New report suggests consumers more receptive to digital out of home ads

December 22, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Marketing Charts is usually a great source for interesting ad and marketing industry charts and graphs, but there is strangely none attached to a new story today about research suggesting conumers are more receptive to digital out of home than other types of media.

More than two-thirds of US consumers say digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising catches their attention, and the majority say it is less annoying than ads onTV, radio, the internet, and in magazines, according to data from a report by EPM Communications.

Moreover, more than one-third (36%) of consumers say they take action as a result of digital OOH ads, EPM said, citing data from SeeSaw Networks/OTX. Among those age 18-24, that number rises to 51%.

The report, “Digital Out-of-Home Media,” which draws on industry data from SeeSaw, the Cinema Advertising Council and Arbitron, also states that digital OOH advertising – which is a $1 billion business and growing –  places second (48%), after television (56%), in terms of the percentage of people who find it “entertaining,” and only 26% of consumers say digital signage advertising is annoying, when compared with ads on the internet (67%), radio (52%) and TV (51%).

EPM lays out what it thinks are particularly opportune venues:

Supermarkets, malls and retail: In-store TV networks and other digital signage at retail figure prominently into the practice of “shopper marketing,” and can significantly influence shoppers as they make their purchase decisions. Key things to consider before advertising in such venues include high costs, a lack of a captive audience because shoppers are continually “on the move,” and stiff competition with other stimuli on the shopping floor.

Transit terminals, sidewalks, highways: Catching consumers’ attention as they move from one location to another is becoming more attractive to advertisers, who are increasingly including mobile phone and website “calls-to-action” to accompany screen advertising. Key considerations include a sometimes-high cost, ensuring that spots are short and to-the-point, and making messages effective without audio.

Taxis, offices, gas pumps and planes: These locations and others, such as elevators and fitness centers, generally capture a higher-income audience whose time for TV viewing at home is increasingly limited, but who have several minutes in which they are “captive” to a screen. Considerations include varying audience dwell times, high rates and the fact that shorter spots usually yield higher recall rates in certain venues.

Bars and restaurants:
Digital screens in restaurants, clubs, bars and nightlife locations enhance the value proposition of static “billboard” advertising and can often reach the notoriously elusive 21-34-year-old demographic. Things to consider for ads in these venues include varying audio levels, interactive screens that offer deeper reporting data and the opportunity to offer complementary marketing initiatives in the form of branded drink coasters, collateral and talent appearances.

The third-party installation of hundreds of digital displays in the concourses of professional sports and entertainment arenas enables advertisers to bypass sporting leagues and event organizers yet still reach desirable target audiences. Key considerations include audiences with relatively short viewer-time, the calculation of rates based on Arbitron and ticket data formulae, and the opportunity to extend digital display messages to sideline signage and JumboTron scoreboards. Opportunities also exist to include mobile phone and web calls to action and Bluetooth interactivity.

Cinemas: Digital ads in movie theaters are claiming a bigger slice of markers’ budgets, drawing funds away from new media and TV spot production, according to EPM. In-cinema advertising reached $650 million in 2007, up 42% over 2006.When considering these types, be mindful of theaters’ unique A/V requirements, which may require ads for other venues to be resized, recut and remixed – even provided in film format. A growing number of in-cinema campaigns are also extending off the screen with other opportunities to continue marketing efforts.

I’d add medical, as screens placed in targeted medical seems to have a lot of interest and I know some of the people operating those types of networks are getting good traction with advertisers, notably the pharma sector.

The report came out in September but this is, I think, the first time I have seen it mentioned. It costs $349.

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