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Out Of Home Technology Open Mic

OOH advertising: How to implement local targeting for out of home success

By Mike Smith, CEO, Open Media

Open Media


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May 20, 2024 | 7 min read

In out of home (OOH) advertising, the question always arises: why does local targeting matter so much? One answer lies within the local context where we as an industry often see more tangible results when it comes to customer trust and advocacy. And there are a plenty of ways to capitalize on it.

It’s easy to argue that what truly sets OOH apart is its ability to foster community engagement and connection.

A recent article in The Drum called it ‘The unsung hero of brand-building.'

The Solomon Partners 2023 Benchmark Report found that OOH advertising was particularly good at grabbing people's attention. Even better, in fact, than TV, podcasts, radio, print, and online ads when it comes to sticking in people's minds. It confirms what recent research from OAAA-Harris Poll has been saying: people are paying more attention to OOH ads as life gets back to normal after the pandemic. Why? Because OOH can change and adapt quickly, which is exactly what today's brands need.

Last summer’s Peroni campaign (see header picture) utilized our ABC Lime Street banner with tailored Liverpool-based copy. The result was an eye-catching and impactful campaign which spoke to people within the city.

It was personable and memorable.

We've long understood the impact out of home (OOH) advertising can have on consumer behavior. Figures from Amplify Outdoor, 75 Media show that around four-fifths of people are spurred into action after coming in to contact with outdoor ads – a large portion of them going direct to branded websites after seeing an ad.

Clear Channel found that 40% of individuals place their confidence in OOH messaging and has the power to evoke spontaneous brand recall in 31% of encounters, creating lasting impressions that resonate deeply.

What these figures tell us is that OOH has the ability to inspire tangible responses, turning passive observers into active participants in the brand narrative. Consumers buy from brands they trust. And if a campaign really ‘speaks to’ the viewer, consumers in turn have a higher level of recall.

Local targeting can amplify these positive outcomes even more, boosting engagement and driving conversions. Here's how.

Understanding your audience

Arguably the biggest draw in OOH is audiences. Gone are the days of generic mass messaging; today's OOH landscape is defined by its adaptability and precision targeting. 

Through strategic partnerships with local councils, media owners can cultivate relationships built on trust, supporting not just businesses but the very fabric of localities they serve. This symbiotic relationship transcends mere advertising; it's proof of an intrinsic link between brands and their communities.

By researching local audiences to identify loyal customers and potential conversion points, we can gain crucial insights to help us plan effective advertising campaigns.

Uber Eats "Big Dish Energy" campaign curated local experiences by spotlighting unique dishes and eateries around London to celebrate the city's vibrancy, encouraging people to come and try them out. It fostered meaningful connections between consumers and the urban environment they inhabit. 

Uber amplified engagement through a blend of out-of-home (OOH) advertising and carefully curated social media, CRM, and live events, bridging the gap between online and offline interactions. The campaign cultivated an experiential journey that resonated deeply with its audience, and - not surprisingly - saw fantastic results, with nine in 10 respondents having a positive perception of the brand as a result, with the highest increase being Uber Eats ‘is for people like me’ and ‘helps me support local businesses’ (Magnetic Media).

Utilizing data integration and dynamic creativity

Understanding audiences like this really does offer  brands the chance to find out where their most loyal customers are and where they need to convert. This can give us all important insights when planning campaigns.

When we combine different types of data and creative techniques, for example dynamic ads and targeting specific locations, messages can be personalized and allow brands to invest where and when it matters most.

A recent article by JCDecaux, talks about how digital out of home (DOOH) technology is creating exciting chances for brands to use advanced screens and big data to display ads to the right people at the right time. This smart approach ensures that advertising money is spent where it matters most, making ads more effective and budgets more efficient.

Let’s not forget that the dynamic nature of digital billboards makes them inherently more eye-catching than static billboards.

This increased visibility enhances the effectiveness of local targeting by ensuring that ads grab the attention of passersby whether they are in busy urban areas or specific localities. 

And because DOOH screens offer more creative freedom compared to traditional static billboards, brands can experiment with interactive elements, animations, and other engaging features to help capture the attention of local audiences effectively.

Time to embrace technology

Add to all of that the appeal of programmatic buying, and we can snag prime ad space in real-time, making our campaigns as nimble as they are impactful.

 OOH has recently transformed from a relatively difficult-to-measure channel, into a highly targeted and data-driven channel that effectively engages the target audience.

Thanks to huge technological innovations, and the need for more accurate and data-driven insights, advertisers can now update content in real-time, responding quickly to local events, trends, or promotions. This is a great way for targeting specific communities with relevant messaging.

We can pull data from a variety of sources including impression, mobile, weather and time data. And use these insights to help advertisers create highly targeted, data-driven campaigns.

Mobile integration

And here's where the real magic happens: mobile integration.

With data tracking, we're not just guessing; we're homing in on exactly where our audience hangs out, letting us tailor our messages like never before to target specific demographics or geographical areas effectively.

We can seamlessly integrate mobile platforms with OOH campaigns to transform passive observers into active participants. We can utilize data tracking to pinpoint audience interactions and tailor messages accordingly.

Fostering authenticity and connection

What OOH is doing, is tapping in to something we’re all searching for: authenticity and connection. And it’s doing it  through the power of localization, being able to offer brands a platform to not just communicate but to genuinely connect with their audience on quite a profound level.

If local targeting is key to unlocking meaningful engagement and advocacy, then the effectiveness of OOH may well hinge on its ability to speak directly to the hearts and minds of local communities.

Whether it’s Peroni's tailored Liverpool campaign or Uber Eats Big Dish Energy, we can see how OOH is resonating with local audiences and building lasting brand loyalty.

By understanding our audiences, leveraging data integration and dynamic creativity, embracing technology, integrating mobile platforms, and fostering community engagement, brands have an opportunity to forge genuine connections with their audience and achieve impactful results.

So, let’s capitalize on the power of locality: craft campaigns that speak directly to local audiences; build better brand connections and loyalty; open up the possibilities for genuine connection and tangible results.

Ready to harness the power of local targeting in your OOH campaigns?

Find out how with Open Media today.

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