Last week’s blog explored the value of using video in a marketing campaign. The ROI of video is undeniable. Video is also remaking the oldest advertising media, Outdoor. People have been using signs since the caveman. As a means of advertising outdoor has influenced consumers since they traveled on horseback. Now digital Outdoor advertising is using the most sophisticated marketing tools to impart messaging. Video and Outdoor advertising are a perfect match.

What Is Outdoor

Outdoor Advertising or Out-of-Home (OOH) is just that. Any advertisement that reaches a person outside the home. Outdoor takes many forms, from highway billboards, to signs in and on buses, subways and trains. You see OOH screens in elevators and cabs and signage in airports. It is everywhere. Outdoor advertising cannot be turned off. If it is in the line of sight, it is unavoidable.

And Outdoor is effective. A Nielsen study found that 55% of people who saw a digital sign could recall the specific message. Animated content does even better, according to one study it does five times better. Animation simply holds the attention longer.

Digital and Outdoor

At first, people thought the digital revolution would hurt Outdoor. The opposite is true, digital revolutionized Outdoor. Digital has greatly helped the Outdoor business measure. Putting a cord across a highway to count traffic is one thing. But how do you know the traffic on a busy street corner? Through cell phone tracking. Every time a person downloads an app that asks for location data and accepts, that data is then shared. This provides deeper insights than just traffic counts. A mobile phone has an ID that belongs to a person whose demographics are now shared. There is no guarantee that person saw the ad, but the data is invaluable. Mobile also helps with traffic patterns, another insight that was once hard to measure.

Digital advertising assists with timing of ads. The all-day restaurant is now able to display different ads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meal delivery services can target commuters as they head home after a long day. Weather triggers are easily incorporated. Ski resorts may tout their location when the weather is cold and snowy, while sunny island getaways lure people south. And a sale that is only five days away can be counted down every 24 hours.

Programmatic Outdoor

Digital ushered Outdoor into the world of programmatic advertising. Programmatic is the real-time buying of advertising through an auction or marketplace. Buyers place orders for very specific advertising parameters around timing, demographics and location. Now with more sophisticated information regarding who sees or passes a digital sign, buyers can go on the exchange and bid on Outdoor impressions with greater confidence.

Outdoor Video Creative

Once a marketer knows the boards they want to buy it is time to develop the right video assets. This is not the place to run your Explainer video. Most digital boards have time limits, some as few as eight seconds. Much like a bumper ad on YouTube, it is plenty of time for a “get-to-the-point” message. And with shorter attention spans, quick is better.

If you have done your homework and know the audience you are targeting make the video for them. Create a video that resonates. Consider the context of the screen locations. Boards in a suburban shopping mall might have different video from those on a busy city street. And develop it to fit the boards you are buying. Outdoor is not a one-size-fits all media. Use the space on the screen effectively.

Think about the length of your campaign and the frequency viewers will see the message. A board on a busy street corner on the way to the train station will just become part of the background if the video is not changed out regularly. You have an opportunity to tell a story. Tie each video together and progress the theme. You will entertain your audience and become memorable in the process. Similarly, when buying consecutive screens moving down the street use that to your advantage. The room for creativity is endless.

Video and Outdoor Advertising

Using video and outdoor advertising is not a time to experiment on your own. Bring in a video professional. Think though your objective and work that into your video. While people do not travel about looking for ads there are many moments to grab their attention. Use that disruption to your advantage. The only limitations are your imagination. Be inventive and see how video and outdoor advertising grow your brand.