Creative and Design Marketing Guides DOOH

Everything marketers need to know about building creatives for digital out-of-home

Vistar Media


Open Mic article

This content is produced by a publishing partner of Open Mic.

Open Mic is the self-publishing platform for the marketing industry, allowing members to publish news, opinion and insights on

Find out more

June 10, 2022 | 5 min read

Unlike the online advertising world, digital out-of-home (DOOH) screens come in all shapes and sizes

Digital signage continues to take up more places and spaces and is now readily found in 30+ different venue types across the consumer journey, spanning outdoor formats, place-based locations, and point-of-purchase retail media. Building creatives for such an evolving medium can be intimidating, so to help marketers get started, we’re sharing some best practices for getting set up for success.

Put context to use:

Marketers can leverage the ubiquity of DOOH to create a tailored creative experience that capitalizes on the location where their messaging runs.

Think about the venue types where your ads will run

Are you activating on large-format screens, best viewed by pedestrians and street-level traffic, or place-based screens, where consumers are found in contextually relevant environments?

Consider how personalized the consumer experience will be

  • Are consumers viewing a board from afar along with everyone else — or are they close-up and interacting with a self-service screen?
  • Is this a high or low-trafficked area?
  • What is the population like around the screen location?

Take dwell time into consideration

  • Are individuals driving quickly on the highway by a digital billboard, or are they working out on a machine at the gym for five+ minutes?
  • Are consumers in the elevator going up to their office, or will they be in the salon for a longer period of time?

Keep it relevant:

Applying contextual relevance to a campaign can increase results — consider tailoring your creative messaging based on timing, conditions and context.

What time of year, week and/or day is your campaign running?

  • Change your creative messaging or showcased products to be most relevant for a specific day of week or time of day.
  • For instance, consider using offers for the morning commute vs. another message for the evening, or for your weekend crowd vs. a midweek audience.

In what DMAs and across what venue types will your creative be running?

Utilize specific creatives to speak to NYC public transit commuters vs. drivers passing by billboards in LA.

Can you relate your messaging to scenic conditions or familiar ideas based on your targeting parameters?

Think about tailoring your messages to different audiences you’d find at different DOOH venue types. For instance, you can address fitness enthusiasts on gym screens and business travelers at the airport.

Are there weather patterns, current events or cultural moments that you can tie into your creative to make them more relevant for viewers?

Tap into the power of programmatic by easily swapping in relevant products or branding based on local weather conditions or other important social happenings.

Use motion and/or video:

If your venue types accept it, put video to use! Motion helps attract the eye, tell a story, and deliver emotion.

  • You don’t need to overdo it — subtle animation can elevate your creative by bringing engagement to your messaging.
  • Take advantage of your existing video content. Leverage an existing TV/CTV spot or trailer to pull out a shot that elicits emotions. Many DOOH venue types accept :15 and/or :30 second spots.
  • If you’re using video with audio, always include subtitles to ensure the proper message is being captured. Not all DOOH screens will play with sound.

Take advantage of DCO:

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is a type of advertising that uses data to inform specific elements within an individual advertising creative asset. What is now considered a mainstay in the digital advertising world, dynamic creative is now available across the global DOOH ecosystem for marketers to activate personalization at scale.

  • If you’re a CPG brand or want to drive foot traffic to your retail locations, direct consumers to the nearest store by providing details about distance or directions on how to get there.
  • Whether you want to drive tune-in or ticket sales, or garner momentum around an important cultural event, amplify your creatives by showcasing in-the-moment sports scores or upcoming local match-ups.

Want to learn more about creative messaging for DOOH? Reach out today, and a programmatic OOH expert will be in touch.

Creative and Design Marketing Guides DOOH


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +