Last-Minute DOOH Strategies for Back-to-School

Published: July 19, 2023

Hold onto your calculators because the back-to-school shopping frenzy is already in full swing! And consumers are not joking around this year, as industry data predicts a record-breaking spending spree, with customers expecting to spend $41.5 billion on back-to-school shopping, surpassing last year’s $36.9 billion. 

Many shoppers have already flocked to major merchandisers for their back-to-school purchases, as revealed by a recent survey from JLL. Nearly 79% of parents with school-aged children have expressed their intention to visit mass merchandisers for their shopping needs.

As these savvy shoppers make their way to the stores, it’s paramount for brands to stay ahead of the competition and engage audiences with relevant, dynamic, and interactive ads.  That's why brands are strategically shifting towards digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising to make a lasting impression during the BTS season. Although a significant portion of a brand's advertising budget is mainly spent on back-to-school this year, DOOH offers a versatile and quick solution for last-minute campaigns. The beauty of this advertising medium lies in its ability to launch a campaign within minutes! 

Now, let’s take a sneak peek at how advertisers can connect with back-to-school shoppers using DOOH:

Boost Awareness with Precision Targeting:

Nearly 70% of shoppers noticed an OOH ad on their way to the store, according to OAAA and Morning Consult’s recent study.  This study highlights the significance of utilizing location data as a strategic resource to enhance the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by targeting locally and increasing overall awareness. Thankfully, DOOH demand-side platforms (DSPs) like Adomni exist to help brands achieve precisely that.

DOOH advertisers have the advantage of selecting optimal screens that align with specific consumer movement patterns. Advertisers have the ability to choose specific countries, cities, and areas and even establish custom inclusion fences. Back-to-school brands can utilize point of interest targeting near prominent retailers, offering unparalleled precision in reaching their target audiences. To further refine their approach, BTS brands can leverage audience demographics such as parents or college students to align with optimal screens, ensuring maximum reach among their desired consumer base.

For example, Nestle sought to promote their Starbucks Nespresso Vertuo line, which was exclusively available at Target stores. They executed a six-week campaign that specifically targeted digital billboards and cartop vehicles within a 5-mile radius of the top 100 performing Target stores across the country. The campaign effectively drove customers into Target stores, resulting in a +42% lift in visits from audiences exposed to the DOOH ads!

Likewise, a brand promoting back-to-school products can utilize a similar strategy by identifying billboards near brick-and-mortar stores where their product will be prominently featured. This approach enables them to capture the attention of nearby audiences who are likely to be interested in their offerings. By strategically placing ads in proximity to these locations, advertisers can maximize the impact of their campaigns and optimize audience engagement!

Influence Shoppers at the Point of Decision:

Point-of-purchase screens adorn the walls of stores in places where customers are actively looking around and making purchases. And these screens are proven to influence consumer purchase decisions! 

75% of consumers notice OOH ads while shopping, and 50% report that in-store ads directly influence their in-person shopping decisions. By leveraging this dynamic medium, BTS brands can seamlessly integrate their products into the consumer's decision-making process, heightening the chances of capturing their attention and driving them toward the product purchase. 

By changing out your creative, showcasing your product during the most receptive moments, and adding interactivity, you can infuse your ads with a captivating allure that drives customers to seek out your product in stores.

Deals, deals, deals:  

The back-to-school season is also a great time to attract shoppers with lucrative sales and discounts. KPMG’s “2023 Consumer Pulse Back to School Survey”  revealed that nearly 70% of back-to-school shoppers are on the hunt for deals. 

Phil Rist, Prosper's Executive VP of Strategy, explains, “Even though consumers plan to spend more on school and college-related items this year, they are still looking to find the best value and deals.” 

In this landscape, DOOH is the perfect ad channel to showcase promotions and discounts! The numbers speak for themselves: in the same OAAA study, it was revealed that 82% of respondents noticed OOH discounts and promotional offerings. It's a clear indication that DOOH captures attention and influences purchase decisions.

Let’s take the example of Crayola, aiming to run a promotion for crayons at all Target stores across New York City. By strategically activating DOOH screens in close proximity to these retail locations and leveraging point-of-purchase screens in-stores, Crayola can effectively highlight special offers designed to drive consumers to make a purchase. 

DOOH advertising provides a powerful platform to amplify promotional messaging. Eye-catching displays strategically positioned near stores can capture the attention of back-to-school shoppers and entice them with attractive discounts. Additionally, leveraging point-of-purchase screens within stores serves as a compelling reminder of the value and savings available.


Navigating the hustle and bustle of back-to-school can be very overwhelming for both brands and customers. However, there is a simple solution to make things easier: harnessing the power of digital out-of-home advertising to reach customers anytime, anywhere effectively. Whether it's capturing attention with eye-catching outdoor advertisements or delivering targeted messages at the point of purchase, DOOH creates a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers. If you are ready to create a last-minute back-to-school campaign and make a lasting impression on customers with DOOH, contact!

Written By: Julia Cramer

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