The Power of OOH and its Need to be Measured

Out-of- Home. The world’s oldest form of advertising — other than WOM* of course! Owner of key phrases like “A business with no sign, is a sign of no business.” It is a medium that can be used to launch and grow the most iconic of brands. Or, it can be used to remind you to call Dr. Zizmor.

Its power is second to none. Even in the world of digital everything, OOH is the last medium that you cannot block (unless you live in the middle of nowhere). It provides reach, frequency, a great canvas for creatives and targetability…ish. Perms are irreplaceable when developing an iconic brand.

But you know all this.

You also know that OOH is the worst medium for measurability. We buy OOH based on vehicular traffic, even for pedestrian facing street furniture. We define targets in MRI** and are told to use OOH because of the miles driven. Technology has not yet delivered the solution. The industry has tried eye-tracking technology, and a variety of other remedies. But nothing’s gaining the traction it needs.

So: we have to strive for something that can be ubiquitous. A new technology solution based on behavioral analysis, and not reliant on people self-reporting what they think they did. Maybe the combination of beacon technology with Wi-Fi tracking technology is an interesting path forward. There is much work to be done in order to connect OOH with measurement. We as an advertising industry must make generating the right solution a priority. The lack of measurability is keeping OOH at under-utilized levels.

Advertising’s oldest medium is being held back because of a lack of technology!

It’s up to us to change that.

Ankit Bajaj
Director, Channel Strategy
Grey

*Word of Mouth
**Mediamark Research and Intelligence

The author is the director of channel strategy at a full service creative agency.With a background in digital media, cross-platform strategy/media planning, he advises global brands on the best channels to use for their goals and messaging.

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