Paying Attention: How DOOH transforms the attention economy

Published: September 21, 2021

A fundamental economic reality all societies face is the scarcity of tangible resources on this planet, such as water, nutrients, and land. But did you know consumer attention is also considered a scarce resource? In the digital age of endless information at our fingertips, advertisers are taking an interest in the attention economy, finding out the most effective and efficient means to capture audiences' curiosity. 

The 'economics of attention' was first coined in 1997 by the Nobel prize-winning economist and cognitive psychologist Herbert A. Simon. The term has gained more critical recognition with the rise in technology and social media. 

Digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to 6,000 to 10,000 advertisements daily. Advertisers are vying for consumer focus that far exceeds human capacity. The world of ads is a never-ending cycle for consumers' time and attention. So, what is an unmissable way to engage the right audiences? Out-of-home (OOH) advertising captivates audiences' attention by amassing scale screens. According to Kinetic's Director of Insight & Marketing, Steve Payne, OOH can achieve long-term brand salience and value when the attention economy has become focused on clicks, shares, and instant gratification. Especially with mobility up by 80% since last January and online ads having an attention recession post-lockdown, nearly half of US adults are noticing OOH advertising more than before the pandemic. Add programmatic capabilities to OOH and marketers are guaranteed 2.5x more memory encoding and emotional intensity than static advertising.

It has never been simpler for advertisers to garner such a lasting impact than through programmatic digital-out-of-home (DOOH). Real-time delivery and environmental triggers of DOOH advertising allow brands' messaging and content to be that much more relevant and personalized. The ability to reach consumers wherever they are with tools such as audience insights and geofencing ensures that your ads are seen by the right audiences at the right time. 

DOOH not only brings dynamic ads to larger-than-life screens, but it has transformed the way advertisers measure campaign performance. DOOH can now compete with online advertising giants like Facebook and Google with real-time performance reports, but most importantly, attribution reports. Advertisers can easily optimize campaigns mid-flight by adjusting budget, venue types, or location targeting. Post-campaign, marketers can analyze the campaign’s impact on specific business objectives such as store visitation, web visits and conversations, or mobile app KPIs. These reporting capabilities give brands all the benefits of digital online or social advertising, however DOOH is brand-safe, unskippable, and unblockable. 

Anonymous Mobile ID technology allows brands' DOOH campaigns to have a longer lifespan, providing audiences a true omnichannel experience. Each DOOH display has an “exposure area” and reports each ad that plays with a specific timestamp. Mobile devices that are within the exposure area are captured at the time your ad plays and can be passed through to an advertiser’s DSP of choice or shared via a CSV file. Those mobile devices can be retargeted via social or digital media streamlining the campaign across multiple channels.


Consumers are surrounded by an excess of ad stimuli online and offline, creating competition for their attention. In a world filled with clicks, shares, tweets, likes, and page views, digital out-of-home can cut through ad blindness with contextually relevant and capturing content. It cannot be skipped or blocked. Not to mention, programmatic DOOH campaigns' scalability, targetability, flexibility, and measurability make it hard for consumers to avoid. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, make DOOH a part of your marketing strategy today. Contact us at

Written By: Julia Cramer

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