Incorporating Interactivity into Out-of-Home Campaigns


Source: Google

Billboards are a major player in the advertising industry, companies are always looking towards finding their audience and having maximum reach and engagement for their brands to shine and always be on their mind. Outdoor advertising has been proven to be the big guns in this game. Billboards are one such form of OOH ads. You will encounter hundreds of billboards and poster ads throughout the day, these ads are carefully strategized and presented in a way that creates the most impact. In this article we will be going over this form of advertising, how it has evolved and adapted to the current digital media dominant world, and how it creates a memorable brand experience by incorporating interactivity for people along with some creative examples in action.

Billboard advertisement

source: Media in Canada

Out-of-home (OOH) advertisements come in diverse forms, with Billboards as a persistent and impactful player in this space. With the evolution of billboard ads from the traditional to the innovative digital ads we see today, these advertisements have always stayed on top of the game, and billboards have been a driving force in making a significant contribution.

Billboard ads are a major contributor to these ad spaces. Consider observing this when you leave your house, billboards are everywhere, during your commute in the buses, cabs, and subways, when you stop by anywhere you end up spotting an ad on the street or the highways and flyovers. These billboard ads surround the world and brands want to take advantage of this visibility. Apart from this, billboards have also become a source of entertainment, these ads have gone to the next level when digital interactivity became a part of.

The effectiveness of billboard advertising is evident in recent research findings from 2023. According to this study, a noteworthy 49% of adult consumers have reported noticing billboard ads more frequently compared to just a year ago.

Rise of Billboard ads

Source: Google

Billboards have gone through a journey to be this impactful even after decades, Let’s look back and get an overview of how these ads started.

Billboards have been around since 1830 when Jarod Bell posted the first one to promote a circus. Back then, it was a big, colorful sign. These ads started as posters that people would stop and read, like a headline or news. Billboards have always been about being informative, creative, and eye-catching, and that’s why they’ve stuck around.

Source: Google

As we see today’s billboards, they are more than just information and taglines, they have been taken to the next level with their creativity and interactivity, the location, time of the day everything plays a major role. The evolution of billboards from static posters to actual interactive experiences is what has helped this media stay on top of its game. As we go over this article, we will be looking at the changes these billboards have gone through and the experiences they have created.

What are campaign ads?

Source: Google

Ever noticed a certain brand’s ad popping up on every corner? Whether you are in transit or on your mobile, these ads are everywhere on posters and billboards, they are everywhere presenting new products, deals, and offers. Have you also observed that these ads are only present for a certain period? Well, these are the campaigns organized by companies to promote a certain product or to review and refresh their brand’s presence.  Campaign ads appear in various forms, they are carefully scheduled, budgeted, and strategized by marketers and advertisers making sure that their brand makes a great appearance among the audience with beneficial returns for the products as well.

The main aim? It’s not just about catching your eye for a moment; it’s about leaving a lasting impression. The ads want to connect with you, to stick around in your thoughts even after they’ve stopped popping up on your screen or billboard.

After the show is over, there’s a thorough analysis. It’s not just about counting views; it’s about learning. What worked? What didn’t? This breakdown isn’t just about looking back; it’s a roadmap for what comes next. It’s about getting better, understanding the audience more, and making each campaign smarter than the last. So, in the end, it’s not just about ads; it’s about creating an experience that stays with you.

Value of OOH advertisement in campaign ads

Source: Google

Out-of-home ads hold great potential in campaign ads, their wide reach, ability to enhance brand visibility, targeted impact, constant visibility, complementary role in digital strategies, creative opportunities, non-intrusive engagement, high frequency of exposure, memorable impressions, and support for multi-channel campaigns adds significant value to the campaigns.

Campaign ads always aim to make a statement, they are trying to make an impact with their presence, this is where billboard ads shine, the way they grab the attention of the audience is a key selling point for campaign ads and marketers. With different forms, they all share a common mission: to be seen.

The return on investment (ROI) is a robust average of about 497%, it might be considered a traditional approach, but the numbers show that when it comes to reach and engagement this platform is a powerhouse.

Here’s the kicker: for every dollar invested in billboard advertising, you could potentially see a return of $5.97. The exact ROI varies based on factors like location and design, but the bottom line is clear—it’s a tried-and-true tactic that not only captures eyes but also brings a solid return on your marketing investment creating great impact.

Incorporating interactivity – transforming viewers into participants

While everyone was used to the static posters and billboards, the world was not ready for the creative interactive journey that these OOH ad campaigns were about to embark on.

source: google

In the unstoppable wave of technology, out-of-home (OOH) advertising hit its peak when interactivity became the new norm for billboard ads. What used to be ‘static’ posters have now come alive. Who would have thought that a simple poster with a few words could tempt you to stop and have an actual discussion? The power of interactivity is mind-altering. Marketers are pushing their limits with this wave of creativity and wide engagement, and it’s this limitless potential that propels them to keep pushing the boundaries of this exciting idea. In the realm of advertising, interactive billboard ads aren’t just catching attention; they’re sparking genuine conversations and transforming how we experience the outdoors.

Let’s look at a few interactive billboard ad campaigns that took the world by surprise.

Coca-Cola’s vending machine!

source: google

A vending machine, just for drinks, right? Not quite. Coca-Cola’s marketing team turned the ordinary into extraordinary by adding interactivity. These machines respond to hugs, songs, and more. It’s not just about making a sale; it’s about creating a moment, a personalized experience for the customer. Who would have thought vending machines could offer great customer service too? This innovative twist on vending machines by Coca-Cola goes beyond quenching thirst. it transforms a simple purchase into a memorable experience.

Spotify wrapped- in real time!

source: google

Spotify users now had the exciting opportunity to share their music profiles on some of the world’s most iconic billboards. By opting in, users can see their listening data displayed on structures like Times Square in New York, Piccadilly Lights in London, Forum Des Halles in Paris, Eaton Center in Toronto, Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz in Berlin, and Melbourne Square in Australia.

Creative campaign by CVS

source: google

New York City’s Times Square is one of the most iconic and well-known spots for DOOH ads, making it an excellent choice of location for CVS’s #BeautyUnaltered digital out-of-home ads. This ad ran as part of CVS’s Beauty mark social media campaign, an interactive campaign that encouraged users to upload their unedited selfies to social media with the hashtag #BeautyUnaltered.

Within minutes of launching the campaign, users began uploading unaltered, unfiltered selfies using #BeautyUnaltered and @cvs_beauty, earning over 3.6 billion impressions. Every 10 seconds, a different consumer’s image showed on the Times Square digital signage, showing larger-than-life, unretouched images celebrating real beauty. The dynamic digital billboard was paired with a standard digital billboard featuring awareness messaging.

Hydration Pop-up trucks

source: divine

Clinique elevated its marketing game by introducing pop-up trucks to showcase its latest hydrating moisturizer. These trucks toured the city, hitting key locations where people could line up for a skin test. This innovative approach not only promoted the product but also demonstrated a commitment to customer care. Clinique, a well-established and trusted skincare, and makeup brand, took their interactive campaign to the next level, providing a hands-on experience for consumers to understand their skin better.

McDonald ‘Pick N Play’

McDonald’s Pick n Play Billboard Game is an interactive 2011 campaign in Stockholm. Using smartphones, people played a Pong-style game on a McDonald’s billboard. No app downloads, just a visit to the website, offering simplicity and easy participation. Successful players won free food coupons, showcasing McDonald’s effective fusion of entertainment and engagement in out-of-home advertising.

ROI of traditional vs interactive billboard ads

source: google

Billboard ads offer a compelling return on investment (ROI) with an impressive 86% recall rate and a cost-effective $2 to $7 average cost per thousand impressions. Research shows that 89% of US adults notice billboards and 80% of those feel inspired to learn more. Key factors influencing ROI include design, messaging, audience targeting, and strategic location.

As an overview of the article above we can observe that traditional billboards still work well, giving a 40% return on investment and reaching lots of people. Digital billboards are on the rise, showing how the advertising world is changing. Surprisingly, 32% of people actually like billboard ads more than online ones. People respond to billboard ads by searching online (35%) or recommending the brand (20%). In 2023, the global digital billboard industry made over $18.5 billion, and it’s expected to grow by 7% in the next five years. Even though digital billboards can be costly, both traditional and digital billboards are great for making people remember a brand and being effective in marketing.


In conclusion, billboards emerge as dynamic storytellers in the realm of Out-of-Home advertising, seamlessly blending tradition with innovation. From their inception in 1830 to today’s interactive era, billboards have evolved into engaging canvases that not only capture attention but also entertain. The surge in interactive billboard ads, exemplified by campaigns from Coca-Cola, Spotify, CVS, Clinique, and McDonald’s, showcases the transformative power of turning viewers into participants. With an impressive average ROI of 497%, billboards, whether traditional or interactive, continue to be a robust and impactful force in the advertising landscape, leaving an enduring mark on consumer awareness and brand engagement.

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