April 18, 2024
6 Mins to Read

Next-level DOOH advertising: Maximize impact with emerging trends

Next-level DOOH advertising: Maximize impact with emerging trends

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising covers any and all digital media in places accessible to the public.  DOOH ads have evolved from video billboards we’ve seen in the past. Now, you’ll find DOOH ads on bus stops, footpaths, the roofs of taxis, and more — the sky’s the limit.

This kind of accessibility and delivery is why DOOH is so powerful. 

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about DOOH to get started. This includes: 

  • What DOOH advertising is.
  • Why is DOOH so popular?
  • Why is DOOH growing in popularity as an advertising channel?
  • How you can leverage DOOH ads. 
  • Popular examples of DOOH advertising.

What is DOOH advertising?

DOOH advertising is any digital advertising the public can interact with. It’s a broad category, including digital billboards and outdoor signage. 

In comparison, static billboards and signage make up traditional OOH (out-of-home) advertising. Technological evolution has made digital OOH advertising far superior to OOH. Not only is DOOH more interactive and engaging, but you can also measure the impact of your campaign. And it’s much, much faster to launch. 


This speed to launch, data collecting capabilities, and the reach of DOOH have contributed to its steadily evolving popularity as an advertising channel. 

Benefits of programmatic DOOH advertising

There's programmatic advertising, and then there's programmatic DOOH advertising. There are a few reasons why you’re going to love programmatic DOOH advertising. Here are a number of key benefits you should be aware of:

Higher engagement levels

DOOH media allows advertisers to display dynamic and interactive content on digital screens. The nature of this content captures viewers' attention more effectively than static ads. As humans, we’re hardwired to be interested in bright, moving images. This immersive experience will drive higher engagement levels for your campaign. 

Data, data, data

One of the biggest draws of DOOH, compared to OOH, is the ability to measure and analyze. You can track your campaign performance in real-time, gathering data on impressions, engagement rates, and other key metrics. 

Then, once you know what’s working and what’s not, you can make informed decisions. This optimization means you’re not leaking valuable resources on a flawed campaign. Better data = better ROI

Here’s more on how you can use your data to boost your ROI. 

Real-time campaign optimization

One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional OOH is that once it’s published, it’s not changing. With programmatic DOOH, you have the ability to make real-time adjustments to your campaign. As we mentioned above, you can take insights from your data to make your campaign more effective at reaching your performance goals. 

Besides the data, however, you can also fix any issues or errors in your campaign that may have slipped through the cracks. And you can change your campaign elements on the fly if (and when) market conditions shift. This is especially important for values-driven audiences who may not want to see a beer advertisement next to an embassy when a war has just broken out. 

Precise targeting

Programmatic DOOH allows for granular audience targeting, much like programmatic digital advertising. You can take your data sources — demographics, location, time, and behaviors — and deliver hyper-relevant messages to specific audiences. 

Imagine you have a billboard on a busy highway during a lunchtime rush hour. Could be the optimal time to deliver a video of a juicy burger while promoting your delivery app, right? It could also be a good time to say something along the lines of, “Rush hour lasts 20 minutes on average — burger delivery takes 25 minutes on average. Order now and have lunch waiting on your doorstep.” 

This precision targeting means your ads are displayed to the right people at the right time in the right place.

Campaign management

The automation and programmatic nature of DOOH makes the campaign management process a breeze. You can easily manage multiple campaigns across various screens and locations. 

Creatively, the sky’s the limit 

Digital screens provide creative opportunities that go beyond static images. You can use video, animations, cinemagraphs, and other dynamic elements to tell more compelling stories and capture viewers' attention effectively. Tell your creative team to go wild with concepts and see what they come up with.


Integration with other channels

You can easily integrate DOOH advertising with your overall paid media strategy and other digital efforts. This integration will create cohesion in your marketing campaigns. 

In DOOH advertising, companies will do well to think about the user's holistic experience. Everyone has a phone in their hands today. Often the first thing we do when we see something interesting is to Google it or check it out on social media. Make sure all of your customer touchpoints are cohesive. 

We can offer to help with holistic paid media services. 

Leveraging emerging trends in DOOH advertising

Make the best use of your DOOH budget by knowing and using these emerging trends. 

Integration with other devices and channels will evolve into an ecosystem

Linking your DOOH campaigns with mobile devices and social platforms creates a full advertising ecosystem. 

In-person QR codes, NFC tags, and mobile apps can enable users to interact with DOOH content via their smartphones. Pair these with hashtags and content on social, like real-time updates on events or sales, and you’ve created a sales funnel that touches all points. 

Bonus idea: Displaying live social media feeds or incorporating user-generated content on DOOH screens can create a sense of community and engagement.

Contextual DOOH advertising will become more creative and personalized

DOOH advertising’s unique opportunities from other digital advertising lie in its location. Advertising in public spaces, often outdoors, can comment on its surroundings. You can use elements of the scenery like weather, traffic, or even crowds to inspire your campaigns and forge a connection with your audience. 

Imagine if a bus stop asked you if you needed an umbrella during a downpour and then pointed you in the direction of a store that sells them. Or if a billboard advertised WFH career opportunities on a job board to people stuck in traffic during their morning commute? 


You can use the medium to inspire the message. Trigger-based campaigns can automatically adjust ad content based on predefined conditions, such as time of day, audience density, or local events.

AI and machine learning will continue to advance 

AI isn’t slowing down any time soon. With DOOH advertising, AI and machine learning algorithms will continue to give better and faster results. Real-time data analysis will help decision-makers improve ad performance. Information like audience demographics, behavior, and foot traffic patterns can inform your DOOH ad optimization. 

Dynamic content optimization will continue to improve, too. Generative AI can dynamically adjust content based on audience preferences and reactions. For example, a DOOH screen detects a large number of young adults passing by. So, it adjusts its ad creative to better speak to the present demographic.

DOOH examples for inspiration 

If you’re wondering, “What is an example of DOOH advertising?” Then you’ve come to the right place. Here are three examples of DOOH in the wild. 


Pepsi Max turned a bus shelter into a live-action sci-fi scene using AR and video effects. The results surprised and delighted London commuters. The campaign intended to share Pepsi’s brand’s message of “Live For Now.” Pepsi then used the footage from the installment to create video assets for its social media feed.


The campaign resulted in a media frenzy, with 95% of impressions and coverage as earned media. The campaign went viral with three million views in five days on YouTube. Plus, sales went by 35% YoY and Pepsi was recognized with over 20 advertising awards. 

Major Tom 

Major Tom’s name was inspired by David Bowie and, in part, astronaut Chris Hadfield. So when Chris Hadfield came to Vancouver’s Symphony Orchestra, Major Tom saw an opportunity to connect with the community over our shared love for the astronaut. 


The Space Oddities campaign was an experiential DOOH campaign to surprise, delight, and raise money for charity. 

The campaign took a three-tiered approach.

Tactic #1: Make sure Chris Hadfield and all of Vancouver know about it

Major Tom took out hyper-local programmatic ads in a 300m radius of the VSO. These broadcasted the message of Chris Hadfield being in Vancouver on external billboards in bus shelters, urban panels, and screens in casual dining locations.  

Major Tom leveraged dayparting to keep the messaging relevant as the event approached. The second set of these ads engaged the audience to donate to the Canadian Red Cross, a charity endorsed by Hadfield. 

Tactic #2: A gift from Major Tom 

Major Tom wanted to give its hero something to take home. Chris Hadfield and his band were gifted limited edition t-shirts from our Tin Can store, along with a handwritten thank-you note. 

Tactic #3: Free gifts, and charity initiatives 

A Major Tom astronaut was on-scene of the VSO event handing out free merch and directing people to the Tin Can store. The proceeds of this initiative were donated to the Canadian Red Cross, alongside a donation from Major Tom. 

The campaign saw a 391% increase in website visitors and an average Tin Can order value of $71. But more importantly, we spread a little joy. And Chris Hadfield tweeted about it. 

6S Marketing 

When Apple steals your agency’s name, what do you do? You put it on a billboard

In the impending launch of the iPhone 6S, back when we were 6S Marketing, we saw an opportunity to do something hilarious.

6S rented out a billboard in Times Square and parked a mobile ad truck outside of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. The message was, “We had the name first.” This came alongside pleas to Apple to name their next product the iPhone 7. 


The DOOH campaign was all in good fun. 6S experienced a positive trend in the news cycle because of it and saw a huge increase in traffic and leads as a result. 

DOOH advertising is your next opportunity for innovation

DOOH advertising has evolved into a powerful and dynamic advertising channel that shows no signs of slowing down. 

As technology continues to advance, DOOH advertising will play an increasingly significant role in the advertising landscape. It offers an innovative way to connect with your audience, so be sure to incorporate DOOH advertising into your marketing strategies.

Victoria Samways, Marketing & Brand Manager

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