A new study by Clear Channel Outdoor with MarketShare Partners explores the use and effectiveness of OOH advertising, evaluates the financial contribution of OOH as part of a balanced marketing mix and discusses how marketers can make more informed decisions regarding their marketing budget allocation.
Though this research brief cannot capture the extensive analysis devoted to the incremental benefits depicted by combining OOH with other traditional advertising categories, it can at least alert our readers to the availability of a comprehensive whitepaper exploring the opportunities.
The main findings of this paper are that Out of Home is an impactful marketing vehicle that contributes to a brand's overall advertising campaign effectiveness. OOH not only provides a direct sales lift by increasing brand awareness and consideration, but compared to other media, can also increase the effectiveness of other marketing vehicles lower in the purchase funnel.
Marketers spent $5.9 billion in 2009 on Out of Home advertising in a variety of places outside the home, including on traditional and digital billboards, bus shelters, buses and taxis, as well as in malls, airports, subways, and at sports stadiums and arenas.
The majority of OOH advertising, approximately 65%, is spent on billboards. While some companies may utilize billboard ads that are up for months, the industry standard minimum lease time for a billboard ad is currently four weeks.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) classifies these formats into four major categories, sharing spending in 2009 as follows:
Street Furniture 6%
Source:OAAA, October 2010
As it has with other media vehicles, the advent of new digital technologies has impacted the OOH advertising industry. Digital OOH provides marketers with the ability to more finely target advertising creative, as well as update messaging on a more frequent basis, with less of the traditional production costs associate with static billboards. This new medium also allows marketers to geographically and temporaly target - for example, enabling brands to message commuters with pertinent ads during rush hour, or reach sports fans on their way to a local game.
In 2009, 55% of travelers surveyed by Arbitron had noticed a digital roadside billboard in the prior month and 32% had noticed one in the prior week. A 2010 Arbitron study found that 70% of U.S. residents ages 12 or older reported that they had seen a digital video display in a public venue in the prior month and 52% recalled seeing one in the prior week.
A recent study found that 83% of all respondents recalled seeing at least one digital ad and 65% recalled at least two. As a byproduct of increased recall, word of mouth buzz increases if consumers find advertisements interesting and cool. According to the study, "nearly one in five viewers discussed an ad seen on a digital billboard with other people."
Additionally, the report describes several empirical generalizations that marketers can keep in mind when making marketing allocation decisions and considering the use of OOH as an advertising medium. Specifically that Out of Home advertising:
... also has an indirect impact on sales
... optimal allocation lies between 5% and 25% of the total advertising budget for the majority of products and brands.
... included in the media mix, for industries and products where it provides observable sales lift, makes other media more effective
... has been shown to drive significant incremental sales lifts disproportional to other drivers
... can provide marketers with the ability to identify and focus their spending in the Designated Market Areas ("DMAs") or geographic areas that provide the greatest response to their product and marketing efforts
... can provide a significantly higher sales lift in conjunction with TV when the creative messaging is coordinated across platforms
... can provide a significantly higher sales lift in conjunction with Radio when there is a call to action