The Short-Form Video Is Taking Over DOOH Advertising

The omni-channel approach to advertising has become somewhat of an integral part of any advertiser’s strategy. Consumers like to be stimulated in more ways than one, and in order to engage them to the fullest capacity, a lot of advertisers have been using Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising to do it. Short-format videos specifically have recently become an extremely popular format to engage with consumers. The short-form video-sharing app called TikTok has become a worldwide phenomenon – especially over the course of the pandemic. The viral app has roughly 1 billion monthly active users and was the most popular overall app downloaded globally last year. The app’s heightened fame has made short-form videos quite the sought-after advertising tool and one of the many reasons why DOOH advertisers are taking advantage of it. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at why and how short-form videos are being used as part of many advertisers’ media mix, and more specifically, how and why DOOH advertisers are using them in their campaigns.

Quick, Punchy, Relatable content

An image of an array of DOOH ads for different things, but mostly for fashion and makeup.

The combination of people’s weakened attention spans and the limitless capabilities of the internet, have caused people to crave instantaneous pleasure, entertainment, and stimulation. That’s why advertisers have been searching for ways to create that kind of experience for consumers without being too pushy and in-your-face. What advertisers have been finding to be the most successful way to do this recently, is by displaying quick little 10-second videos that immediately tell a story and convey a message. TikTok has made quick, punchy, and relatable videos insanely popular, which DOOH advertisers have begun to adopt into their advertising campaigns. It takes almost no time to lose the attention of people that pass by an advertisement passersby, especially when they aren’t searching you out. Brands that do well, make people stop and stare, watch, listen, and engage. This is way easier to do using DOOH short-form videos, which can provide a multi-sensory experience that can quickly reel people in and make them pay attention. What TikTok does so well is entertain people quickly and with intense captivation, whereas DOOH advertising  drives a measurable action like driving people to a store, a website, etc. When done right, DOOH ads that combine both the entertainment aspect that TikTok champions, while also drawing people to buy whatever you’re selling, is the ultimate advertising campaign.

The Capabilities of DOOH

Don’t get me wrong, traditional OOH is still a very relevant advertising medium, even as online advertising tools, like social media, become more intuitive. However, Digital OOH has definitely been picking up steam in terms of its popularity and its capabilities. According to Insider Intelligence, this year DOOH ad spending will increase by 19.2%, from $2.72 billion in 2020 to $3.84 billion in 2023. There are a number of benefits to DOOH that advertisers are becoming more and more aware of. 

DOOH Is Cost Effective and Changeable

For starters, the added variety and low cost. Although installing a DOOH billboard or screen can seem pricey off the bat, the payoff is totally worth it. When compared to installing a traditional billboard that’s only able to display one advertisement that you create, DOOH billboards can flip through multiple advertisements, allowing consumers to see an array of different ads all on one board. Being able to change what appears on screen helps to keep consumers more interested for a longer period of time. This feature of DOOH advertising is also particularly appealing whenever your company comes out with a new product or wants to promote a new feature but still wants to advertise in the same ad space. The cost of setup and installation has already been invested, so all you have to do is click a few buttons.  

Offers Relevant Messaging 

Campaign relevancy is another huge advantage to DOOH advertising. When DOOH advertising is used in combination with programmatic efforts, your campaign automatically becomes more targeted, more relevant, and more enticing to consumers. Since DOOH signage can change on a dime, it’s capable of displaying the right message, to the right people, at the right time. For example, when you’re driving down the highway early in the morning in the pouring rain and up ahead, you see a DOOH billboard displaying McDonald’s breakfast menu with the slogan ‘come warm up with us”. You can’t get more targeted than that. DOOH billboards that work with programmatic capabilities can display automated advertisements that reach your target market right when they least expect it, but when they need it most. It’s this kind of intuitive advertising that makes DOOH so enticing to advertisers and to brands alike.

Offers Detailed Reporting

One of the best things about DOOH, is that the software that’s used to run these kinds of advertisements, allows companies and brands to gather useful reports that include key metrics – such as proof-of-play and incident reports. When combining good creative with relevant messaging and analytics, you’re really getting the most out of your ad campaign from start to finish. DOOH can also track viewership analytics and engagement rates, which is huge for understanding how and when consumers are interacting with your ads. The truck-side advertising company called Movia, uses their beacon technology to track the WiFi signals from people’s phones that pass by their advertisements. This allows them to calculate impression analytics, but more importantly, it allows them to retarget those who engage with the ad through the apps on their phones – like the Weather App, news apps, and more.  

Let’s now take a look at how short-form DOOH advertisements are flipping the ad world upside down.

To celebrate the BRIT Awards in London, UK last year, TikTok activated a live-stream of the red carpet at Piccadilly Lights, which is Europe’s largest DOOH screen in London. People from all over were encouraged to come and watch the red carpet event, which was a huge hit for those who couldn’t attend in person. On top of the huge live-stream display, TikTok placed roughly 30 large-format projections in and around London that displayed users who submitted their videos to the ‘#redcarpetready TikTok challenge’ alongside displays that encouraged Londoners to watch the red carpet live-stream. The DOOH execution included full wall murals, art installations, and DOOH signage – one of which included BRIT Award nominee Lewis Capaldi in his hometown of Glasgow. The campaign was a huge success, not only because of the mass amount of DOOH ads and reach of the campaign, but mainly because of its ability to engage people wholeheartedly and create a lot of buzz and excitement around the biggest music awards ceremony in the UK.

An image of a DOOH billboard ad for British Airways displaying a kid pointing up at the plane in the sky.

A few years back, British Airways revolutionized the way that DOOH advertising was being used. They created a campaign called “Look Up”, in the middle of Piccadilly Circus and in Chiswick where a large DOOH screen would display a little boy sitting who would then get up and point at the British Airways flight passing above it. The DOOH billboard would then display the plane number, the destination, and eventually, the lowest prices for real-time flights with British Airways. The billboard was programmed to know exactly when a British Airways plane was flying above it and where it was going, which led passersby to stop, stare, and marvel at the ingenious ad. Whenever there’s a plane flying in the sky, people always look up and wonder where it’s headed. This campaign gave people the answers to the questions they were wondering, and also made them want to hop on a flight somewhere warm. Overall, the campaign was extremely intuitive and innovative for its time, which made it all the more spectacular for people who got to experience it.

An image of a DOOH ad for LianTronics that displays a 3D spaceship.

In order to showcase their electronic and digital prowess, the Chinese Outdoor Advertising Company LianTronics, created a gigantic 3D LED Spaceship video on the side of a mall in Chengdu, China. The video displays a 90-degree, curved, LED, 3D, Star Trek-like spaceship that appears as though it is coming out of the building and onto the space in front of it. This screen was the perfect space to really ‘wow’ people and create buzz around the technological expertise, as the display is more than 900 square meters in size. The unbelievable display was not only a huge internet sensation in China, but all over the world.

To Wrap Up

The short-form video is making huge waves in the outdoor advertising industry right now, as it’s what consumers are engaging with the most in our current climate. Not to mention that DOOH is easy to use, targeted, accessible, intuitive, and can be insanely creative. As our attention spans decrease even further, and constant stimulation is preferred, short-form videos that can hold our attention and make us interested in whatever it is that’s being sold, is definitely the way to go. It’s one thing to grab the attention of consumers, but a whole other thing to hold that attention. DOOH short-form videos are definitely the most effective way of doing this and should be considered when planning your next OOH advertising campaign.

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