Credit by Susan Akbarpour
Online advertising has entered a crisis. While Americans spend nearly four hours a day on personal digital devices, those ads barely register. Due to the hyper-saturation of ads we see daily, we have developed banner blindness, where our minds don’t register online ads, leading click-through rates to plummet to .05% today.
While digital and static push advertising are becoming less effective, “transitional” out-of-home (OOH) advertising is making a comeback with digital billboards and interactive displays. These benefit from the same modifiability and data-driven potential as online advertising, but they less intrusively grab the undivided attention of the captivated commuters with hard-to-ignore ads.
At this year's Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas on March 26-29, I explored some of the biggest concepts in the OOH advertising industry. Here are four OOH trends defining the ecosystem:
1. 3D Holographic Images
As rich user experience becomes a commodity these days, advertisers are resorting to novel OOH techniques to make people pay attention to their messages. I think that consumers and advertisers should look out for new cutting-edge concepts in digital signage like 3D holographic displays. The novelty of 3D holograms makes them useful OOH that may be able to hold viewers' attention better than the highest-quality displays.
Hypervsn, for example, has created 3D holographic images with a device made up of four blades covered in LED lights. When the device spins, it creates a 3D image that looks like a higher-quality version of R2-D2’s hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars.
2. Cloud-Based Peer-To-Peer Content Creation And Delivery
Billboard advertising used to be the domain of a few select operators. However, the industry is democratizing as digital signage makes it easier to publish ads and web-based platforms facilitate connections between billboard operators and prospective advertisers.
One company, Adomni, has created an OOH advertising marketplace for ad creation, delivery and audience analytics. Advertisers can choose from over 50,000 screens supported on the marketplace. Depending on operator processing time, an advertisement can be up in minutes.
Digitization is probably the biggest trend in OOH advertising in general, but OOH advertising platforms that facilitate peer-to-peer or user-generated advertising, customization and personalization can empower traditional players to advertise smarter while bringing in a new generation of OOH advertisers.
3. More Software And Hardware Options For Large Format And Captivating Billboards
Large digital displays might get more attention in OOH advertising, but they also need powerful software and hardware to run as smoothly as an iPad. Powerful back-end software and hardware are increasingly important for large format, interactive digital OOH advertising. Since the modern consumer has become accustomed to a high-level touch-screen experience, interactive OOH advertising screens may need to keep pace so the consumer stays engaged.
BrightSign’s XT1144 Expanded I/O Player is one example of this trend that's currently on the market. The player features touch screens, 4K video, motion sensors, barcode scanners and more.
4. Evolving Mounts And Accessories
You may produce the best content and digital displays, but without the right frame and framework, you can’t make them eye-catching, safe, accessible and compliant. In the world of high-quality displays and captivating content, the frame often means subtly designed mounts integrating multiple moving parts to deliver greater public engagement, customer support and seamless content updates.
While mounts will likely never get the same attention as the displays, I believe that mount and accessory providers will continue evolving to keep pace with the innovations in display technologies. At DSE, Peerless-AV showed some of its products, such as the Smart City Kiosk and the All-in-One Kiosk, an LCD display terminal that lets advertisers deploy powerful content.
As we become increasingly numb to digital push advertising, I believe that innovative OOH advertising trends like what we saw at DSE this year will push the advertising industry in a new direction.