“Digital Out-Of-Home”: The Secret to Multiplying Your ROI from Display Screens

digital out-of-home

According to the numbers, outdoor advertising is going strong. The global market of out-of-home advertising is expected to reach $50 billion by 2020. Do you know what is the main contributor to this growth? Maybe you would have not guessed, but it’s digital signage.

It is a clear sign (excuse the pun) that companies are looking for a solution that is more flexible, easier to integrate into interactive platforms and is more appealing to a tech-savvy public.

But switching all displays to digital screens will not likely happen overnight, and it also comes with significant costs. Not to mention the fact that most companies cannot afford the investment in one-off, custom digital display campaigns. Below we share the secret to a more feasible alternative: image recognition.


Why are publishing and media companies becoming more “digital”?

digital out-of-home

We’ve witnessed directly how publishers and Out-of-Home (OOH) media companies are striving to become more digital.

At this year’s Festival of Media Global, one of the industry’s most important annual gatherings, it was significant that both publishers, such as Time Inc, and OOH companies  – including JCDecaux and Clear Channel in a shared panel session – talked about the need to link physical assets to interactive, digital content.

This is how “OOH” is getting a makeover, turning into a smarter, sexier version dubbed “Digital Out-of-Home” (DOOH).

This is driven by clear business interest: establish better ROIimprove monetization and provide today’s consumers with a more engaging customer experience.

Firstly, publishers and brands focus on digital content such as videos or interactive tutorials, as these can reach more ‘eyeballs’ distributed in different digital channels. They also seek to establish a measurable, instant impact on sales, for example, leading the viewer to an offer after seeing the content.

Then, Out-of-Home media companies enjoy flexibility and can serve their advertisers better, as they are able to provide dynamic, updated content with offers delivered in real-time.


Coca Cola makes personalized DOOH in Times Square to encourage fans to “share a Coke”

Remarkable examples, such as Coca-Cola’s Social Media integrated billboard in Times Square showed that the future of OOH lies in making a link to digital platforms and becoming a ‘direct response’ medium.

drinkable interactive billboard cocacola

The NHS Health service in the UK drives awareness of blood donation via Augmented DOOH

British National Health Service (NHS) increased blood donation awareness with its unique Digital Out-of-Home campaign, featuring an Augmented Reality application and interactive billboards. As the app virtually took the user’s blood over a 20-second period, the ad screen’s empty blood bag filled up and a message was displayed, thanking the participant for “seeing the power of a blood donation”.

As the advertising executive of NHS said: “Out-of-Home has been completely reignited by digital interactions and there are now more ways to catch people’s attention than ever before. There’s excitement back in OOH [for marketers].”

Media experts expect to see more of these intelligent, targeted and measurable campaigns like the “Digital Out-of-Home” medium evolves.

Image Recognition provides a more cost-efficient way to tie Out-of-Home advertising to digital assets

What is the problem with Digital Out-of-Home? Most brands and publishers cannot afford to execute large-scale, high-budget advertising campaigns like the ones mentioned earlier, including setting up a custom outdoor digital infrastructure.

And when it comes to outdoor media companies, changing every single print display to a digital one adds up to a huge sum, even if the cost of producing LED screens is decreasing.

We do not say that the long-term benefits are not attractive, but it’s a fact that the upfront costs of one single digital billboard can reach as much as $200k.

There is an alternative that is more cost-efficient and easier to scaleImage Recognition solutions can help media companies link digital assets to physical objects such as billboards, posters or other print ads.

DOOH scan image recognitionBy creating a simple mobile app with image recognition software inside, companies can ‘digitalize’ all their physical collateral, being able to reach better ROI with a shorter implementation time.

For a typical campaign powered by our CraftAR Image Recognition software, clients can convert 1,000 analog OOH displays into an interactive display for $8k/year on average, including the cost of a standard scanner-type app.

That’s a dramatic saving – up to $102k per display – compared to digitizing OOH through hardware replacement and an increasingly popular option amongst agencies worldwide.

Passers-by can scan a poster or billboard with the mobile app to learn more about the advertised product, see a “how-to” videoparticipate in a game or purchase the goods on the spot on an m-commerce site.

It doesn’t matter whether the display being scanned is a static print poster or a digital screen. The point is that they can interact with these everyday objects in a new, smarter way.

shopping night barcelonaBarcelona Shopping Night is a good example of the innovative use of outdoor media with mobile experiences powered by image recognition.

The experience works fast and easy, even if we are talking about a million copies of the same poster in a hundred city points or with thousands of advertisements in your database.

Imagine how much faster and cheaper it is than having to change all those displays to digital screens. For the fraction of the cost, you can create your own mobile app with Catchoom’s CraftAR Image Recognition solutions inside.

There is another important benefit.

At the moment, approximately 17% of consumers engage with a brand on their smartphones after seeing an outdoor advertisement. By encouraging them to discover more via an image recognition powered mobile app, companies can push this number up and make sure that the customer journey continues within digital platforms. The advertisers may also better personalize their offers and reconnect with their apps’ users’.

And isn’t that exactly what media companies are dreaming of?

Image credits: Adweek, Marketing Week