Ad-Tech Company Adomni Is Targeting Voters in Digital Out-of-Home Spots
Published: October 1, 2020
With Election Day almost a month away and major platforms like Facebook not accepting political ads in the days leading up to Nov. 3, marketers are looking to take messaging outside.
Adomni, the digital out-of-home (OOH) ad-tech company, is welcoming political marketers with open arms, offering them a chance to display ads in more than 200,000 programmatically-connected screens across the U.S. The goal is to give issue advocacy groups and people running for office the opportunity to reach voters with ads that can be updated as the news cycle changes.
Jonathan Gudai, Adomni’s CEO, said that “a lot of the political marketers” currently “have more money than they have actual ways to reach audiences.” And for companies like Adomni, it’s an opportunity to bring “the physical world” into the mix of reaching voters because there are no ad blockers or ways for them to skip what they’re seeing outside.
“It’s unmissable content,” he said. “It’s right there in your face.”
Gudai said the path to incorporating political ads into Adomni’s platform began earlier in the year with a simple question: “How can we have the physical world connect to those other online digital ones and have a very seamless experience from a marketer’s perspective?”
The process is a combination of working with two kinds of data. The first is mobile location data that Gudai said keeps consumers anonymous and only tracks how many devices have passed by a screen. The second is partnering with data companies such as PlaceIQ, Inc. and Zeta Global and “drawing a fence around” every one of Adomni’s screen locations to understand where those devices have been and how to reach them.
“It’s basically taking the Facebook-type targeting and applying it to the physical world,” Gudai said.
Despite the fact that OOH advertising had to readjust its spend when the pandemic began and things have not fully reopened across the country, Gudai and his team noticed that there has been an uptick in how many people are out and about right now. Based on Apple’s Mobility Trends Report, they can see updates on how many people are walking, driving or taking mass transit each day.
“A lot of people aren’t going into the office like they used to … but they are spending more time out of their home,” he said.
When it comes to the threat of fake news or conspiracy theories being present in political ads, Gudai said that “there’s a multistage vetting process; nothing goes straight to the screens.” Adomni first finds out who bought an ad, screens the ad with each media owner and then makes sure it has a “sizable disclaimer clarifying who paid for the advertisement.”
Gudai didn’t provide details on which advocacy groups and political candidates are working with Adomni, but did mention that Ross Miller, Nevada’s former secretary of state who is currently running for Clark County Commission, is one of them. Miller said in a statement that working with Adomni has been a “game changer” for his campaign.
Barry Frey, president and CEO of the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA), noted that other companies such as Hivestack Inc. and Place Exchange are also using digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads to target audiences in what traditional OOH advertising is unable to do.
“Political advertising is rising each year in out-of-home advertising because of this ability to really target audiences by news, by time, by temperature, by current events,” he said.
“Digital out-of-home programmatic is one of the most powerful forms of media advertising today, and it will continue aggressively,” he said.
As Nov. 3 approaches, Gudai is looking forward to seeing the “mix of media that candidates are going to use to cut through all the noise that we have in our world, especially in a pandemic.” While he believes Facebook, Google and television will still play a role in advertising, Adomni is excited about “entering the mix” and “potentially driving an outcome that otherwise wasn’t available to a candidate.”
In the meantime, people in the ad-tech world like Frey are interested in seeing how DOOH advertising’s “controlled closed-circuit” ecosystem will keep misleading political ads away from voters.
“There is no left-leaning or right-leaning or fake news environments,” he said. “The only star on digital out-of-home advertising is the brand.”