DOOH Advertising: Reshaping Consumer Engagement in Public Spaces

Explore how Digital Out-of-Home advertising is revolutionising consumer engagement, and how you can harness its power for your brand.

DOOH Advertising: Reshaping Consumer Engagement in Public Spaces

Digital out-of-home advertising by DOOH advertising specialists

The past few years have seen a huge increase in the volume and variation of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. In 2010, digital screens accounted for 6% of outdoor advertising media; analysts predict this will rise to 10.35% by 2026, with digital out-of-home achieving a global market size of £27.6 billion.

Considering the audience targeting, interactivity, and ad personalisation options offered by the medium, it’s no surprise that media publishers are increasingly looking to boost their portfolios with digital screen advertising technology.

However, for small- and mid-sized companies attempting to reach consumers via these DOOH channels, accessing the DOOH ad industry can seem intimidating (if not impossible). This is where a firm like Media Buying can help. In this guide, we aim to demystify the media purchasing process for DOOH channels, helping you reach your target audience cost-effectively and with maximum efficiency.

DOOH and Digital Outdoor Advertising: What Are They?

For the uninitiated, out-of-home advertising (OOH) refers to any advertising form that is experienced outside the home. Most conspicuously, this includes billboards, wall scapes, poster displays, and similar large-format ad media, though the term also covers things like bus and public transport wraps, kiosks, telephone boxes – even litter bins can be used to carry OOH ads.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) falls under the OOH umbrella and often utilises many of the same display methods. Billboards and poster panels are particularly common, allowing for the same reach as traditional advertising methods, but with the option to include dynamic images, videos, or interactive content.

Although it can’t be denied that digital display advertising offers significant opportunities for deploying more creative formats, perhaps the defining characteristic of DOOH is not what it does, but how it does it. DOOH advertising gives marketers an unprecedented ability to refine their targeting methods, allowing them to specifically target customers who are most likely to yield a positive ROI.

By employing programmatic marketing and mobile location data, advertisers can draw from the best online advertising techniques, moving them away from the web and bringing them into the OOH campaigns.

DOOH will account for 10.35% of outdoor ad media by 2026.

Digital signage screens generate an astonishing recall rate of up to 83%.

68% of consumers report that digital signage makes them more likely to buy an advertised product.

Digital Billboard and Digital Signage Options

Digital Billboards

The digital billboard is an increasingly common sight on high streets and busy transit routes.

Like their print-based counterparts, digital billboards provide a large blank canvas on which a business can display its message. Unlike its traditional counterparts, however, a digital billboard can offer dynamic content and generate a significantly greater emotional response.

Street Furniture

From bus shelters to information kiosks, ground-level digital displays combine heavy foot traffic with high dwell time, resulting in effective engagement and brand promotion.

Mobile Billboards

The contemporary equivalent of the old-fashioned travelling billboard, mobile DOOH signage can be the perfect method for displaying your DOOH ads at a specific location or event.

Furthermore, these mobile ads can often reach areas that contain no other advertising, such as far-flung rural areas.

Interior Displays

DOOH advertisers often choose to utilise interior DOOH displays, particularly when they want to target audiences in-store or generate foot traffic from consumers outside.

As a result, interior digital display advertising is most frequently found in shopping malls and retail display windows.

Transit Advertising

From car-top screens to headrest displays, to petrol pump displays, and more – the digital ad options available for targetting travellers and road users is extensive.

Curly woman on bus stop with empty billboard template behind

Digital Out-of-Home Media Buying

As mentioned, for startups, small businesses, and those without much media buying experience, accessing the digital OOH industry can prove a difficult proposition.

Generally speaking, there are two methods for DOOH media buying:


Like most traditional OOH advertising, the majority of digital outdoor media displays are owned by large companies such as Clear Channel, Lamar, and Outdoor Media. These companies have the financial muscle to install and maintain these expensive DOOH screens, and the negotiating power to ensure their digital screens are installed in the best locations.

Direct DOOH media purchasing involves liaising with these companies to negotiate rates and terms. Advertisers are free to do this directly, though in most instances they will need to retain the services of a dedicated media buying agency.

As a client, your media buyer will:

  • Work closely with you to establish your needs, expectations, and ad budget.
  • Develop a strategy for your DOOH campaigns, encompassing location, audience engagement, ad content, campaign length, and all related details.
  • Liaise directly with media publishers, relying on their industry contacts and increased buying power to negotiate a cost-effective deal for your DOOH ad campaign.
  • Establish pricing models and terms of display, and follow up with publishers to make sure your ads are shown in line with the terms of the agreement.


Programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) is a more automated method of buying digital ad media.

What Is It?

Traditionally used by PPC and web advertisers, programmatic marketing is a form of digital advertising that uses software to buy online ads in real-time. In the online space, programmatic platforms draw upon vast amounts of cookie data and mobile data, which they use to automatically sell and deliver ad space on websites, apps, and other digital platforms.

How Does This Work for Out-of-Home Advertising?

Programmatic DOOH advertising relies on similar platform-based selling and automation, but the metrics used are slightly different.

For instance, let’s say you’re a travel agent, who wants to advertise your latest summer holiday deals. You might choose to deploy a strategy that only shows ads to customers when it’s raining. In this case, you would set up these parameters, and rely on weather data collected by the programmatic platform to automatically bid on media space at the relevant times. When it starts raining, you will bid against other advertisers, and – if successful – your programmatic transactions will be processed, and your ads will be displayed.

Sounds Complicated!

Using programmatic systems to purchase advertising space can seem complicated at first. But with an effective campaign in place, it can be much quicker and more effective than taking the direct route.

Give us a call today for info on how we can help with your programmatic DOOH media campaign.

Considering the audience targeting, interactivity, and ad personalisation options offered by the medium, it's no surprise that media publishers are increasingly looking to boost their portfolios with digital screen advertising technology.

Digital Out-of-Home Pricing Models

DOOH offers a number of pricing models that are exclusive to the medium. Take a look below for a quick overview of the most popular methods.


The flat-rate model is the simplest type of DOOH advertising and the one which is most like traditional OOH advertising. For campaigns priced at a flat rate, an advertiser pays a fixed price against a certain period of time—simple!

While this type of deal offers little flexibility for advertisers, it is often necessary to apportion at least some of your ad spend to this pricing model. DOOH network owners will typically make most of their space available only to flat-rate buyers, with only a small portion reserved for programmatic buyers and alternative pricing models.

CPM (Cost-per-Thousand Impressions)

Similar to online media advertising, CPM in the DOOH space prices ad space based on the number of impressions it is expected to achieve. However, unlike online advertising, DOOH impression data is not easily gathered, and you may find your ad receive significantly more or less than the thousand for which you paid.

Footfall at train stations, for example, often varies wildly due to delays or cancellations. If there is a delay at the time your ad is due to be shown, there may be no passengers around to see it. Conversely, you could pay a low CPM rate for a time that is anticipated to be quiet, but if a delayed train arrives during this period your ad could be seen by significantly more passengers than you expected.

Share of Voice

Most DOOH platforms employ eight ‘slots’, with ads displayed in a loop, and each ad showing for 8–10 seconds. As a result, advertisers who choose to purchase one of these slots receive ⅛ SOV (share of voice) when all the inventory is sold. Advertisers wishing to grab a larger share can purchase multiple slots within the same loop, thereby gaining a larger SOV.

Rates will typically vary based on location or demand, but using this pricing model marketers can generally obtain a discount on what they purchase.

empty billboard in modern shopping mall interior

The Advantages of Digital Out-of-Home


DOOH ads benefit from significantly greater options for targeting the right audience. Among other factors, a DOOH campaign can target demographics based on location, environment, weather and time-of-day data, all of which can be adjusted on the fly to reflect current conditions.

Additionally, with facial recognition and mobile device interaction, DOOH media can be used to assess interests and physical characteristics to modify displayed ads accordingly. Sound like the stuff of dystopian science fiction? That’s for you to decide…


Sellers, buyers and vendors of digital out-of-home media benefit from mobile location data, making performance measurement an easier proposition than that of traditional OOH media.

As the industry progresses, tools for measurement are likely to improve significantly; the aforementioned facial recognition, for instance, could conceivably be used to see whether an individual looked at an ad, how long they looked at it, and even what their reaction was.


DOOH advertising has been shown to provide significantly greater audience engagement than similar OOH media. Research carried out on digital advertising has shown a 55% improvement in recall rate when compared to other channels, while digital signs in shopping malls have encouraged a whopping 80% of shoppers to enter a store.

Working with a Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Agency

Evidently, digital out-of-home advertising can be hugely beneficial for brands. However, it is important to note that such campaigns require careful management and monitoring.

It is therefore recommended that you work with an experienced, reputable agency that can manage your campaign from start to finish.


The first step in any successful media campaign is to develop a strategy that’s based on your specific business goals. A team of experienced strategists should work with you to understand your needs, target audience, and overall objectives before developing a bespoke plan for your DOOH campaign.

Power in Numbers

As an agency client, you should benefit from your firm’s enhanced purchasing power, allowing you to purchase advertising spots for a fraction of the price you would if you purchased them directly.

Industry connections will get your ads on more screens, in better locations, for a fraction of the price you’d pay dealing with publishers directly.

Reporting and Analytics

As your DOOH campaign progresses, your team will provide you with detailed reports and analyses, allowing you to see how your ads are performing in real time.

At the same time, they will examine this data to optimise the campaign as it runs, ensuring that they’re delivering the best possible results.


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