As we near the end of the year, many advertisers find themselves looking at the calendar and wondering where the time has gone. As companies of all shapes and sizes look for ways to finish out the year strong, generating as much excitement and sales surrounding everyone’s favourite end-of-year holidays, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising can play a huge role in driving foot traffic, online and in-store sales, and wider brand or product awareness. 

OOH is currently booming in Australia, up 12% YoY with Q3 2023 seeing an increase of 14.6% in net media revenue. A big reason for this is a shift in consumer behaviour, including a move away from linear TV and radio, which is forcing brands and retailers to adapt and reach consumers elsewhere in their day. As a result, DOOH is best placed to capture consumer attention and drive engagement through the upcoming holiday season.

So, what are the different types of DOOH and how can you use it to boost noise around Christmas shopping, Boxing Day sales and everything in between?

So much more than just a screen

There are three major DOOH venue types which brands, marketers and media buyers can utilise as they look to reach their target audience this shopping season:

  • Large Format: Large format out-of-home (OOH) encompasses billboards, such as those along highways, urban panels, bus shelters, kiosks and street furniture. These screens are most often viewed by drivers, pedestrians or street-level traffic. Retail brands can leverage large format DOOH screens to make a big splash, stay top-of-mind and cast a wide net to influence consumers while on the go.
  • Place-Based: Place-based screens appear in contextually-relevant environments throughout consumers’ daily lives such as shops, gyms and petrol stations. These screens allow retail marketers to engage with their audience as they move throughout their day.
  • Point-of-Purchase (POP): POP digital screens exist within a shopping destination – think screens in the checkout aisle of your local shopping centre. The strategic placement of POP screens provides retail advertisers with the opportunity to engage with shoppers in the final stage of their purchasing journey.

Behind all great campaigns (and screens) is a strong understanding of the target audience. As such, building out creative and a plan that aligns with the interests, preferences and experiences of consumers enables campaigns that better capture consumer attention and drive relevance and engagement.

Taking it one step further, programmatic DOOH technology enables retail marketers to create and target custom audiences based on personas, purchase behaviour and intent as well as demographic traits. By leveraging audience data in their DOOH campaigns, retail brands can effectively reach consumers with high-impact ads when and where it matters most this shopping season.

Strategies to use this shopping season

We know that major shopping events drive a significant amount of retail and online spending each year, so having the right DOOH strategies in place to amplify brand presence is key to staying in front of consumers and setting yourself up for success.

Using proximity targeting, brands can be strategic about where they place their DOOH ads to achieve maximum impact and drive results. Through this, brands can leverage POI or point-of-interest targeting to surround key locations with their brand messaging, such as near their own stores, competitive locations, shopping centres, transport settings or specific areas. By using place-based or point-of-purchase screens, brands can influence purchasing decisions, moving DOOH down the marketing funnel, past awareness and into consideration or even conversion.

Thanks to advancements in DOOH technology, brands can even have their ads run during specific times of the day and days of the week using day-parting. Retail marketers can then drive the maximum value out of their DOOH campaigns by minimising wastage, increasing flexibility and being present when their audience is out and about. With OOH targeting capabilities, brands can programmatically activate their ads, where and when is best, to get in front of their target audience in the area.

Dynamic creative provides a great opportunity for marketers to leverage personalised creative messaging that captures consumer attention and drives them in-store (or online). ‘Nearest location’ is a great example of this, whereby marketers can integrate details of their closest physical location into their OOH creatives, be it by distance or directions.

Brands can also leverage ‘regional promotions’ or ‘countdowns’ to highlight limited-time offers, in addition to countdowns to major holiday events to drive urgency and encourage spending. By leveraging DOOH’s dynamic creative capabilities, brand’s can increase the relevance and effectiveness of their OOH campaigns as they reach their target audiences with highly tailored messages, maximising engagement and driving impact.

As DOOH continues to move down the funnel, it is now an essential part of any campaign year-round, however, brands need to make the most of its potential to inspire and drive sales.

Ben Baker is managing director for APAC at Vistar Media.