Memorable Digital OOH Advertising Examples to Take Inspiration From

With the surge in popularity of social media marketing, many companies have shifted their focus to going digital. Influencers’ Instagram feeds, coupled with the magic of algorithms, have become valuable advertising spaces that could significantly increase brand awareness. While everyone seems to be online these days, traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising is still predicted to be a $40-billion industry by the end of 2024. This includes billboards and posters that account for half of the market share.

As advertisers shift to digital, print advertisement spending decreases year-on-year, but this doesn’t mean OOH is dying with it. In fact, there’s an ongoing surge in OOH marketing, all thanks to the digitization of traditional OOH ads.

OOH Advertising Meaning

OOH stands for Out of Home, meaning advertisements found outside your home. It may not be on your personal devices, but you can see them everywhere–from the back of taxis and bus stops to the usual billboards and posters. OOH advertising companies target people who are always on the go: think commuters, office workers, or even people running their everyday errands.

Before the digital marketing boom, brands spent a chunk of their advertising budgets on securing prime advertising spots like they’re real estate. The busier the area, the more mileage the campaign gets. However, with paid ads and influencer marketing taking over, traditional ad methods are becoming less popular.

Types of OOH Advertising

The possibilities are endless when it comes to OOH advertising. However, outdoor ads can be classified into two: traditional/static or digital.

Traditional or static OOH ads are campaigns that use static media such as billboards, posters, bulletins, or wallpapers. Meanwhile, digital OOH is a new technology that uses LED displays to show advertisements. It uses the same principle as traditional OOH but utilizes LED screens instead of prints.

OOH ads can also be classified according to their installation locations. For instance, place-based ads are campaigns located in airports, bus stations, shopping malls, and more.

Traditional OOH

Billboards and posters are the most common type of traditional OOH advertisements. Billboards are typically located along major highways or on top of buildings. Known for their size and excellent location, they are a great way to catch the attention of passersby and motorists.

Transit OOH

Transit OOH ads refer to campaigns installed in public transportation. They can be found in airports, bus stations, taxis, and even bus interiors. Some are even attached to the back of taxis or trucks and serve as roving billboards. They are great for geo-targeted marketing, like promoting area-specific goods and services. 

Place-Based OOH

Place-based OOH advertisements are “in-your-face” campaigns installed in places people frequent. The most common ones are elevators, cinemas, stadiums, and shopping malls. This also includes guerilla marketing and wild postings meant to catch people by surprise and make a lasting impression.

Street Furniture OOH

Street furniture OOH are ads posted on public amenities such as benches, trash bins, phone booths, and lamp posts. These are meant for eye-level viewing, bringing the material closer to its target audience.

Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

Digital OOH combines the principles of traditional OOH and LED display technology to make eye-catching campaigns. DOOH can be static or dynamic, allowing brands to display animations or video clips to catch viewers’ attention. They are typically located in high-traffic areas such as city centers, malls, and building facades, which greatly increases their visibility.

Benefits of DOOH Advertising

Better reach

While paid ads and algorithm do a great job in targeted marketing, they are limited to those who use social media platforms or the internet altogether. Digital OOH can reach a wider audience when installed in a good location. For instance, a stadium DOOH playing 50 times a game, with an average gate attendance of 3,000 through 24 games in a season, can generate 3.5 million impressions.

Better recall

Traditional OOH ads are limited to static images. This meant the poster or billboard should be well-designed, have an intriguing messaging, or placed in an unusual location to catch people’s attention. With digital OOH, advertisers can load dynamic content such as animations and videos on loop to stand out from others. Some even utilize 3D billboards or transparent LED curtains to add to the shock factor.

Real-World Behavior Targeting and Retargeting

If social media ads have location-based and algorithm-based targeting, digital OOH, similar to traditional OOH, has place-based ads. These are ads installed on specific locations like cinemas, elevators, and shopping malls that target a niche audience. Real-world behavior insights also help advertisers identify locations where their prospective consumers are to retarget them.

Competes With Phones

Americans scroll through their phones almost a hundred times per day, which social media marketers take advantage of with ads embedded in their timelines. Well-designed digital OOH ads are a great way to take people’s eyes off their phones for even a few seconds. These “few seconds” are crucial in making a lasting impact on the audience.

15 Digital OOH Advertising Examples

The NBA

In 2022, the NBA took over key locations throughout the US with a digital out-of-home campaign to launch the 75th Anniversary Playoffs. It featured countdowns, live scores, and live tweets from eager fans, helping build up the excitement for the post-season games. NBA partnered with X (formerly Twitter) to incorporate related posts into the displays, allowing fans to interact with the ad by using its hashtags.

The campaign proved effective, as the NBA’s brand awareness and tune-in intent were up by 7% and 25%, respectively, drawing in millions of viewers.

DoorDash

US-based food delivery service DoorDash used static and dynamic digital ads to encourage its target audience to sign up as “Dashers”. Instead of dispatching large screens in prime locations, the company used programmatic advertising in areas where they wanted to increase brand awareness. DoorDash also launched a mobile campaign in conjunction with the DOOH ads and retargeted viewers exposed to their digital ads through their mobile phones.

The campaign helped increase intent sign-up to be a Dasher by 6%.

McCafe

McDonald’s UK launched a digital OOH campaign across major cities promoting its summer drinks. The digital posters responded to changes in temperature, displaying the advertisement when the temperature exceeds 22 degrees Celsius and flashing the name of the city and the current temperature when it exceeds 25 degrees Celsius. This added a fun element to the campaign, effectively convincing people to buy McCafe drinks when it gets too hot.

Acadia SUV

General Motors’ GMC was the first to use machine learning and artificial intelligence in a digital OOH ad. With built-in cameras on the display, the interactive ad could identify a person’s demographics and curate targeted video ads about its new Acadia SUV. GMC effectively created personalized messages with the use of real-life algorithms.

New Balance

Dutch track star Femke Bol was the subject of New Balance’s digital OOH across the Netherlands. The athletic brand that sponsors Bol celebrated her European Championships title by launching digital screens nationwide, highlighting her success story. The campaign’s narrative started by boosting Bol’s morale before the race and ended with her winning the gold medal. The ads were strategically placed throughout her hometown and in places where she trains. The brand used a single ad that’s dynamic enough to fit any size and shape of LED screen.

Guinness

In a bid to make their beer the “go-to winter beer”, Guinness launched a digital OOH ad in Australia just when the winter season was about to start. The screens were placed near pubs that serve Guinness beer and the ad would pop out when the temperature reaches a certain threshold. The campaign proved effective as Guinness saw significant increase in winter sales in the Australian market.

Google

Google used its signature search bar to launch a summer campaign in the UK. Dubbed “Make the most of summer”, the digital OOH featured popular UK locations and search terms related to summer. The responsive digital ad showcased how Google and Google Maps can help users make the most out of their summer holidays.

Travel Texas

Travel Texas launched a digital OOH campaign named “Let’s Texas”, which aimed to invite tourists to explore the state. The campaign’s messaging was targeted towards Gen X families, millennials, and boomers who are willing to make the trip to Texas. The ads used real-time adjustments and adapted to the time of the day and implemented mobile retargeting to sustain initial impressions.

LASIK MD

LASIK MD utilized artificial intelligence to deliver its digital OOH ad effectively to its target audience. With camera-equipped LED screens installed in elevators, AI identified whether the rider was wearing a pair of glasses, updating the creatives accordingly. It also determined the demographics of the audience and modified the advertisement material based on the kind of glasses worn.

The targeted audience’s engagement increased by 17% and the campaign produced 11 million impressions.

Pepsi Max

Pepsi Max took over the digital signage in London bus stops and turned them into “windows” displaying incredible animations. The screen seamlessly integrated the space of the street to create the illusion that something weird is happening right next to the bus stop.

Bavaria

Dutch beer maker Bavaria launched a digital campaign promoting the Dutch carnival. Advertisers lobbied for a national holiday in support of the carnival. The ad was shared on all social media platforms and gained the support of national television advertising. This generated 4 million impressions and thousands of likes and comments for Bavaria.

Willy Wonka

Warner Bros launched a digital OOH campaign promoting its upcoming movie Wonka in Times Square. Using a 3D billboard, the activation displayed a true-to-life video of Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka, which stood out from all the flat-screen billboards around it.

Apotek Hjärtat

Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek Hjärtat launched a digital OOH campaign marketing anti-smoking products. It involved LED screens with smoke detectors that flashed an image of a man coughing when cigarette smoke is detected. The interactive display was effective in targeting its niche market.

Aperol

Aperol used cleverly designed creatives to launch its summer campaign promoting Aperol Spritz. Using orange as the dominant color, the digital ad stood in contrast with the blue skies. The ads only appeared when temperatures reached 66°F (19°C), which is deemed as the perfect temperature for drinking cocktails. They were strategically placed in areas with high foot traffic and cocktail spots, ensuring they target the right audience.

Nike Air Max

Nike’s 3D billboard in Tokyo is one of the most photographed digital OOH ads in the world. It features an animation of a giant box of Nike Air Maxes that opens with a different pair every time. The anticipation of what the pair inside would be piqued the interest of the crowd. 

Tips on Planning Your Campaign

  1. Utilize personalization: Use dynamic creatives and apply data-driven insights in creating messaging that will resonate with your target audience.
  2. Choose location wisely: Ensure your ad location is where your target audience is. This helps the campaign garner more engagement.
  3. Use real-time optimizations: Real-time optimization adjusts your ads according to audience behavior, maximizing impact and impressions.
  4. Utilize other marketing channels: Integrate digital OOH to other marketing channels such as mobile for efficient retargeting.
  5. Adapt to trends: Stay updated with trends and cultural moments and apply them to your campaign for greater relevance.
  6. Use the weather: Campaign activations that adapt to changes in weather increase brand relevance.
  7. Include the audience: Interactive campaigns that require audience participation make a lasting impact and effectively send the message.
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