What to consider when buying digital out of home advertising

Media MIX: Balance of content & ads

The Digital out of home space is expanding rapidly as new platforms come on the scene. Birthed out of OOH, Digital OOH space covers the gamut from mobile to transit, ride-shares to lodging. More recently, resort media & entertainment venues such as stadiums, amusement parks and Top Golf sites are now available. And while they all may be digital mediums, there are significant differences in terms of the demo they deliver, placement, frequency & share of voice (SOV), pricing, and the Media Mix which we will cover in this week’s article.

Digital out of home Platforms deliver a Media Mix in the following ways:

  1. Full screen carousel ads which run in rotation with few or many advertisements. 
  2. Alternating Full screen ads in rotation with full or partial screen content.
  3. Ads and content running simultaneously, sharing the screen space. 

Display type 1. Full Screen Digital ads. No content.

Transit print ads
Transit Print ads. No Content, non digital.

Digital billboards and transit kiosks typically offer a media mix as described in Model #1 above. Thus, the viewer must  be seeking an advertising message or viewing strictly out of means for diversion given there is no informative content or messaging otherwise. This is perhaps the oldest running model, a model in which Times Square has offered across its mega screens for nearly 3 decades.  Uber recently partnered with Adomni agreeing to display LED- car topper signs running strictly ads via programmatic placed buys.

Display type 2. Alternating content and ads.

Gas pump displays
Gas Pump Displays: Video ads and content

As for the media mix format described in display type #2 above perhaps you have all witnessed the digital screens at the gas pumps? Some, not all, rotate among ads and content. From weather, sports highlights, funnies etc, you will typically see short chunks of content alternating screen space with full screen ads from regional or national advertisers. While the content may help hold the viewer, most of the content is readily available on the viewers mobile device and runs more as filler than actual informative content; content to help better direct or inform the viewer which we will discuss more in depth as we get to point #3.

Display type 3: Content & ads: Shared screen

Captivate elevator displays
Captivate elevator displays: Content and ads.

Captivate came onto the DOOH scene with elevator kiosks in corporate buildings targeting the executive on the go. Truly an elevator pitch, this Digital out of home platform reaches both the visiting or regular executive on the average 8 second elevator ride. While the Media Mix here is well balanced, the short ride, riders position in the elevator, coupled with the likelihood of mobile phone use may prevent both viewership and or high recall.

Top Golf displays
Top Golf Digital Displays: Content and ads.

Top Golf, on the other hand, effectively integrates branding within the game kiosks located at the reserved bays. These screens are in view for the duration of the game play and combine the users scores alongside integrated ads, both sharing the screen space as described in display type #3 above. Here you have content that cannot be accessed anywhere else and entices continued viewership through the 2 hour average time of game play. Their counterpart, the Shark Experience, also provides this display type offering golf course specific content and golf tips via golf cart display screens.

Alpine Media Technology is becoming the leader in the resort media space offering brands the opportunity to advertise across their ski resort network. By combining resort information and video ads, brands can get their video message in front of a highly sought after demographic. With displays located in high traffic areas such as lodges, lift lines and the actual chairlifts themselves, brands achieve great reach and frequency.  The informative and engaging content increases viewership and brand recall for the embedded advertisers. To date, the All Mountain Platform is the only digital advertising network available at ski resorts.

Alpine Media chairlift displays
Alpine Media Digital displays for chairlifts and gondolas.

Digital out of home recap

So agencies and brands- please do your homework. The gap between ad carousals versus those engaging audiences with informative messaging alongside targeted ads is a vast one. With so many Digital OOH opportunities available be sure to check the following boxes when evaluating the MEDIA MIX criteria. 

  • Is there content? If so, is the content informative, relevant, real time, and non generic. i.e. ESPN sports news, weather
  • Do the ads and content run alongside each other? 
  • How fast is the pace and actual duration of the loop. 

With limited budgets it's important you select the best platform that will deliver for your brand. Which medium gives you the best the visibility and potential recall? We at Alpine Media Technology are confident we have the right solution for you. Let us effectively integrate your brand with engaging and informative content to reach influencers: an active, educated and affluent demo in a clutter free environment with minimal mobile use.

Next week we’ll break down frequency, SOV,  and placement. Please weigh in and share your thoughts. 

Stats provided by the Out of home advertising association of America (OAAA).

Garin Gustafson


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