LONDON: Out-of-home media is attracting some unexpected advertisers as the medium’s digital capabilities expand and the possibilities grow for a more creative approach using real-time and contextually relevant content.

David McEvoy, director of marketing at outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux, observed that the internet giants Google and Facebook are now among the biggest spenders in out-of-home.

“Their digital platforms are built on smart, short-form, autoplay video ads where sound isn’t initiated and that’s exactly what digital out-of-home is now offering at large scale,” he told Marketing Week.

“Out-of-home and mobile will continue to converge; there’s barely any differences and the Facebooks of this world are realising this.”

That process is helping OOH’s position as one of the very few traditional media channels to withstand the impact of digital and mobile, as it continues to grow – at 4.5% to £1.1bn in the UK last year.

The advent of digital OOH revolutionised the industry; throw in the location-tracking made possible by smartphones and the growth of programmatic and all sorts of new options are opening up.

A recent campaign for energy company E.ON, for example, geofenced OOH sites and then later served audio ads via the DAX platform to those consumers it had identified as having seen the poster: brand consideration increased 26% among these consumers, while likelihood to recommend climbed 31%.

Programmatic, meanwhile, is about more than simply automation of processes, according to Cadi Jones, commercial innovation director at Clear Channel.

“It’s about connecting brands more effectively with their audiences by allowing them to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time,” she said.

“Ultimately, programmatic can revolutionise out-of-home – making it as flexible, measurable and creative as other media.

“It brings down buying barriers, making out-of-home even easier to buy,” she said. “This will bring new spend to out-of-home from ‘digital’ budgets and programmatic buyers, helping to grow out-of-home’s share of the media spend.”

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff