“What’s Next?” The Future Trends of OOH

Burn the AD billboard campaign done by Burger King in Brazil.

OOH advertising is known as one of the most immersive and creative ways to advertise in the forms of billboards, posters, truck-side ads, and more. As the advertising industry continues to expand and grow, the future looks bright for OOH, particularly digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, with new trends emerging constantly. A statistical report on eMarketer, shows that DOOH in 2021 will rise by 19.2% and ad spending will increase from $2.72 billion in 2020 to $3.84 billion in 2023. Virtual reality, augmented reality, storytelling, fighting for a cause, and promotional offers are all new and emerging trends that will change the advertising game and increase brand awareness immensely. This article will explore these various upcoming trends in OOH advertising for the New Year and beyond. 

Burger King Campaign

In Brazil, a recent campaign done by the worldwide famous fast food chain, Burger King, showcasing an interesting, never before seen, and innovative approach to DOOH. Burger King has long been known to have interesting and successful ad campaigns by using creativity and innovation. The point of the ad was to promote BK Express to help customers order their meals in advance online and skip waiting in line once they arrive at the restaurant. When a user launches the Burger King app and points their smartphone at an ad of a competitor, (such as Mcdonald’s) their phone screen will show the ad burning up and revealing a Burger King ad in its place.

“Technology as a means to provide the best customer experience is one of our main investment targets…We offer some fun interaction in augmented reality for our brand’s lovers through the app. And those using the service also gets a free Whopper”, said Ariel Grunkraut – Burger King’s marketing and sales director for Brazil. The use of augmented reality in this campaign really showed how creativity can go a long way with the use of new technology. Not only do the consumers get to enjoy this interesting show unravelling right before their eyes, they also get a free Whopper, as the app indicates after the flames are burned out. This ad campaign showcases that user experience is the most important part of capturing an audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more. Furthermore, users are more likely to place additional orders along with their Whopper while simultaneously learning about how their mobile ordering service works. It’s a win-win situation for both the consumer and the company. By combining the use of digital creativity with a promotion, Burger King was not only able to beat out their rivals by replacing their ads with their own, but also gain the loyalty and trust of consumers with a free item.

Terveystalo Billboard Campaign

Terveystalo billboard campaign with text "Your phone is the dirtiest thing on you. Disinfect it here."

The pandemic is an international epidemic that everyone in the world is currently concerned about. Consumers and companies alike are trying their best to end the pandemic and return to a sense of normality. A health company based in Finland, named Terveystalo, is taking an innovative approach to remind people to stay clean by disinfecting their phones with the use of a billboard. The bright billboards present a bold statement, “Your phone is the dirtiest thing on you. Disinfect it here.” This provides a sense of urgency that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we all must do our part to stay clean – whether that’s washing our hands, or disinfecting our phones. Since the virus can live on a phone’s surface for up to four weeks, it becomes important to raise awareness about how we must regularly disinfect our phones.

The way the billboard cleaning station works is by placing your phone in the hatch of the billboard, it then uses UVC light to disinfect the phone quickly and efficiently. Not only does this billboard use hospital-grade technology, it also gets the job done in less than a minute – so you won’t have to waste time from your day. Terveystalo is a perfect example of a company that uses innovative OOH advertising to fight for a cause. This not only brings brand awareness, but also creates customer loyalty as both the company and the consumer are fighting to end the pandemic – a cause that everyone is currently aware of. By creating a solution to a problem, companies are more likely to gain recognition and positive reviews. OOH advertising becomes the best solution for such a problem as enclosed public spaces are currently the most dangerous in terms of getting sick and therefore have to be sanitized the most thoroughly.

Dracula Billboard

BBC Dracula billboard ad campaign with stakes and shadow of Dracula on the billboard.

A haunting yet extremely creative billboard was created by BBC in London and Birmingham, showcasing the popular TV show Dracula. What makes the ad campaign so unique is that it changes whether you see it during the daytime or nighttime. Imagine you are driving to work and see this enormous billboard that showcases a bunch of stakes inserted into it. However, on your commute back at night you suddenly see a terrifying image of Dracula coming to life in the form of a haunting shadow underneath the stakes. Such an image will surely stick in anyone’s mind and convince them to check out the TV show. The stunning 3D effect of the stakes, along with the changing imagery from day to night, creates a haunting OOH ad with a strong message, demonstrating the horror genre of the TV show and captivating audiences instantly.  

Innovation and creativity are emerging trends in OOH advertising because they have a wow factor that consumers won’t be able to miss. The illusion of the Dracula shadow creates an immersive experience for the viewers, showcasing the creative capabilities of the BBC marketing team as they promote their newest TV show. Storytelling also becomes significantly important in the success of this campaign, telling the tale of the horrific nature of the classic Dracula character as he’s hidden during the day and only comes to life at night. The message of the OOH ad campaign becomes crystal clear – the creators of the show want you to see their ability to turn a classic story into something thrilling, captivating, and innovative.

Tyrolit Ad Campaign

Tyrolit billboard ad campaign with shiny metallic knife in center and rust around the rest of the billboard.

Another creative and innovative billboard was created by a company called Tyrolit that sells knives and other tools. This ad was placed in the heart of Vienna so that passerby would be able to see it as they travelled along their usual commute. What made this OOH ad stand out was its amazing transformation that took place within 30 days. At first, the billboard showed a shiny surface that showcased the company’s logo, however as the days went on, the billboard started to rust. After the 30 days were up, the shiny, metallic Tyrolit knife was finally revealed in the middle of the billboard with the message, “Flawless. Forever.” This billboard demonstrated an innovative approach to advertising by creating an ad that was constantly changing and led passersby to take notice even after they had seen the ad over the course of several days or weeks. Our eyes are always noticing new surroundings, therefore having a constantly changing billboard is the perfect way to catch the attention of the consumer.

Another reason why this ad is so interesting is because it sends a clear message – Tyrolit has the best quality knives – and they don’t rust! The message on the billboard became the center focus of the ad campaign as passersby take notice of the creative way this billboard was displayed. The experience of viewing the billboard and making sense of it as the days go on becomes the main drive for increasing sales for the company. The emerging trend of delivering a message in a new and innovative way is exactly what will make OOH advertising stand out among the crowd, since there are endless possibilities of showcasing a creative approach to a product or service and capturing the attention of everyone that passes by.

Final Words

As technology continues to expand, the future looks bright for OOH advertising, particularly DOOH. The digital space creates fun new ways of advertising that not only engages with the consumers, but also increases the odds of return on investment. Using virtual and augmented reality features in your ad campaigns will create a lasting impression on the user and therefore increase brand awareness. Furthermore, storytelling is becoming more important than ever, as consumers want to create meaningful and long lasting purchases as opposed to feeling like companies only care about making profit. By showcasing or supporting a cause or promotion in their advertisements, companies are more likely to bring back loyal customers that have the same beliefs as them. Overall, investing in OOH advertising is a smart choice for any company that wants to get ahead of the game and use innovative new ways to captivate an audience.

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