Moving OOH Measurement: Geopath, OAAA, and COMMB

Source-Movia Media

In the ever-evolving advertising landscape, Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has stood the test of time as a powerful medium to reach consumers. From billboards to transit ads, the OOH industry continues to innovate, and one area that has seen significant progress is measurement. Traditionally, measuring the effectiveness of OOH campaigns has been challenging. Still, organizations like Geopath, the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), and the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB) have been instrumental in moving the needle forward. Let’s delve into how these organizations are revolutionizing OOH measurement and what it means for advertisers.

Moving OOH (An Insight)

There’s no more effective method of extending your reach than bringing your ad directly to your customers. That’s precisely the role of Traveling Billboards. They possess the capability to reach and engage with locations tailored to your target demographic. With Mobile Billboards, you benefit from multiple coverage opportunities. While Mobile Advertising Trucks and Cars are not novel concepts, when combined with innovative technology, they provide a reliable strategy for amplifying brand reach.

Source- Movia Media

Unlike traditional forms of OOH advertising, moving billboards have the flexibility to cover not only urban areas but also residential and suburban regions. Additionally, these trucks can be stationed strategically during sales events or promotions. For instance, the Movia team executed a highly targeted five-week campaign for The Cookware Company and their major retailer Walmart in Atlanta, resulting in 14 million impressions and capturing 800,000 core demographic IDs. During peak traffic periods at grocery stores on weekends, trucks were strategically positioned at select stores to promote Cookware’s Greenlife brand. This strategic placement ensured that the trucks were the first thing customers saw upon entering the store, enhancing top-of-mind recall. The success of this campaign underscores the effectiveness of such innovative approaches, which are expected to be prominent trends this year.

Moving OOH Measurement- Why it is important?

When considering out-of-home (OOH), it can be challenging to envision this one-to-many advertising medium as measurable against specific business objectives. However, contrary to popular belief, the oldest form of advertising has undergone a programmatic makeover, fundamentally transforming the way campaigns are evaluated.

Measuring the effectiveness of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising is crucial for pinpointing the value that each billboard, bus wrap, or digital display brings to a campaign. Advertisers need to find whether their investment is capturing attention and reaching potential customers. Lacking reliable data on the number of individuals exposed to an advertisement, marketers cannot accurately assess its impact or its role in enhancing brand awareness.

By comprehensively understanding the performance of OOH campaigns, marketers can refine their marketing strategies and allocate budgets more efficiently. Accurate measurement provides businesses with the confidence that their investments are yielding tangible returns rather than being wasted. Tracking impressions and audience engagement informs future media planning decisions and eases a deeper exploration of the differences between impression counting and attribution reporting.

This blog emphasizes the role of Geopath, OAAA and COMMB in measuring moving OOH advertising:

Geopath: A Foundation for OOH Audience Measurement

Geopath, formerly known as the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement, is a non-profit organization that provides audience location measurement services to the OOH industry in the United States. Geopath aims to produce standardized and comprehensive OOH measurement data to help advertisers, agencies, and media companies make informed decisions.

One of the key contributions of Geopath is its audience measurement system, which uses a mix of data sources such as mobile GPS, connected cars, and demographic information to estimate the reach and frequency of OOH advertising. This granular approach allows advertisers to understand not only how many people are exposed to their ads but also who these individuals are, enabling better targeting and campaign optimization.

Geopath is currently refining its measurement methods to offer increased granularity and precision. This involves expanding the scope to encompass more audience demographics, broadening geographic coverage, and conducting more intricate analyses of available inventory.

Source- Geopath

Audience and OOH Media

Geopath gathers aggregated and anonymized data from various roadways and locations throughout the United States. This data is meticulously curated to construct a comprehensive movement matrix that encompasses the entire population within its context. By comprehensively analyzing the movements of the entire population, Geopath enables a thorough comparison of all OOH media locations and provides insights into the audiences viewing the media. The graphic below illustrates how Geopath assimilates audience movement data and correlates it with OOH media to formulate its measurement methodologies.

Source- Geopath

Geopath Measurement Components

Although the data we extract from mobile devices and connected cars enhances our measurement system, thereby improving our comprehension of the audience engaging with inventory, it will inevitably lead to alterations in the impressions delivered by Geopath audited inventory. In essence, seven key components influence changes in OOH impressions. The following components explain the moving OOH measurement:

  1. Vehicular Traffic Counts

Traffic counts serve as the fundamental foundation that enables Geopath to grasp the overall circulation of the audience. While a high traffic count can result in increased impressions, other factors such as illumination, vehicle occupancy, and directionality also contribute to the equation.

Source- Campusagency

  • Persons Per Vehicle

Various markets exhibit distinct travel and transportation usage patterns. Markets characterized by elevated vehicle ownership typically have fewer individuals per car. Moreover, the predicted number of passengers in a vehicle varies depending on the purpose of the trip. Commuting trips generally entail low occupancy, whereas shopping and leisure excursions typically involve higher occupancy rates. Increased levels of occupancy positively influence impressions by generating a greater number of “opportunities to see.”

  • Pedestrian Traffic

Most of the audience in central business districts, commercial, entertainment, and tourism areas often comprises pedestrian traffic. The use of mobile applications for social interaction, fitness tracking, accessing weather updates, and navigation has appeared as a valuable resource for understanding activity on a block-by-block level.

  • Illuminated Circulation

Numerous OOH assets depend on ambient light for visibility, limiting their visibility to traffic exclusively during daylight hours. Understanding the placement of a unit within a specific time zone is crucial, as sunrise and sunset times can differ by up to an hour. Daylight hours may also undergo significant fluctuations throughout the year, contingent upon the latitude.

  • Visibility Adjustment

Visibility hinges on multiple variables: the clear size of the media within the audience’s field of view, its positioning within that field, and the duration for which the audience can view it. Accurate visibility calculations are eased by detailed road network data and inventory attributes.

  • Speed/Dwell Time

Dwell time significantly affects the probability of content being seen and the number of instances a single individual has the chance to see it. Increased dwell time near an OOH media location correlates with higher chances of audience engagement and gives more opportunities for individuals to view multiple spots on the same unit. Speed data sourced from connected cars and navigation apps is now accessible on a broader range of roadways than ever before.

  • Home Location

Mobile data empowers Geopath to discern the residential areas of audiences traversing past all OOH media. With expansive coverage throughout the United States, Geopath can quantify audiences outside the local market, including business travelers or tourists.

OAAA: Advocating for Industry Standards and Innovation

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) is another influential player in advancing OOH measurement practices. As the leading trade association for the OOH industry in the U.S., the OAAA plays a pivotal role in setting industry standards, advocating for advertisers, and fostering innovation. The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the foremost trade association for the out-of-home advertising (OOH) industry in the United States, is dedicated to advocating for and leading advancements within the field. With a fervent commitment, the OAAA safeguards unify and promotes the interests of the OOH sector, catalyzing progress, and innovation.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is a dynamic, expanding, and indispensable medium in the realm of advertising. With marketers giving more advertising budgets to OOH, the OAAA, and its member companies are striving to set uniform standards and enhance communication channels. This initiative aims to enable marketers to efficiently plan, execute transactions, and analyze outcomes within the OOH space.

OOH enables Location Audience Data

The capability for advertisers to deliver targeted messages to consumers within specific geographic areas has long been a defining strength of out-of-home (OOH) media. Whether it’s directional signage aiding consumers in navigating to destinations or proximity targeting, OOH messages possess the ability to convey compelling narratives that are contextually relevant based on their placement. This emphasis on location and contextual relevance is what makes OOH valuable to both advertisers and consumers, fueling its growth and continued relevance.

Consumer preferences evolve, prompting adaptations within the advertising industry. As the advertising landscape shifts, so does the OOH medium. One of the most significant drivers of this transformation is the proliferation of datasets, offering opportunities to use new tools, insights, and planning methodologies. This evolution has propelled the OOH industry beyond its traditional location-centric focus, towards a more nuanced understanding of audiences within specific locations.

Measurement Fundamentals for OOH

Summarizing metrics such as ad plays and impressions, audience characteristics, reach, frequency, and user behaviors form a solid basis for moving OOH measurement. There are several essential principles for measuring OOH. Building upon these core concepts, there is a greater level of detail. Furthermore, OOH employs slightly different terminology and vocabulary compared to other forms of advertising, which can lead to confusion if not approached with care.

  1. Exposure

Individuals near the media screen/board are expected to have the ability to view the screen/board. However, it is not confirmed whether they saw the screen/board, or the advertisement displayed on it. This concept is also referred to as “Opportunity to See.”

  • Plays

Ad plays are created by media owners, particularly if screens feature rotating images rather than displaying fixed content 100% of the time.

  • Impressions

Impressions are seen by users, alternatively referred to as Likelihood to See, and occasionally termed Opportunity to See in Exposure.

  • Accuracy

The measurement partner’s ability to achieve an elevated level of confidence in measurement results is contingent upon the method employed for the type of assets and outcomes being assessed.

  • Sample Size

The volume of collected data points compared to the total population in the “area” needs to be assessed. Ultimately, it is crucial to determine whether the sample size accurately reflects the overall audience of the local market.


It employs both in-flight and post-campaign analytics to illustrate the causality or correlation between ad performance and consumer behavior concerning the advertiser’s specified goals. The optimal solution may differ depending on the different stages of the marketing funnel. A single data source might not encompass all the required data points. Instead, employing a combination of measurement solutions is necessary to comprehensively grasp all touchpoints and formats.

Source- OAAA

COMMB: Elevating OOH Measurement in Canada

In Canada, the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB) serves a similar purpose to Geopath and the OAAA. COMMB’s primary goal is to provide comprehensive measurement and insights for the Canadian OOH industry, helping advertisers make data-driven decisions.

One of COMMB’s flagship offerings is its Traffic Study, which provides detailed traffic counts and demographic data for OOH advertising locations across Canada. This information empowers advertisers to select the most strategic placement for their campaigns and maximize their reach.

Source- COMMB

Outdoor advertising circulations are figured out by the count of individuals aged 5 and above who have a reasonable chance to view an advertising face within 24 hours. Vehicular traffic counts, typically conducted by municipalities and road authorities, are assigned to specific outdoor advertising faces according to COMMB-approved distance visibility criteria and a rigorous method approved by COMMB’s Research Committee. All traffic counts undergo adjustments using statistically sound local variation factors to reflect traffic volume on an average day of the year.

Outdoor circulations account for:

  • The mean number of passengers per vehicle. This information is derived from Transport Canada’s Canadian Vehicle Use Study and later adjusted by COMMB to generate provincial/market estimates.

  • Illumination levels of advertising faces, with circulations being adjusted for faces that are not illuminated around the clock.

  • Pedestrian traffic volume for specific advertising faces, determined through in-field counting initiatives. These volumes are then changed using statistically reliable local variation factors to reflect the average daily volume throughout the year.

Moving OOH advertising Measurement Standards by COMMB

COMMB outdoor circulations encompass vehicles traveling towards an advertising face exclusively. Two-way traffic volumes are halved before being incorporated into circulation figures. Circulations for COMMB outdoor products must follow industry-approved visibility distances, with tailored standards for each product considering both vehicular and pedestrian visibility. COMMB decreases circulation for any advertising face that is not illuminated continuously for a full 24 hours.

Market-Specific Data

To accommodate the considerable variations in consumer travel patterns, road infrastructure, and commercial trends across different markets, COMMB conducts measurement studies in over 275 markets. This comprehensive approach ensures that advertisers and their agencies have access to the most exact figures possible.

• Outdoor circulation studies are conducted across over 275 Canadian markets, ranging from major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal to the smallest rural regions such as Temiskaming, Notre Dame du Lac, and Wood Buffalo.

 • Circulation studies for place-based networks are carried out in 45 markets across all provinces.

 • Load factor studies, which figure out the average number of passengers traveling in a vehicle, are conducted in every COMMB CMA and CA market. • In-market studies, crucial for accurately calculating Gross Rating Points (GRPs), to decide the percentage of vehicles originating from within the market, are conducted in over 45 COMMB CMA and CA markets.

Regardless of the specific market you intend to target, COMMB’s extensive circulation studies ensure the provision of the most reliable circulation numbers.

Measurement Schedules

Outdoor Vehicular Circulation

“A” markets (major market populations over 1,000,000) – every 3 years

 “B” markets (populations between 500,000 and 999,999) – every 3 years

 “C” markets (populations between 100,000 and 499,999) – every 4 years

 “D” markets (population less than 100,000) – every 7 years, or as needed.

The Future of OOH Measurement

The efforts of Geopath, OAAA, COMMB, and other industry stakeholders have significantly enhanced the measurement capabilities of OOH advertising. However, the journey doesn’t end here. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the methods for measuring OOH effectiveness.

Emerging technologies such as computer vision, artificial intelligence, and geospatial analytics hold the promise of even more correct and real-time measurement capabilities. These advancements will enable advertisers to not only assess campaign performance but also dynamically adjust their strategies based on real-time insights.

Source- Billboardinsider

 In his most recent article for OAAA, Place Exchange CEO Ari Buchalter predicts, “As more buyers and dollars are coming into OOH through programmatic pipes, demand will continue to grow for impression-based buying of OOH that is apples-to-apples with other media. Buyers will focus on impression measurement that is dynamic and up-to-date, applicable across all OOH venues and formats, and confirmed against transparent industry standards.”


The landscape of OOH measurement is undergoing a transformative shift, thanks to the pioneering work of organizations like Geopath, OAAA, and COMMB. By providing standardized metrics, advocating for industry standards, and using innovative technologies, these organizations are empowering advertisers to unlock the full potential of OOH advertising in today’s complex media ecosystem. As we look to the future, it’s clear that OOH measurement will continue to evolve, driving greater effectiveness and accountability in the world of advertising. As an agency, Movia is deeply dedicated to the significance of this innovative measurement system. We are prioritizing its adoption by ensuring that our entire team undergoes comprehensive training on the platform and are mandating the attainment of certificates by a set internal deadline. We are enthusiastic about embarking on this journey alongside our esteemed industry partners, Geopath, OAAA, and COMMB, and eagerly predict the myriad opportunities for audience engagement it will unlock.

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