Transforming consumer journeys through digital tech innovation

Over the past few years, Digital Out of Home (DOOH) has exploded onto the scene and has completely changed the way advertisers are able to engage with consumers. Effectively, it has opened up a brave new world of potential interaction

For the first time ever, Annual Out of Home (OOH) revenues have smashed through the £1bn revenue barrier. With DOOH responsible for a quarter of all UK OOH spend, according to the Outdoor Media Centre, it now represents a sizeable chunk of change.

Digital is fundamentally transforming the OOH sector and innovation in this space is allowing brands to create amazing interactive experiences for customers.

A recent campaign by the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, called #LookingForYou, for example, used innovative technology to connect and emotionally engage with high-street shoppers.

Over a two week period at Westfield Stratford City, volunteers at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home handed out specially created leaflets containing an RFID tag. Anyone who chose to take a leaflet made themselves discoverable. As the shoppers walked past the digital billboards located around the shopping centre, the technology-enabled leaflet activated Barley, a former Battersea dog, who would then magically follow them from screen-to-screen. The campaign won three Bronze awards last month at the Cannes Lions Festival.


Panel research by Kinetic shows that digital screens are having a real impact on consumers.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of the 1,000 consumers who were questioned said that upon seeing an outdoor digital advertisement, they had looked for more information about the product, service or experience. Effectively in time, this increased to 24% for those aged between 18-24. Another success was that 23% of this age group downloaded an app after seeing an outdoor advertisement.

However, technology is being employed in DOOH, not only to better engage consumers, but actually improve the bottom line for brands as well.

Together with the Transport for London (TfL) and Shopwave, we recently teamed up for a three-week advertising trial with Crosstown Doughnuts, which saw the retailer’s sales shoot up to a whopping 150 per cent thanks to an OOH advertising first that served promotions in real-time, using live Point of Sale (PoS) information.

One of the most exciting pieces of OOH tech to roll out later this year is the next generation cross-track DX3 screens on the London Underground (LU). State-of-the-art media players will offer live feeds and the ability to stream High Definition (HD) video content and daily features. This provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to content, giving media planners and advertisers the opportunity for continuity by using the same HD ads they would for television and the internet, outdoors.

Nevertheless, don’t go thinking that tech innovation in OOH only applies to DOOH.

The future of OOH engagement is all about being able to deliver a truly personal experience. That’s why we think Bluetooth beacon technology with London’s buses will enable brands to provide targeted and relevant information to millions of London’s bus-riders every day. With so many of us keeping our smartphones handy during the bus journeys we take every day, it makes sense to combine the two.

OOH is making great strides when it comes to exploiting technology, but we still have a long way to go. To ensure we are employing the most cutting-edge technology in the most exciting ways, we are partnering with the best content and digital businesses to offer the most innovative opportunities to brands, and transform ordinary journeys into extraordinary experiences for consumers.

Blog by Tim Cartwright, first published in 12 ahead