Outdoor Advertising – The Digital Takeover

Why Digital Is The Future Of Outdoor Advertising

I know the term ‘Digital Transformation’ gets thrown around a lot but it has never been more appropriate than right now! The days of static billboards may not be dead, but they’re definitely under siege by their digital counterparts. You may be wondering why this shift is happening? Well, in this post we’ll tell you 5 reasons (although there are many more) why digital outdoor advertising is taking over and why the next 6-12 months should be interesting as this technology continues to roll out and evolve.

1. Real-time

Arguably the biggest advantage of digital advertising over static, is the fact that distributing content and even reporting can be accomplished in real-time! If you have some fresh content to distribute, it can be uploaded to all of your advertising screens at the click of a button. Similarly, with the tracking technology (which I’ll touch on in point 3) you could see how many people are seeing your advertisement at any given time. Forget about waiting until the end of your campaign for reports and results. This real-time feature allows brands to be proactive with their advertising. For example, if a soft drink company knows that the weather tomorrow is going to reach 40 degrees, they could send out some creative ahead of time notifying consumers and letting them know they could cool down with an ice cold beverage. Check out the video below on Netflix Real-time GIF Campaign which took place overseas.

2. Interaction

The capabilities of the new digital screens enables brands to create content which engages with consumers on a new level where they can interact with your advertisement. Whether you want to create a game which people interact with by touching the screen or an augmented reality feature using the in-built cameras, there’s no denying these types of digital advertisements are a lot more exciting than a traditional billboard. Take a look at the augmented reality video below which was used to advertise the movie Into The Storm.

 3. Tracking

Whether it’s through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or facial recognition, the ability to track consumers with the emerging technology is ridiculous! Some of the major players of digital outdoor advertising are releasing digital screens with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacons built-in thus allowing brands to track where consumers are in relation to their advertisement. This also allows brands to link their advertising up with consumer’s phones which could send out special deals when a consumer is nearby! The next feature is possibly the coolest, built-in facial recognition. Not only will these screens be able to track people’s movements, but they’ll be able to tell you exactly how many people have looked at your advertisement, how old they are (rough age bracket) and their gender all through using cameras and facial recognition technology. The information gathered will be a godsend to brands when analysing how they’re campaigns have gone and planning for future adverts.

facial recognition

4. Integration

Running a competition on social media? Let’s just say for example you’re conducting a competition where people upload photos to Instagram to enter. You could integrate this competition whereby the photos are not only uploaded directly to Instagram, but distributed across all of your digital screens almost creating a live feed. Southern Comfort popped up on my Facebook as I was writing this post and are actually running a competition very similar to what I’ve just explained. Facebook users enter by uploading a photo for a chance to appear on a billboard.

southern comfort5. Targeting

As a result from the above points, targeting your audience will become much more effective and precise thus ensuring the right people see your advertisement at the right time. As more digital outdoor campaigns take place, advertising companies will gain more intel on what works for what business/industry, at what time. An advertising company may find with a particular industry that females between the ages of 16-35 look at certain digital screens between 4pm-5pm, so a brand looking to target this audience will advertise during this time. Sure it will eventually effect the prices of advertising at certain times and locations, but it will provide solid evidence of the demographics seeing the advertisements and allow for more accurate audience profiling.


The sky really is the limit when it comes to digital outdoor advertising, and as more brands experiment with it, the possibilities and opportunities will only increase. Strap yourselves in for a very, very interesting 6-12 months!

Have you heard of any other awesome digital outdoor advertising campaigns? Will you consider using this type of advertising? 

copyright FRANk Media 2018