Key Findings from the Ad Club OOH: NOW Event

Published: December 10, 2021

The Advertising Club of New York held their 14th Annual OOH: NOW event online and in-person at the Hotel Eventi located in Manhattan on December 9th. This sold-out event drew in creative and advertising professionals from all over the US, centered around the theme:  purpose-action-connection. 

Here are three key takeaways: 

Power of Content and Context

Throughout the event, speakers had one theme in common: the importance of content and context. Content is essential to consumers as it develops relationships, builds brand awareness, and generates leads. However, if your campaign doesn't reach the appropriate audience at the right time and place, your advertisement might get lost in translation. 

Jessica Lauria, Head of Brand Marketing at GoPuff, stated, "OOH is the most ruthless articulation of an idea. It is big, bold, and visceral." GoPuff, the quick and easy delivery service, launches hyper-targeted programmatic OOH campaigns to highlight each city's small and big businesses. GoPuff can quickly create high-impact and brand awareness campaigns based on their audience insights, and DSPs can match them with locations based on those demographics. "Content and context are significant. What is happening at that moment in time, and how can we stay relevant to customers?" Lauria responded to the importance of contextual ads and how that plays in programmatic OOH campaigns. 

Testing and Learning 

Lack of education is one of the biggest hurdles for the out-of-home market. Laura Brandes, Group Director of RapportWW, said, “budgets are set before talking strategies.” Brandes emphasized that if all teams are not working together to discuss budget, strategy, creative, etc, then brands won’t be using inventory to their best potential. 

Lucy Markowitz, SVP of US Sales for Vistar Media, reiterated, “ [We need to have] a number of meetings in order to teach and educate people on the value of OOH and what it can bring to the overall media mix.” A great deal of time and effort needs to be put in place to inform and teach teams to appreciate and understand the significance of OOH. 

Similar to OOH, the increasing world of programmatic has evolved digital out-of-home’s role and purpose. “We are unaware of what bucket DOOH falls into,” Christian Kull, SVP of Sales for Adomni stated, “It’s on us to really educate the digital media teams and the OOH teams in order to collaborate and execute larger deals for the greater good.” The pathway to success is getting all the groups together in a room and educating each other through that process. And the outcome would be for “DOOH…to bridge the gap between OOH and digital media buyers,” Kull finalized. 

Amplification of OOH 

Brands can discover a campaign's true potential by utilizing OOH to amp up the effects of a digital campaign or vice versa. Meredith Jenks, Senior Brand Manager of Pure Leaf, examined a recent OOH campaign that went above and beyond her and her company's expectations. 

The brew tea giant launched its campaign called "No is Beautiful" to encourage women, in particular, to normalize saying no and the importance of setting boundaries. Jenks emphasized the reasoning behind their OOH campaign, using murals to make an impact in communities through spoken word, poetry, and local artists. Afterward, they showcased these OOH campaigns online. This amplification extended the campaign's life and allowed a broader audience to engage with their ad. "We achieved over 400 million earned impressions. The results were outstanding!" Jenks exclaimed. 

Also, the pandemic accelerated and vastly evolved the need for QR codes. People urged for a seamless and touchless experience, aka the resurgence of this tech fixture became permanent. And now, more and more OOH campaigns are using QR codes to reach consumers and amplify their message across urban panels, bus shelters, kiosks, and more. Tim Strong, CEO and founder of Flowcode, saw the potential of QR codes with the mission to bring the offline community online, “building direct connections for brands and consumers.” For example, Mondelez International added QR codes to Tate’s Bake Shop’s OOH campaign to drive sales and find multiple touchpoints to reach their targeted consumer. 

Overall, OOH had a pivotal year despite the odds. The ability to provide advertisers with the ultimate flexibility - add new venues, pause/stop a campaign, or change budgets - played a vital role in their campaigns. Not to mention, programmatic capabilities can make campaigns more relevant, measurable, and raise performance - and continue to advance in the future! 

Written By: Julia Cramer

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