A Simple Guide to Digital OOH

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A long time ago, people put up posters at locations with high traffic as a form of advertisement. Since the invention of vehicles and roads, people started to enlarge these “posters” and it has transformed into what we know today as billboards. For advertisers who would like to reach their target audience will most likely go for television and radio ads. 

In recent years, there has been a rise in Digital Out-of-home (DOOH). DOOH is said to be more impactful and influential compared to traditional Out-of-Home (OOH). What is DOOH you ask? and how does it differ from OOH? This is what we will be talking about today.


OOH, as we know are traditional Outdoor advertisements posted in public areas that audiences interact with the outside world every day. OOH can be found in many places such as elevators, billboards, public transport, commercial/residential areas and much more.

DOOH on the other hand is basically the digitised version of OOH where ads are shown on bright and colourful graphics displayed on digital screens. This, with the combination of Ad-Tech, enables added abilities such as geofencing, tracking, retargeting, personalising, attribution and measurement.


Due to the accelerated adoption of technology, the transition from OOH to DOOH is already happening and it's gaining momentum. Traditional OOH media are slowly and surely transitioning into digital formats. DOOH provides several advantages over traditional OOH as mentioned earlier. 

Optimising Campaign Budget 

Switching over to digital inventories, DOOH sites typically offer the capability and flexibility to daypart and schedule the specific day or hour their ads to be played. This makes DOOH dynamic and directly affects the cost of the campaign. Moreover, the ability to use videos allows advertisers to become better storytellers. It then becomes easier to grab the attention of people in public places.  

DOOH offers advertisers the best of both worlds, an all in one advertising solution; the natural perks of OOH advertisements along with enhanced creativity and targeting, constant traffic, high levels of visibility that all translate to more eyeballs.

Ability to Measure

With the deployment of IoT devices, it enables the capture of data such as Mac and Ad IDs, and combining with data sources such as GPS, Wifi & Bluetooth this makes a very powerful measuring tool for advertisers. Marketers now have the ability to measure footfall attribution. 

Footfall attribution strengthens DOOH measurement at multiple levels, especially when the campaign operates in a multi-channel landscape. The interesting thing in the case of DOOH is that brands can attribute DOOH exposures to an online store or landing page visits. 

Targeting & Retargeting

Using the data sources, it provides the capability to identify the demographics, interest and lifestyles of their target audiences. Advertisers are now equipped with the capability to retarget their target audiences with ads digitally. Adding on from the earlier point, two of the more common targeting methods advertisers use are to retarget audiences digitally who interacted with the DOOH inventories on their mobile devices to increase the frequency or target audiences who are not exposed to the DOOH inventories to increase reach. 

There Are Four Types of the media buying process: 

  1. RTB or ‘Real-Time-Bidding’ is an auction-based bidding protocol in which advertisers compete against each other to display ads to specific users. RTB offers a lot of capabilities and use of data as well as vast types of inventory and is universally considered the most flexible model on the market.
  2. Programmatic Direct is a one-to-one media-buying process much akin to the traditional method whereby salespeople met with advertisers in-person to strike a deal. It is a very similar model to the private marketplace (see below), with the exception that advertisers and publishers agree on specific inventory based on a fixed Cost-per-Mile (CPM). CPMs for short is used in ad measurement to identify the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or impressions of an advertisement.
  3. Programmatic Guaranteed (aka private marketplace or PMP) is an invite-only auction process in which just a handful of advertisers bid against one another to buy a publisher’s inventory. This method is typically offered by publishers with more premium (i.e. coveted and expensive) inventory – think major media sites like Forbes, Wall Street Journal or The New York Times).
  4. Non-Programmatic Guaranteed (direct) is a manual insertion process that requires maximum human effort, understanding the client’s needs, negotiating prices and planning the insertion order (IO), with tons of emails running back and forth. Inventory is sold at a fixed CPM rate. The inventory is “guaranteed” or “reserved” for the client. Sometimes, advertisers are required to pay a premium price in return for specific exposure conditions.

More Related Articles: 

  1. OOH vs Online Media: How They Compare across Three Key Metrics
  2. How Real-Time Audience Data Drives Better DOOH Campaign 
  3. Fitting a piece of OOH into your Omnichannel Puzzle

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