Digital Out of Home Inspiration

What Is DOOH?

Digital Out of Home (or DOOH) is slowly taking over the outdoor media landscape. Traditional static OOH such as on billboards and public transport is still very much the dominant form, yet digital variants have made large inroads in recent years. WARC reports that DOOH formed just 1.4% of overall OOH adspend in 2003, but this has rocketed to a 21.6% share in 2013 and is anticipated to rise further.

What Can It Achieve?

DOOH is uniquely placed as a media channel. It maintains all of the benefits of traditional OOH, but opens the door to new innovations that advertisers can use to communicate with their audiences more effectively. This includes:

  • Serving ads to DOOH sites based on their location with minimal lead times
  • Making campaigns reactive by including real time information (social media, breaking news)
  • Serving ads based on time of day to match weather patterns, consumer mindsets, etc.
  • Using complete motion in creatives, including long-form videos and live streaming
  • Encouraging interactivity with screens and adding experiential elements to campaigns

Here are some examples of some recent DOOH campaigns that have utilised the technology well:


Misereor’s “The Social Swipe”

Social Swipe Banner

This idea focused on the insight that when people are out and about they always have their credit and debit cards on them. The charity Misereor was looking for a way to get more people to donate their money, so decided to create a digital poster that accepted credit and debit cards. Each swipe of a card equalled a 2 Euro donation and was communicated to the public using a tangible visual comparison, such as daily bread to feed a Peruvian family. The card authentication process was tied in with an on-screen film activation sequence which brilliantly took advantage of what the digital screens had to offer. See it in action here.


Surf’s “Hopscotch and Scent”

Surf Banner

Unilever was launching a new Wild Flower and Morning Dew variant of its Surf washing detergent, and wanted to communicate the new scents to its target market in an innovative way. The solution was to create an engaging creative on digital screens in shopping malls that encouraged passers-by to hopscotch towards the fixture. The twist is that the six-sheet units also featured ‘scent emission units’ that let off a scent whenever somebody was engaged with the digital screen. All of this together created an immersive experience for audiences on the move and is a great example of using a digital screen to capture the attention of passers-by, whilst using other means to keep them engaged.


Imperial War Museum’s “Little-Told Stories”

War Banner

Earlier this year Exterion partnered with the Imperial War Museum to develop a DOOH campaign that formed part of the centenary commemorations for WW1. Exterion’s cross-track projection (XTP) screens on the London Underground were chosen to display 20-second clips that featured “little-told stories” of WW1 because of the high dwell time of commuters in areas where the XTPs are situated. This type of DOOH enables advertisers to take storytelling to a new level in a way that was previously only possible through TV or digital channels, and gives a kick in the teeth to the static billboards that surround it.


Lynx’s “Virtual Angel”

Lynx Banner

In 2011 Lynx decided to partner with JCDecaux to create a one-off DOOH campaign in London’s Victoria station that allowed commuters to appear on digital screens if they stood on a stickered area on the floor. Cameras were filming them and the live feed was beamed to the nearby digital screens. Next, a virtual angel was dropped in next to them to create an augmented reality experience. The public began to interact with these virtual angels – hugging, kissing and dancing with them – as they saw themselves live on screens in the station. Due to the unique use of DOOH technology, the resulting film that was made featuring just the one billboard went viral. See it in action here.


The Sun’s “OpenLoop Headlines”

The Sun Banner

Copy can be served to most DOOH units in real-time, and The Sun wanted to find a new way of pushing its content to a wider audience. The resulting campaign saw the first use of “OpenLoop” technology to tactically send out breaking news stories to screens as they were breaking, and the day’s top headlines during rush hours. The DOOH units that The Sun’s copy was served to were all in rail, underground and petrol station environments in order to capture the attention of people who were after a bite-size chunk of news when they were on the go. Sales of The Sun increased by 2.7% across the duration of the campaign.


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