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Why use DOOH for your advertising campaign?

Are you familiar with DOOH? This advertising format offers many advantages in terms of creativity, targeting and performance measurement. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about DOOH and 6 good reasons to convince you to include it in your communication strategy!


What is DOOH?

The definition of DOOH

DOOH is the acronym for “Digital Out-Of-Home”.

DOOH advertising refers to the digital advertising displays you see every day on the street, in shopping malls, on public transport, etc. This format offers more possibilities than traditional media thanks to the technology. DOOH strengthens the link between advertising and audience with unique concepts, dynamic visuals, increased targeting capabilities or the ability to bid in real time for a specific display space.

The main advantage of this format is its great flexibility. It is possible to change the ad in real time. It is particularly effective in attracting the eye of nearby passers-by with ultra-targeted contextual messages or hooks.

Let’s take a concrete example:

You operate a movie theater. The weather has been very nice until now, but it’s getting cloudy and people are leaving the terraces to go home. On their way, they come across your DOOH ad, which reacts to the drop in temperature by displaying a message inviting them to enjoy the latest blockbuster, in the warmth of your theater located just a few steps away.

What is the difference between DOOH and OOH?

OOH (for “Out-Of-Home”) is one of the oldest advertising formats. You only have to visit the remains of Roman cities or ancient Egypt to see that advertising in public spaces is not a modern concept.

It is under this name that we find the traditional 4 by 3 as well as all the other classic urban displays such as advertisements on bus shelters, in metro stations, on vehicles or even on store windows.

Several studies show that we are particularly receptive to this type of advertising. However, despite its versatility and potential, this format is gradually losing popularity. In a world where digital dominates, its lack of flexibility and interactivity are becoming major handicaps.

That’s why we are seeing a steady increase in the use of DOOH advertising. This format combines the advantages of OOH, while overcoming its limitations.

DOOH is therefore a logical evolution of OOH thanks to digital, which allows advertisers more and more creative possibilities.

How to buy DOOH space?

Unlike OOH advertising, which has an average display duration of 7 to 14 days depending on the format, DOOH is not intended to offer permanent display. The flexibility of the format allows you to buy space on very precise time slots, rather than on periods of several consecutive days.

It is important to know that there are actually two types of DOOH. Each one offers a different way of buying space.

The "classic" DOOH

Here, the owners of DOOH inventories (Displayce, JCDecaux…) offer advertising space directly to advertisers. Transactions and distribution parameters are negotiated manually.

Depending on the interlocutors, 2 proposals can be presented:

👉 You reserve specific broadcasting slots. For example, every day, excluding weekends, between 5pm and 8pm for 2 weeks;

👉 You book a slot on screens that will alternate ads from several advertisers in the form of loops (usually 6 ads of 10 seconds) over a defined period.

Programmatic DOOH

The programmatic DOOH is when the purchase of advertising space is managed automatically in the form of auctions using algorithms. This is called RTB for “real-time bidding”.

But how does it work in practice?

You just have to register on a DSP (Demand-Side Platform) and fill in the relevant information for your campaign. The system will then know according to which criteria you wish to bid on the available spaces. With a DSP, you can be sure to buy the best slot at the best price, while saving the time spent searching for and negotiating individual slots.

As we will see in the following article, there are many advantages to DOOH, especially when used in programmatic.

6 good reasons to use DOOH for your advertising campaigns

Reason #1 - To create interaction with your audience

As you know, digital has revolutionized the way you interact with your consumers. DOOH is totally in line with this. Billboards and screens can incorporate a variety of technologies that allow you to physically engage with passers-by.

Some advertisers are taking advantage of this to create highly creative ads that make a lasting impression.

You may have heard about the Swedish DOOH campaign where billboards were equipped with smoke detectors to trigger messages to stop smoking when smokers passed within range.

Rest assured, it is possible to make it simpler, while being just as impactful!

For example, interactive touch screens open up new opportunities that were previously unavailable with traditional displays: voting, quizzes, contests… Your teams’ creativity is the only limit!

Don’t forget that with their smartphones, passers-by can also directly interact with your ads. Propose elements to be scanned to play with augmented reality, direct them to your social networks, download promo codes… Here again, the possibilities are virtually infinite!

Reason #2 - For its personalization possibilities

Thanks to programmatic advertising, your DOOH ads can be adapted very quickly to the context in which your consumers find themselves at a given moment.

It is possible to broadcast different messages depending on the precise location of the panel. Very practical to direct your consumers to your store located a few blocks away.

Let’s take a fast-food sign. In the morning, it can encourage customers to order a coffee and a pastry. At the end of the day, it will offer to schedule a full menu delivery to passers-by on their way home from work.

And why not adapt your messages to the weather? A clothing company can promote its latest collection of summer dresses when the weather is hot. And if the weather gets cloudy, the post can switch to the most liked trench coat on your Instagram page.

Live score of the local team’s soccer game, the latest viral meme on social networks, current events… It’s up to you to take advantage of anything that will enhance your consumers’ experience with your brand!

Also keep in mind that the great flexibility to modify displays is also a significant advantage to react to a problematic situation: typo in the text, bad buzz in progress… What a way to save yourself a lot of stress on a daily basis!

Personalization is one of the great strengths of programmatic DOOH. Deliver content that responds to the immediate context of your targets at the best time and place. With more relevant messages, you generate more interest in your brand and therefore better advertising performance.

Reason #3 - For its impact on your consumers

If we synthesize what we have just seen, we can say that DOOH reinvents the advertising experience for consumers thanks to more interaction and personalization. It is then perceived as the transmission of useful information rather than as intrusive advertising.

But its value to your communication strategy doesn’t stop there.

With DOOH, you can cover almost any public space. Today, these supports are present in most cities, in streets, train stations, airports, shopping malls, public transportation… You can potentially be visible anywhere, by anyone and at the time when your consumers are most receptive.

You probably know that with the mass of ads we are confronted with at every moment, our brain has developed a natural ability to ignore them. However, several studies show that DOOH ads are much more eye-catching than traditional display ads. This is related to the fact that our eye tends to automatically pick up screens, especially when they display moving visuals.

On the web, the multiplication of ads has also made our brains more and more impervious to ads. This is the phenomenon of “banner blindness”. The click rate on ads has collapsed to the point where a CTR of 1% is now considered as good. The democratization of ad-blockers and the enforcement of privacy policies that make cookies obsolete are gradually killing web advertising in the form we know it. But unlike the web, in real life, there are no cookies or ad-blockers. Another point for DOOH!

At Happydemics, we conducted an analysis of 1242 advertising post-tests of our benchmarks. Among other things, it shows that:

👉 DOOH performs better than OOH on consideration and brand image;
👉 It is the advertising format that generates the most approval among the exposed people;
👉 It performs very well in the leisure and culture and FMCG sectors, especially on intent and brand image;
👉 It is the format that generates the most enjoyment among those exposed;
👉 It performs very well in the leisure and culture and FMCG sectors, especially on intent and brand image;
👉 Programmatic DOOH greatly improves perception with better targeting capabilities.

To learn more about our DOOH benchmark data, contact our team!

Reason #4 - For its targeting capabilities

It’s easy to understand how DOOH advertising allows for extremely precise geographic targeting. This makes it an ideal format to increase visibility at the local level, in a well-defined catchment area.

Typically used near the point of sale, DOOH is one of the last points of contact before purchase. With the right messages, it can be extremely effective in a drive-to-store campaign. Try it out if one of your goals is to drive traffic to the store!

But that’s not all. With programmatic, it’s possible to deliver contextually relevant ads, as we saw earlier. You can continuously adjust your messages and visuals to be more relevant to your targets.

For optimal results, you can go even further. Again thanks to programmatic, it is possible to target your audience based on socio-demographic criteria. There are two solutions for this:

The first one is to adapt your broadcasting according to your consumers’ behaviors to increase the chances that they will be exposed to your ads. For example, a streaming platform could advertise the release of its latest hit series to young people in the vicinity of high schools and universities during school hours.

The second option is based on the GPS or RFID technology used in some DOOH screens. They can then detect the smartphones of nearby passers-by to trigger a specific message.

For various reasons, including privacy concerns, it is not possible to target a specific person individually. However, you can use mobile retargeting, as you would with online display advertising. For example, a sports equipment company could display its best-selling cleats to people who visited the soccer section of its website.

Finally, with these technologies, you can track your consumers on the move with their geolocation data. Terribly efficient to broadcast a series of complementary messages along a journey to guide the visit to a point of sale for example.

Reason #5 - For optimized investments

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve figured out that programmatic advertising in DOOH allows you to deliver your campaign only where it’s most likely to be seen by your consumers.

Although you are communicating in the public space, you are not in mass advertising. And that’s great news for your budgets!

What budget for a DOOH campaign?

You should know that DOOH allows you to save on certain costs. Production costs as well as technical and logistical costs are almost non-existent. Thank you digital! Programmatic advertising takes care of buying and broadcasting for you, so you save human time. Moreover, since the equipment does not belong to you, you are not responsible for maintenance.

Of course, depending on your choice of formats, schedules, locations… the budgets will not be the same. But keep in mind that DOOH advertising is not a particularly expensive format compared to others.

Your budgets will most often be calculated on a CPM (Cost Per Thousand) basis. This means that you will pay a certain amount for each 1000 impressions of your ad. As a reminder, in digital, an impression corresponds to one view of your content.

In fact, the cost of a DOOH campaign is mostly dependent on your needs. It is by defining all the parameters of your campaign with precision that you will obtain the maximum results for a minimum investment.

Our tips for optimizing your DOOH investments

First, think about your goals. Do you want to attract traffic to your store? Develop your popularity? Or rather your brand image? From these stakes, your choices in terms of broadcasting areas and times, messages, etc., will follow.

Of course, good targeting will also help reduce your financial needs. With DOOH, customization has much more impact than if you aim for the big picture. Knowing your consumers, their habits and the places they frequent will help you refine your targeting and therefore optimize the volume of space purchase needed.

Next, find out where the DOOH media you’re considering for your campaign are located. Traffic and behaviors are different depending on the location, the time of day or the type of screen available to you. Think about the attention span available to make the best choices and adapt your messages accordingly. For example, it will be very different on a busy avenue than in a waiting area such as a station platform.

For the same reasons, identify how often your consumers return to the targeted locations. You must adapt your messages according to whether they are present on a daily or occasional basis.

To take full advantage of the personalization capabilities offered by DOOH, also take into account the context so you can alternate several messages on the same screen. Once again, programmatic will be your ally to adapt your content in real time.

Finally, be aware that in the public space you will be competing with a large number of other DOOH or OOH ads. Create engaging experiences and visuals combined with clear messages to make them easy to remember and understand.

Reason #6 - To effectively measure your advertising performance

Because DOOH is a digital medium, it allows you to get real-time data that is impossible to get with traditional display.

Many DOOH screens are able to count the number of people who have stopped in front of them and for how long. Those equipped with touch interfaces record the information entered as well as the usage path. Signs that can interact with smartphones provide you with more precise information about their respective owners.

The Happydemics platform helps you go even further by measuring the effectiveness of your DOOH campaigns with dedicated indicators.

Ad recall, approval, relevance, consideration, purchase or visit intent… the tool collects the opinions of individuals exposed to your ads so that you can prove their real impact on consumers.

Happydemics interrogates the right people by targeting them by location or by using the mobile ID of smartphones near the screens at the precise moments when your ads were broadcast.

The platform allows you to measure the overall performance of your campaign, even if it combines several media, digital or not (OOH, web, radio, TV…).

Finally, you can compare your results with the best performers of the market thanks to 15 000 benchmarks.