Capturing moments with Programmatic DOOH

Programmatic Digital-Out-of-Home (pDOOH) advertising is shaking up traditional Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising in this post-pandemic world. So, with this introduction, what can we expect for the future of digital advertising in New Zealand? Rick Goodwin, Product Innovation and Solutions Director at oOh!media, shares his current insights.

It’s still a relatively new practice here, but so far what do your findings show about how effective the use of Programmatic Out-of-Home (pDOOH) media will be in New Zealand?

It’s still very early days in the rollout and advertiser adoption of pDOOH in the New Zealand market. The last of the major Out of Home (OOH) vendors launched their offering in mid-February, 2022 – so the full network of digital OOH inventory in New Zealand has only been available for a short time. Traditionally, OOH in New Zealand has been bought as a siloed medium within a multi-channel campaign. It’s very seldom we have seen it linked to other media activity, in a way that can quantify what degree of ‘effectiveness,’ or outcome, is generated off the back of an OOH exposure.

pDOOH can allow OOH to sit within an omnichannel environment, being housed in the same planning/buying ecosystems as other connected media (such as Online, Mobile, Connected TV). The benefit of this, is that advertisers can now link these campaigns more effortlessly to understand the actions consumers take off the back of an OOH exposure.

An example of this, is geo-fencing an OOH asset that a particular advertiser is active, and retargeting consumers on mobile as they are either in the vicinity of the OOH asset, or thereafter (knowing they have been exposed to the OOH message). Advertisers can then monitor and compare the uplift, or actions, of those consumers versus a non-exposed audience – on mobile click throughs, leads generated, conversions, or even real world movements in the form of visitation to a particular store. I believe pDOOH will bring a much greater level of accountability to OOH, and truly highlight the effect it has on consumers, and advertisers’ return on investment.

Can we expect that pDOOH is the future of OOH advertising and will be widely used across New Zealand?

The scope for pDOOH is wide-ranging. Whilst programmatic is obviously not a new concept in media, it’s application in OOH is, particularly here in New Zealand. Our focus at oOh! is ensuring that this evolution builds on the core benefits of OOH, and maximises the benefits that Digital Out of Home enables. pDOOH brings greater creative and buying flexibility, the ability to maintain complete campaign control, switch campaigns on/off, optimise screen locations, plus more to complement and enhance activity that advertisers are already running.

We believe there is still a very important role for both the classic format and traditional direct bookings for that matter. pDOOH is a tactical layer that sites above and beyond what advertisers are currently doing with us. It plays in its own space and we look forward to seeing how that space evolves over the coming years.

Will the use of pDOOH to buy outdoor media be effective for companies in an age where it is more common for people to be working from home?

Despite the increase in people working from home due to the Omicron surge, overall OOH mobility remains high and has returned to pre-Covid baselines immediately post this surge, as it has after every previous Covid event or lockdown. There are a number of reasons for this; firstly while work related journeys are impacted by Covid events, work journeys make up only one of many reasons for people to travel out of their homes. According to the latest Google mobility data from the height of Omicron’s impact, whilst travel to offices is down, trips to the supermarket/pharmacy along with general mobility in residential/suburban areas are both up considerably. Furthermore, over half of the New Zealand workforce cannot work from home so those workers are continuing their day-to-day routines unless actually sick or isolating with Covid.

The trend towards increased working from home since Covid began has not had a negative impact on overall OOH mobility and it remains an excellent channel for reaching audiences at scale as they go about their daily lives. That said, audience mobility patterns have changed a little with more people moving in their local area and an increase in some Retail travel. This is where the strengths of pDOOH can help advertisers maximise their reach against their target audience no matter where they are.

One of the fundamental differences between traditional OOH and programmatic OOH is the ability to buy by audience rather than asset. What this means is an advertiser is not locked onto a specific selection of sites for the period of their campaign, for example 20 sites for one week. Rather, they are purchasing impressions targeted to an audience segment and their campaign can bounce around OOH assets that over index against that audience throughout the week. This means that if your audience changes their behaviour, for example spending more time in and around their home suburbs, or increasing their journeys to shopping precincts with supermarkets in them, then your campaign will follow them into those locations.

Rick Goodwin.

With oOh!media’s number of screens across New Zealand, do your findings show which screens in certain points of life, for example, gyms, banks etc, are the most effective?

There are a couple of things to mention in relation to OOH’s effectiveness based on the location of an asset. Firstly, in an audience-led world, where OOH media is bought by audience not asset location, the definition of an ‘effective screen location’ is completely subjective based on the advertiser and campaign objective. 

We’ve greatly enhanced our audience targeting capabilities over the last few years which can make any screen location ‘effective’ based on the audience profiles that move past them on a regular basis, and our ability to qualify this. For example, a screen in Papakura that is nowhere near a Countdown may actually over-index for people who shop at Countdown three plus times per week.  An advertiser may then wish to target this particular asset knowing this. However, the following week, a completely different asset may over-index, based on updated consumer movement data, making the new location more desirable to reach the intended audience than the previous. pDOOH also allows advertisers to apply their own audience targeting to buys to locate their core audiences throughout the day. Secondly, Unmissable Scale is at the core of our digital proposition. We consider each of our digital screens equally ‘effective’ and reflect this in our pricing where each screen is priced identically to the next no matter the location. 

Each of our Street Live screens are designed to be seen. There is specific criteria that go into the selection and location of each digital site including traffic volumes and proximity to points of interest, amongst others. Once a location is selected, the screen is placed within one to two metres of the roadside, facing oncoming traffic, with the goal of delivering ‘100 percent opportunity to see’ as vehicles move past – even slightly angling the screens outwards to ensure the whole asset is visible. The copy/paste nature of our digital network, regarding asset location and screen positioning, means advertisers can trust that each location will deliver a similar level of viewability.

What is trending/popular in New Zealand in terms of programmatic OOH campaigns?

pDOOH enables OOH to play a greater variety of roles than it ever could do via a traditional IO/contract buy. OOH has traditionally played the ‘Awareness’ role at the top of the conversion funnel, however, the advent of pDOOH and the buying capabilities therewith, allows OOH to play a greater role in influencing consumers at the Consideration and Conversion phases of the funnel more effectively than ever before.

The tactical buying functionality of pDOOH has meant a raft of new advertisers have started to lean into OOH who may not have previously been advocates.  Over 70 percent of advertisers who’ve run pDOOH activity via oOh! since our launch in October 2021 have never advertised with us before.

Some examples of pDOOH buying tactics we’ve seen to date are:

  • Only spending when certain environmental conditions are met (a core benefit of pDOOH), for example, if it is sunny on a Friday, pushing a BBQ related message prior to the weekend.
  • We’ve also seen advertisers increase their volume of screens in key times of the day where they have a desire to own particular moments, for example when a consumer is planning what they’re having for breakfast or dinner that day.

Compared to other countries, New Zealand is a bit late to pDOOH. What can we learn from other countries more established in this type of advertising and how can we apply that to New Zealand?

Being late to the party does mean we can learn from mistakes we’ve seen abroad. pDOOH has a number of differences to traditional online programmatic campaigns, with a major variation being that online is a 1-to-1 medium, and OOH is a 1-to-many medium. To account for this within pDOOH, a formula called the Impression Multiplier was created to calculate how many people have the ‘opportunity to see’ each ad play on screen.  A number of data variables feed into this formula such as Loop length, Dwell Time, Viewing Corridor distance, to enhance the accuracy. From what we witnessed in foreign markets, each OOH supplier had their own formula and application thereof – with no consistency or standardisation of the model. This naturally generated a lack of trust amongst agencies/advertisers – and slowed the initial uptake of pDOOH. To proactively resolve this in New Zealand, a pDOOH working group was set up via the IAB (with representation from almost all OOH suppliers) and a standardised Impression Multiplier formula was discussed and agreed upon to be used by the industry. Launching a brand new OOH product naturally comes with a number of challenges, and removing this particular barrier, to generate trust and transparency from the outset, has helped to quell this concern.        

Based on what is trending/popular, can we expect an influx of businesses using pDOOH?

As mentioned earlier, we are already seeing good indications of this (with over 70 percent  of business to date, being new to oOh!). From a media owner perspective, we are still right at the beginning of the pDOOH journey with a handful of early adopters taking advantage of the new channels capabilities. However many of our larger clients are beginning to lean in and activate campaigns. I’d say New Zealand is currently tracking about 12 months behind Australia in terms of adoption and application of pDOOH, however – the second half of 2022 is projected to ramp up quite considerably with advertisers actively searching out ways to tactically utilise pDOOH buying capabilities on top of their BAU layers.

Keen to know more about oOh! Programmatic, send Rick a note: [email protected]

Read more in our programmatic series: Get with the Program(matic)

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