VIOOH is a leading premium global digital out of home supply side platform. Launched in 2018 and with headquarters in London, VIOOH’s platform connects buyers and sellers in a premium marketplace, making OOH easily accessible.

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Digital out of home: myths and legends (Part 1)


July 1, 2021

By Natalia Escribano, Chief Commercial Officer, VIOOH

There are many assumptions bandied around about digital out of home (OOH) and many of these are often untrue or inaccurate. In a two-part series, I want to discuss how the technology to deliver digital outdoor advertising has transformed at pace over the last few years – and the global pandemic has created an interlude of digital transformation as people are returning outdoors.

At VIOOH, we’ve seen an extraordinary period of rebound and acceleration, with 35% to 50% month-on-month growth in the number of active programmatic campaigns since the beginning of the year. Ad spend is also increasing at a very strong pace, despite some markets still being in some form of lockdown. A strong indicator of the opportunities ahead as restrictions are completely lifted comes from Australia. We launched VIOOH in the Australian market in April, and in Q1 alone, Australia was already one of our best-performing markets.

JCDecaux UK’s latest Mobility Data found that, as a result of the easing of restrictions, OOH audiences have recently seen their largest weekly increase since March 2020. By w/e 30 May, total UK audiences had an increase of 33% reaching 70% - delivering 4.1billion impressions every two weeks, with the latest increase adding an additional 1billion two weekly eyeballs. Supermarkets are at 100%, Large Format 79%, Street Furniture 72%, Malls 84% and Rail 40%.

So, that’s all well and good, but why should you include digital OOH in your integrated ad campaigns? Looking to bust some myths, I want to answer the recurring questions we’re often asked by media buyers and media owners unsure about the value of programmatic DOOH. Here are a few ways to maximise digital OOH campaigns and deliver real value for brands.

Programmatic is used to sell remnant inventory.

There was a predicted $336BN digital ad spend available, globally, in 2020 digital accounting for over half of all ad spend. The benefits of programmatic media buying aren’t only limited to solely programmatic campaigns – and in terms of digital OOH it’s definitely not remnant inventory.

Buying digital OOH inventory programmatically delivers campaigns in broadcast and brand-safe advertising environments to diverse audiences, reaching them on-the-go and making it easier to audit as ads are displayed in physical locations. It offers high-quality inventory 100% viewable, ad-block and fraud-free in high-impact locations with attention grabbing, dynamic ads.

Investment into technology solutions has delivered a new broadcast and activation medium, helped deliver optimised campaigns and dynamic creative as well as data driven, audience led campaigns.

It offers flexibility with the ability to start, stop, pause or adjust campaigns in-flight that traditional OOH is just not able to provide as effectively. Programmatic digital OOH is traded on an hourly basis or real time via a demand side platform (DSP) – so it’s incredibly flexible and agile, delivering the option to manage where, when and how the campaign is run.

By booking programmatic DOOH alongside other media through a DSP, an omnichannel or integrated campaign can benefit from synergy across strategy, planning and targeting and messaging to provide a unified experience. Media buyers can also benefit from data collected whilst the campaign is live to enhance targeting, planning and optimising across channels.

For the sell-side, OOH media owners can now compete and even complement social and mobile campaigns alongside streaming services such as audio and TV. As well as increased yield, and gaining access to incremental revenue from new budgets and buyers, media owners benefit from increased transparency and control, alongside greater targeting capabilities with the use of first and third party data. Finally, access to near real-time reporting insights allows for greater efficiency and flexibility for media owners to pursue the best mix of deals.

I understand the theory behind programmatic but how is it going to benefit my business long term?

Programmatically traded DOOH is now a serious contender for ad spend – and it’s easier than ever to plan, trade, activate and optimise within an advertiser’s overall campaign.

Accurate targeting utilises the same audience data, as part of a multi-channel campaign, which means greater accuracy and long term synergies. This means your DSP uses the same audience data across OOH as for other digital channels, creating alignment between the public / broadcast element in the OOH execution, and the private / one-to-one element on other screens such as mobile and display. In fact, OOH can supercharge the effects of Social Media, increasing brand recall by 125% and engagement by 52%.

Media Buyers

Digital OOH offers best-in-class platform to manage the planning, trading and execution of OOH, enabling media owners to: sell efficiently, optimise yield, drive incremental revenue and maximise advertising effectiveness.

It is now easy for media buyers to trade OOH efficiently via programmatic trading and automated inventory management. They can also plan and buy relevant digital OOH inventory in real-time via partners pre-bid API and unique data segments.

At VIOOH for example, we offer one buying point to seamlessly connect multiple digital channels for a unified brand experience and we’re enabling digital buyers to build campaigns based on audience or location, across markets.

Media Owners

In terms of media owners, they can gain access to programmatic buyers and budgets, helping to increase revenue. They are the controllers of the buying and selling process, they set the sales policies, pricing, accessibility and channels - across both automated inventory management and programmatic trading.

Premium digital OOH sites use a base currency of viewed and viewable impressions in line with market industry standards. Media owners can benefit from revenue diversification strategies helping them to maximise digital budgets. This efficiency increases yield and helps to give access to new budgets or incremental revenue.

Delivering effective programmatic OOH in an innovative way, helps advertisers make meaningful connections with consumers to ensure they get the most out of their media budgets, which is an incredibly valuable long term business benefit.

Can you clarify how Programmatic OOH is brand safe?

Digital OOH delivers premium and brand-safe inventory, high impact creative and zero viewability issues. It has strict rules about where creative can be displayed, ensuring brand safety and OOH is by nature a broadcast medium, with a one-to-many environment. All of these features are also true when the OOH inventory is traded programmatically, and through this transparency and control, location and time based targeting is available, as well as real time reporting insights delivering full transparency.

There is also little chance of audience fraud or click bots that can be found in programmatic display. Digital OOH uses both first and third party data, and due to the public, broadcast nature, there is no ad blocking, bots or skipping, as often experienced with display or mobile advertising.

Finally, there is also a creative moderation process in place in every Private Market Place (PMP). This means that media owners have to moderate the creative and that checks are carried out at this high level. In addition, for an added precaution, there are inclusion / exclusion lists which can be set up.

There are many ways to maximise digital OOH campaigns and deliver real value for brands, so don’t get caught out with irrelevant preconceptions, myths or legends. Now is the time to harness this impactful digital media channel – and experience the benefits and value programmatic OOH consistently delivers for brands.

Check out Part 2 - for some more myth-busting facts.

Natalia Escribano is Chief Commercial Officer at VIOOH. For more information visit:


media buying
programmatic digital out of home