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Digital: the poster boy of 2015

Digital billboards have been in the news over the last few weeks. NYC’s Times Square has landed the world’s biggest – it stretches an entire block on Broadway.

Piccadilly Circus’ digital screens have also hit the headlines. TDK is not renewing its contract, teeing up a bidding process that will attract the planet’s biggest brands.

Both sites have been front men for digital out of home (DOOH) for years and their newsworthiness is indicative of DOOH’s establishment. Its power as a memorable and spectacular advertising tool, which engages audiences, is undisputed and has been for years.

London Pride

It’s undoubtedly a key player in OOH advertising’s resilience as a whole. McKinsey revealed that despite the advent of other forms of advertising, over the last five years OOH has not only held firm, but seen the most growth.

The potential for DOOH is therefore huge and there is agreement across the industry that adoption is at a tipping point. Why? Because digital is no longer just a luminescent board attached to a landmark.

The combination of tech, connectivity, the smart use of content and a sophisticated approach to collaboration and partnerships with brands has turned DOOH on its head. It has become an experience.

It’s now an engaging, captivating, enduring and emotional advertising medium. It taps into the modern consumer – the hyper-connected individual who is not only looking for engaging content from advertising, but an experience that is memorable and that they can share.

We’ve seen brands realise this through campaigns recently. Hasbro ran a live interactive game on Westfield Stratford’s Four Dials digital screen. Pride in London encouraged commuters to share their #FreedomTo stories via social media during the festival, and displayed this content on the Underground XTP screens. Tate Britain brought the weather forecast to life for commuters through art, again on the Underground’s XTP screens.

This innovation is driving DOOH beyond the bright lights of the West End and Broadway. It’s becoming the way to effectively engage with consumers. The stats demonstrate this. DOOH sites in the UK are set to grow more than 40% between now and 2020 according to Kinetic Worldwide.

The digital billboard poster boys of Times Square and Piccadilly Circus have grabbed the headlines over the years. But in tandem there has been a gradual awakening of DOOH, fuelled by progression in tech, content and the ability to create the memorable and spectacular.

In 2015, we believe digital will really land. The bright lights of the DOOH poster boys will continue to glow and will still fill tourists’ photo albums. But keep your eyes peeled for innovative, engaging and equally spectacular campaigns coming to digital billboards near you.


Article by Shaun Gregory, CEO Exterion Media