As digital out-of-home continues to expand across the Asia-Pacific region and grow its data and creative capabilities, Vistar Media’s Ben Baker explains why brands and retailers should prioritise it across their marketing campaigns.

In the fast-paced world of advertising, the APAC region has always been at the forefront of innovation. With its diverse cultures, local nuances and rapidly growing economies, the region has become a hotbed for the latest advertising and marketing trends. From Singapore to Australia and New Zealand, one such trend is the explosive growth of digital out-of-home (DOOH), with the regional market reaching US$8 billion in 2022 and expected to hit US$18 billion by 2028, according to Imarc.

This comes off the back of an increasing number of marketers finding that out-of-home’s (OOH) combination of precision, efficiency and measurement is an effective way to connect brands with their target audiences, whilst driving tangible campaign outcomes.

So what is the business case for DOOH in APAC and why must marketers, brands and retailers prioritise it across their marketing campaigns?

The winning combination of data and creative

When it comes to utilising data to inform strategy, the OOH industry has traditionally lagged behind other marketing channels. In the past, advertisers have relied solely on geographic factors like postcodes and store locations to purchase OOH. However, now with programmatic technology and data-driven creative capabilities available for DOOH, marketers can launch addressable campaigns, quickly and efficiently, based on an array of data sets allowing them to switch out creative messaging in real time.

Dynamic creative is an impressive innovation for the DOOH channel and, whilst not a new concept to the industry, it is now readily available. Dynamic creative uses data – be it local weather updates, countdowns or breaking news in real time – to inform specific elements within an individual advertising creative asset.

DOOH campaigns leveraging dynamic creative will automatically pull in components of the advertisement from a real-time data feed, maximising the relevancy of the creative message and driving higher engagement. This is a powerful and effective strategy for those looking to localise an advertising campaign in different countries in APAC based on country-specific nuances.

One impressive example of using smart creative and data involves New Zealand's largest youth fundraising campaign, the World Vision 40 Hour Challenge. World Vision tapped into the power of DOOH to build a strong, hyper-targeted campaign across over 80 New Zealand school locations, leveraging proximity targeting to strategically activate media during school commuting hours, Monday to Friday, ensuring their audience was actually seeing the ads.

The campaign also utilised contextual creative by updating the creative message according to the countdown time to the challenge, driving more relevance and urgency among consumers to participate, thus magnifying the impact of World Vision’s powerful message. This strategic partnership allowed World Vision to extend the reach of the campaign inspiring young people across Aotearoa with a passion for social justice.

As witnessed above, with creative and data becoming increasingly intertwined, there's a significant opportunity for APAC brands and marketers to more effectively utilise OOH as a creative canvas to reach their target audience. Vistar Media recently released the white paper, “Mind the Gap: Bridging the Gap Between Technology & Creative in DOOH", which outlines how creative and media planning teams can better align to achieve truly exceptional DOOH campaigns across APAC.

Mobile is king in APAC

The APAC region not only sells and manufactures the greatest number of smartphones in the world but it also has one of the biggest adoption rates of mobile phones. According to Statista, in 2022, the smartphone adoption rate across the region reached 76% and is projected to reach over 90% by 2030. 

With this comes a case for marketers to pair mobile advertising with DOOH campaigns. By combining the two, brands and retailers can re-engage target audiences exposed to their DOOH campaigns on their mobile devices. This allows brands to amplify campaign impact or drive them towards a more specific call-to-action, ensuring messaging remains a top priority and actionable throughout a consumer’s busy day.

Measuring success

DOOH has become one of the most measurable channels across the entire marketing ecosystem. Smart measurement strategies can help marketers effectively evaluate the impact of their campaigns on full-funnel KPIs, which can be measured through precise measurement studies such as brand lift, foot traffic and online conversions or app downloads. This allows DOOH to showcase its true value to marketers and key stakeholders, highlighting the impressive impact the channel has on real business objectives. 

A great case study that demonstrates the power of a strong measurement strategy involves HBF Health Insurance Australia alongside its agency UM and their DOOH campaign that used a direct and programmatic buying approach in the first half of 2022. HBF sought to launch its brand on the East Coast and increase brand awareness on the West Coast, while evoking a behavioural response to encourage movement in its sales funnel. To measure the campaign’s impact, the brand conducted an ANZ industry-first study that anonymously identified individuals exposed to the DOOH media and found them later visiting the client’s website, illustrating the effectiveness of DOOH in driving sales leads. 

As digital out-of-home continues to expand and grow across the Asia-Pacific, marketers, brands and agencies that don’t leverage its growing data and creative capabilities will be left behind. Those who embrace the technology and continue to find new ways to use the channel have the opportunity to reach and influence their audience across the entire marketing funnel, driving success.