The Disruption in Out Of Home (OOH)


It is no surprise that in today’s day and age, digital devices and digital content are essentials and will be exposed to us regardless on a daily basis. In fact, for the first time in 2019, US consumers will spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching TV. The average US adult will spend almost 3 hours a day on average according to a study in 2019.

Despite the explosive growth of digital channels which has been one of the main factors that crippled the usage of traditional media, Out-of-Home (OOH) has been the only exception that still received growth in its 40th consecutive quarter (an increase of 7% in Q3 2019). 


OOH, advertising is not a new phenomenon, instead, it has been a highly popular method of advertising products and services centuries ago. This form of advertising has started with the invention of Lithography in 1794 which enables the printing of posters.

Initially, Outdoor advertising was popular and mainly found on buildings and roadside of logical towns. Since the first invention of affordable cars - Model T by Henry Ford. There has been an increase in billboard advertising near highways as the number of road users has increased. 

OOH has come a long way and is not showing any signs of slowing down. With the integration of digital technology over the past several decades, more and more static billboards are being replaced by digital billboards. With the implementation of Digital OOH (DOOH), advertisers have the flexibility of selecting hourly exposure to the audiences that makes the most sense to their target audiences or campaign. With this flexibility, advertisers can also optimise their budget and allocate some of the budgets into digital advertising for retargeting purposes for example.

3 Driving Forces of Disruption in OOH

Force 1: Consumer Media Habits

The biggest difference to the way consumers behave compared to then and now in the physical world, audiences spend a significant period of time looking down on their mobile devices and consuming large amounts of content digitally. Regardless of walking on the streets, sitting in a cafe or commuting, audiences use to interact more with the environment and people around them such as staring out the window or talking to the people around them.

Force 2: Advertiser Demands

With the evolution of consumer habits and increased competition, comes the rise of ad blockers and the premium of ad-free subscriptions. Advertisers will have higher expectations from media such as:

  • How to stand out from the competition
  • Data to understand their target audiences
  • Methods of successful advertising
  • Integration of media channels 

If the OOH industry does not embrace these expectations, OOH’s share of media will remain stagnant if not face a decline. 

Force 3: Technological Advancement

The transformation of technological advancement will never be predictable. No one would have predicted that we would replace 9 physical buttons with a full-size touch screen keyboard on our phones, the next thing you know we might have phones built into the palms of our hands. 

There has been a major change in how consumers make use of technology compared to a decade ago. Consuming data, booking an appointment, shopping and dining are only some of the examples that have already been replaced by using an application from our mobile devices. This has also created an opportunity for advertisers to reach their target audience, however, it is also a factor that drives up the competition. 

With technological advancements, OOH today has evolved into something that has reached more audiences and more efficiently compared to the past. Static billboards might also only exist in our memories in the recent years to come. Marketers should really allocate a significant amount of attention to the uprising of DOOH. 

More related articles: 

  1. How OOH Help Brands Adapt to Consumer Shift in the New Normal 
  2. OOH Advertising Trends in 2021: The Resurrection
  3. How OOH Help Brands Stand Out In An Oversaturated Online World 

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