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Artificial Intelligence OOH Retail Media

What 2023's advertising trends could signal for OOH in 2024



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December 19, 2023 | 7 min read

By Liseanne Gillham (VP of marketing) and Kayla Caticchio (content marketing manager)

By Liseanne Gillham (VP of marketing) and Kayla Caticchio (content marketing manager)

The advertising landscape is inherently complex, as both the buy and sell sides adapt to ever-changing consumer habits, emerging technologies and media channels, consumer privacy legislation, and more.

2023 brought new challenges and opportunities for brands, media buying agencies, media owners, and ad tech companies alike. While trends like retail media and sustainability showed staying power, generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) quickly commanded headlines. At the same time, previously buzzworthy topics, like the metaverse, seemed to fade (thankfully). Examining developments that drove out-of-home (OOH) conversations in 2023 could provide valuable OOH planning insights with 2024 on the horizon. Let’s have a closer look.

Retail media networks grow and mature

According to Insider Intelligence, retail media is projected to be the fastest-growing media channel through 2027. From Google to Walmart, Kroger, and beyond, retailers are rapidly innovating their retail media networks (RMNs). While the death of the cookie isn’t the sole reason for this growth spurt, it’s certainly a contributing factor.

Retail media is attractive, in part, because it provides access to retailer’s first-party data. We saw in-store media become a bigger part of the RMN conversation this year as the value of omnichannel strategies that reach consumers on the path to and at the point of purchase became readily apparent.

To this end, we saw more retailers, like Coles, invest in technology to enhance in-store offerings. Technology companies like Zitcha and Broadsign also teamed up to integrate their solutions to make it easier for retailers to monetize in-store ad inventory and provide simpler ways to simultaneously plan, execute, and measure campaigns across on- and off-line retail media channels. RMNs are rapidly progressing, and so is the technology to support them so naturally, we anticipate more exciting developments to come in 2024.

Sustainability goals come into focus

While sustainability has been a topic of interest in OOH advertising for a while, more OOH companies committed to sustainable practices in 2023. Broadsign went public with its plans to reduce carbon emissions and released its end of the year sustainability report this month, while JCDecaux reported a decrease in emissions by 27%, and many others made pledges. At Broadsign, we also saw sustainability make its way into more requests for proposals (RFPs) from prospective clients, and on the buy side, we noticed interest in measuring OOH campaign emissions. It’s an area the industry will be exploring further in 2024 and beyond.

Bracing for a wild gen AI ride

Gen AI dominated discussions in and outside of the industry this year. Imagine being able to create 80 different variations of an OOH ad in a fraction of the time it takes today. Your odds of reaching the right consumer with the right message at the right time and place increase exponentially.

In 2023 we saw interest in using gen A.I. to create more personalized, localized creative that adapts to real-time trends and many brands and agencies experimented with A.I.-assisted creative, like these clever ChatGPT-assisted posters by Burger King, McDonald's, and Subway. On the OOH ad tech front, a handful of clever proof-of-concept A.I. tech developments aimed at personalization and localization surfaced. At Broadsign, we’re actively exploring the potential of gen A.I. to improve OOH campaign planning, outcomes, and efficiency. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible as we head into 2024.

Advanced OOH targeting becomes more accessible

Contextual relevance has always been an OOH advantage, but in the last year, advanced targeting - such as point of interest (POI), contextual, and audience-based targeting – has become more accessible. You can plug into nearly any DSP and work with the account team today to target your campaign to a specific POI or real-time condition like weather, finance, sports, or a local event, which proved especially popular in 2023.

For example, a mortgage company now has the tools to target audiences within a city radius where there are a concentrated number of real estate listings, or brands could target Taylor Swift fans by running OOH ads in locations her fans frequent when she rolls into town on a tour stop. We anticipate OOH targeting will only grow more sophisticated next year.

Cross-territory campaign execution and globalization of OOH ad tech

Out-of-home campaigns have historically been bought within a set region by a specialist in the area, but with the onboarding of more international inventory to SSPs and more SSP/DSP integrations, it’s become easier to target ads outside of the country or region from which they originate. A French tourism organization, for instance, may opt to target audiences in the US or all over the world.

This year, we noted a growing number of cross-border campaigns being activated. At the same time, more OOH ad tech providers globalized their offerings in 2023 by expanding their products to support regions they previously hadn’t. Neither of these developments show signs of slowing soon.

Other trends to watch

Outside of the trends already covered, consolidation returned as a predictable theme, especially toward the end of the year, between Bell’s acquisition of Outfront Canada in October and Perion’s acquisition of Hivestack this month, and across the entire ad tech industry in 2023. We also saw OOH companies fragment, as was the case with Clear Channel Outdoor, who sold its French business to Equinox Industries in October. What all of this means for 2024 is yet to be determined, but it’s certain to shake things up.

From a consumer standpoint, we saw continued investment in experiences over goods, which isn’t likely to change, while consumer interest in AR/VR technology has tempered, reducing previous buzz around the metaverse; however, with the Apple Vision Pro slated for release in Q1, that could change. 2024 also presents a new election cycle in the U.S., so we expect to see a rise in political OOH ads, and as more states revisit sports betting legislation in 2024, sportsbook OOH advertising is on track to grow.

On the CTV front, CTV ad spend is on pace to surpass that of linear, yet it still has major growing pains to work through, especially in terms of frequency. That said, in 2024, CTV just might overcome these hurdles and become more sophisticated, unlocking powerful new omnichannel opportunities for pairing CTV and OOH ads. While 2023 was void of any big news on the OOH measurement front, we’re betting on it making a splash in 2024, especially given all the investments by measurement bodies in the last two years.

All signs point to a positive year for the ad industry next year, and we’re excited to see how some of the OOH trends that shaped 2023 will influence its continued evolution. While we can’t predict exactly what’s to come for OOH advertising, it’s safe to say that the medium is ripe for new growth in the years ahead.

Artificial Intelligence OOH Retail Media


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