Let’s Get Phygital

Man looking up at advertisements in Times Square

Let me hear your billboard talk

Billboards. Bus Stops. Benches. Times Square.

When thinking of traditional outdoor media, these are probably the first images that come to mind. But in a world dominated by click through rates, paid search, and clients wanting more insight into campaign performance, how does outdoor fit into the mix? Does it fit at all?

Short answer? Absolutely.

Gone are the days of putting up a billboard on the side of the highway and counting on the projected impressions to carry a campaign. As outdoor media builds brand awareness, digital continues the conversation with a brand audience and follows-through to make a conversion.

Two people browsing on laptopsCombining physical outdoor media with digital into “phygital” media plan provides a fully integrated and holistic approach to connecting with consumers. By embracing digital marketing advances, the industry is making vast improvements – digital outdoor allows for quick creative changes, dayparting, and weather triggers, and some companies have embraced self-serve and/or programmatic buying platforms.

GPS tracking and beacon technology allow for detail-oriented and precise audience measurement providing insights that not only ensure campaign effectiveness but allow for future optimizations. Geofencing sets a physical parameter where device IDs can be collected anonymously while beacon technology utilizes beacons placed in/on the media format (billboard, transit shelter, etc).

Advertisers who have run out of home in addition to a diverse media mix are seeing a wider reach and are able to use the data from GPS and/or beacon technology to retarget an audience that has already been exposed to their outdoor ad. These two channels reinforce one another and with unified creatives, clients are able to touch consumers in both the digital and physical world.

Chart on adding OOH to other media

Supercuts used a combination of mobile billboards, brand ambassadors and mobile display advertising during their MLB Opening Day campaign. The beacon audience had a 27% greater click-through-rate than the non-beacon audience.

Supercuts advertising example


Nielsen’s Out-of-Home Online Activation Study shows OOH is the best driver of online engagements per dollar spent compared to other media channels. Of U.S. adults who have seen an OOH ad:

  • 46% performed an online search
  • 38% took an action on Facebook
  • 23% took an action on Twitter
  • 25% took an action on Instagram

Sam’s Club paired out-of-home with mobile display to promote a new store location. They used a mobile billboard throughout a 10-mile radius of the store’s address for 25 days and delivered a strategic mobile campaign that saw an outstanding CTR of 1.07%.

Same's Club advertising example

What can clients do today to make the most out of their OOH campaigns?

  • Keep messaging simple
  • Include a clear call-to-action
  • Use a bold, compelling image to tie it all together
  • Embrace digital advances to improve campaign performance

Outdoor is a fun, large-scale medium with lots of room for creativity to draw attention – when coupled with digital, the results are greatly improved.