign effectiveness and real business results.

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Supporting communities with digital tech innovation

Serving customers and communities a little better every day is fundamental to Tesco’s business strategy and purpose. Its ‘Together this Ramadan’ billboard campaign set out to support the Muslim community during Ramadan, while educating and raising awareness among non-Muslims.

Smart data via Kinetic Journeys/ONS was used to precision-plan east-facing sites within key Muslim hotspot areas, with careful consideration taken to avoid stores and venues that sold alcohol. The creative worked in perfect harmony with the media placement, displaying a fasting and non-fasting message using the latest day-and-night digital technology based on the specific time of sunset at each individual location, with 100% accuracy.

The campaign saw a 275% uplift of Tesco and Ramadan mentions on social media and was applauded by Muslims and the wider public. The agency collective behind the campaign (Kinetic, Mediacom, BBH, and The Unmistakables) took home the Grand Prix and ‘Best Use of Digital Technologies’ accolades at The Drum Awards for OOH 2022.

Humanizing media with contextual location triggers

The ‘I’m Here’ campaign from Forever Beta was a prime example of humanizing media to show how technology can bring people together, not set them apart. The campaign saw The Big Issue’s iconic red jacket redesigned to incorporate geolocation beacons which tracked its street vendors’ movements as they walked along the street. When the individuals were within a certain range, DOOH screens were triggered to point people in their direction, down to how many meters away they are at the time.

Beyond direction and distance, once triggered, each screen also portrayed the movements and emotions of the street vendor (captured in the studio) to ensure the OOH was as reactive as it could be. As a result, the campaign achieved 460K daily impressions and sales increased 400%.

The campaign was awarded the Chair Award, in addition to ‘Best Use of Digital’, ‘Best Use of Context’ and ‘Best Use of Location’ at The Drum Awards for OOH 2022.

With this in mind, what lessons can be learnt from these award-winning campaigns to help marketers unlock value from OOH real estate to meet their campaign objectives?

1. Be part of the community

The growth of DOOH has undoubtedly been a major development for the industry, combining the possibility for brands to advertise in the heart of communities with the ability to be one of the most targeted forms of advertising available.

Think about key hotspots within the community you’re trying to reach. But carefully consider any restrictions around the placement of your billboard advertising to ensure that the message isn’t diluted based on the context in which it sits. Emotion packs a powerful punch in advertising, so tap into the human connections to drive creative impact and value at a human level.

2. Activate with precision

Consider a wealth of data sources to determine the right time – and ensure your creative is working in tandem with technology to be contextually relevant. A multi-faceted data approach that identifies and accesses data sources previously untapped in OOH planning – one that blends first- and third-party data – allows your advertising take personalization to the next level.

What’s more, programmatic OOH gives you the agility and flexibility to shift spend and optimize campaigns in real-time to deliver dynamic, targeted ads across multiple screens and platforms.

3. Understand the power of place

All of this becomes possible when the insight and data is layered on top of being in the right place. A pertinent location and contextually relevant environment ensure that ads not only reach but resonate with the right audiences.

Reaching highly engaged audiences at or nearby the point-of-sale, for example, combines the power of OOH in driving brand awareness at the top to driving sales at the bottom. This not only reduces friction in the customer journey but can captivate audiences through digital in the physical world.

“By using data to ensure media planning and creative execution are working together, advertisers can tap into contextual environments to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns,” said Glover. “We encourage plans that include time and location, impressions or plays, days or day parts, together with objectives such as audience targeting and triggers from events. This is enabling a greater variety of campaigns and attracting new advertisers to OOH.”

It’s not just about finding the right real estate to place ads, but important to ensure you are using the right data and flexible, tactical programmatic buying techniques to drive impact and ROI.

Click here for more award-winning case studies from The Drum Awards for OOH and click here to find out more about how Alight Media can support to harness the full power of OOH advertising.

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The Drum Awards Out Of Home OOH

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Alight Media is on a mission to build positive connections with communities out-of-home. We offer advertisers opportunities to engage audiences in every region,...

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