LONDON: Consumers who engage with out-of-home advertising (OOH) often go on to use their smartphones to connect with brands directly, a new study has found.

Outsmart, the marketing body for the out-of-home industry in the UK, claimed that OOH activity leads to a 17% uplift in smartphone brand actions, or search queries that include the name of a brand or a campaign tagline.

In what Outsmart said was the its first major study since launching in September last year, the company worked with Ipsos, the research firm, and OOH measurement body Route to monitor the behaviour of 16 to 44-year-olds when they were on public journeys.

The research employed geo-location techniques and involved more than 60,000 websites, more than 1,300 hours of OOH dwell time, 16,000 brand actions and over 150 hours of time with brands.

In addition to the overall 17% uplift in smartphone activity, the analysis revealed that smartphone brand action increased to 38% among the top 20 best-performing campaigns covered in the research, and rose even higher among younger consumers.

Two-thirds (66%) of smartphone actions were made direct to a brand, such as visiting a website, but also more than half (57%) of those who took action were what the report called new or lapsed customers.

The authors at Outsmart said this finding highlighted the power of OOH for brands seeking growth by reaching a wider group of consumers beyond the core buyer.

"Our study reveals a clear message; having OOH on your media plan will increase interaction with your brand via a smartphone," said Alan Brydon, CEO of Outsmart.

"We already know that OOH builds brands and delivers long term effectiveness. With our 'OutPerform' results we've shown that OOH is a gateway to personal time with brands, simultaneously driving brand interaction in the short term and all advertisers and agencies should want to learn more."

New data from the AA/Warc Expenditure Report, released last week, show that advertising spend for the out-of-home sector rose 3.9% to £1.1bn in 2015. The report expects adspend to rise a further 4.9% this year, buoyed by increasing digital panel penetration and programmatic trade.

Data sourced from Outsmart; additional content by Warc staff