Traditional outdoor advertising is losing out to new digital media when it comes to capturing the eye of commuters, according to research commissioned by Panasonic.

The Australian Centre for Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) found audio/visual outdoor advertisements were almost twice as likely to be memorable than those that relied solely on position or size, such as billboards or posters.

Researchers reviewed more than 2600 pieces of outdoor advertising seen by commuters in Sydney and Melbourne including outdoor billboards, bus-stops, taxis, posters, clothing, rail stations and digital signage.

“As advertising clutter increases, the characteristics of interactive new media advertising may deliver advantages by providing more attention grabbing formats for viewers,” said Dr Rebecca Harris, director of the Public Communication Program, UTS.

“The interactive features of dynamic, changing audio and visual content appear to be the characteristics that attract the most attention from observers.”

The average metropolitan commuter in Sydney and Melbourne views between 500-600 outdoor advertisements each day. Billboards and posters accounted for 39 per cent of advertising viewed by commuters followed by clothing, logos or merchandise at 13 per cent; buses, rail station exteriors, bus shelters and train all accounted for 11 per cent; taxi exteriors six per cent, and digital signage three per cent.

Advertisements that feature interactivity were 42 per cent more likely to catch the eye of a commuter than those solely of a large size and 53 per cent more likely that those that solely relied on a prominent position.

“Advertisers, businesses and technology providers such as Panasonic need to work closely to capture the hearts, minds and eyes of today’s consumer,” said Mark Deere-Jones, AV/IT group manager, business systems group, Panasonic Australia, a supplier of digital signage solutions.

“Digital signage offers unique opportunities to deliver content that stands out from the clutter, including more interactive content that can be instantly updated to meet shifting consumer or advertiser needs.”

Panasonic digital signage solutions appear in a number of environments around Australia from retail to hospitality and tourism, including Coogee Bay Hotel, Crown Entertainment, Phillip Island and Billabong retail outlets.