The Complete Guide to DOOH Advertising

We’ve all been exposed to advertising: on television, radio, magazines, direct mail and, in recent years, online.  The advertising industry makes a distinction between ads we view at home (as just listed) and outside of our homes – referred to as Out-of-Home advertising (or “OOH” for short).

What is Out-of-Home advertising? Anything we view outside our homes, including billboards, ads on the side of buses, on subway platforms or in transit hubs, on bus shelters, or the many screens we see filled with advertising on the street, in elevators, stores, offices and more.  Any ad we see when we leave our home is considered Out-of-Home advertising.

Within this category is Digital Out-of-Home advertising.  In this piece, we will discuss what makes this category so unique, powerful and affordable, and how you can easily integrate it into your marketing efforts.

What is Digital Out-of-Home Advertising?

Digital Out-of-Home advertising, also called DOOH, is any form of digital advertising viewable in a public space – almost entirely viewed on screens.  This includes everything from large scale digital billboards (such as those in Times Square) to small screens with advertising on gas station pumps and elevators and everything in between. Many DOOH advertisements include moving images, but even digital menu boards listing food options and prices in fast food restaurants are included in the DOOH media category.

The Rise of DOOH Advertising

Outdoor advertising has always been a way to gain attention, but the high cost, the inability to measure impact, and the time necessary to produce and erect outdoor advertising have all made it a problematic format for advertisers.  Once online advertising grew in popularity, marketers were drawn to its newfound ability to target specific users, track and measure results and quickly change content when needed. In addition, online advertising had the option to include movement, starting with GIFs and ultimately adding video.

Once the cost of digital screens and the back-end technology came down in cost, the rise in the DOOH market was profound. In fact, the DOOH media industry has become one of the fastest growing advertising areas in the world. Not only does DOOH provide advertisers with many of the same tools  as online advertising (tracking and measuring, quick-change content, movement and video, etc.), but it makes a more impactful impression and reaches a greater audience. It also avoids issues prevalent in online advertising, such as ad blocking technology.

Types of DOOH Advertising Formats

There are three main types of DOOH advertising formats, each designed to target a specific type of audience in a specific location and on a different scale.

Large Format

Large format DOOH advertising includes billboards and other types of screens on a massive scale.  These types of ads target drivers and pedestrians, making a big impact as they drive or walk by. Other types of large format DOOH ads include bus shelters and large public kiosks (such as stand-alone charging stations).

These types of ads make a big impact (literally, due to their size), but do not target a specific audience due to their public nature, and results cannot be measured or tracked.  They are great for brand recognition and used to make an eye-catching splash.


Place-based DOOH advertising exists in locations where people spend their time during the day: offices, malls, transportation hubs (train stations, airports, etc.), movie theaters, gyms, doctor and vet offices, college campuses, hotels, entertainment complexes and restaurant/bars.

With place-based digital media, advertisers can target people when they are at that specific type of location. For example, ads at a gym may feature sports drinks, while ads at an office may promote lunchtime specials at a nearby restaurant.  Advertisers value place-based advertising because it targets a captive audience, and can target products specifically to those who might need them


Point-of-Purchase DOOH advertising includes screens appearing in retail locations  at the literal point of purchase. Options include grocery store aisles, retail stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and others. Point-of-purchase DOOH ads encourage viewers to purchase specific items right when it is in their power to do so, and when they are clearly motivated to make a purchase.

Point-of-purchase DOOH ads not only increase awareness of advertised products to customers when they are in retail stores but also improve the perceived shopping experience. According to a Yahoo Advertising study, 59% of shoppers reported engaging with DOOH ads at the store, and felt that the exposure to the advertised information (deals and sales, etc.) improved their shopping experience.  Moreover, these ads “nudge shoppers toward impulse purchases,” with 56% reporting that they purchased an item featured in a DOOH display. Of those who made purchases, 65% were unplanned, but made due to their interaction with the advertisement.

The Powerful Benefits of DOOH Advertising

According to a Nielsen study, no matter where consumers encountered digital out-of-home advertising, 60% or more report noticing it. Furthermore, 50% or more report more engaging with the ad by using their smartphone to learn more, or going to the advertised retail location. Recognition, recall and engagement with products and services advertised using DOOH advertising is due to its unique capabilities when compared to traditional advertising, such as:

Real-Time Content Updates

Gone are the days of committing to a single campaign and having that ad appear for weeks, months or years without being able to make a change. Digital advertising allows for continual, real-time updates, all handled by back-end technology. Ads appearing on digital screens can change based on the month, week, and even time of day (run your breakfast specials in the morning; your lunchtime deals mid-day; happy hour promotion in the early evening, etc.). A change in ads can even be triggered by the weather (rainy day promotions, cool-down specials, snow-day bonus, etc.).

Geo-Targeting Capabilities

A digital ad campaign allows you to target consumers in specific geographic locations. You can select your ads to run only on screens in a specific city or region where your product/service is available; or if your product/service is targeted to a high-end buyer, you can target screens located in locations that attract a higher socio-economic bracket.

Similarly, you can use geo-targeting to promote the address of the retail location closest to each screen. Research shows that the more specifically targeted out-of-home digital ads are, the more likely those who view them will visit the nearest location. According to the Nielsen study, 65% of people who noticed directions to a retail business on a digital sign visited the business within 30 minutes of viewing, and 92% made a purchase.

High Impact and Visibility

Unlike traditional forms of advertising, digital ads offer the power of the screen to capture attention. They can contain moving images, gifs, video, animations and more. Digital screens offer nighttime visibility due to their brightness,enhanced colors, and more. The options are endless, and the graphics capabilities of digital ads are far more captivating than standard non-digital signage or printed advertisements. For more information on how to get attention with your digital signage, visit this useful article (link to Loop’s How to Get Attention piece).

Dynamic and Interactive Content

One of the powerful ways DOOH advertising can be implemented is the use of interactive content, enabling the viewer to directly engage with the ads and control what they see. This can include options such as quizzes, contests or games on a screen, or something more sophisticated, such as an interactive kiosk, motion sensor or hepatic touch screen. Those more complex screens enable users to tap items on the screen to engage further.

Other forms of interactive screen content can include use of a QR code that viewers can scan to bring them to a website, menu, or a discount coupon. This enables the user to continue to engage with ads after they have moved on.

Increased Brand Recall

The goal of any marketing campaign is to increase awareness of your brand, and therefore ads designed to create brand recall.  According to a study by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, out of home advertisements produce significantly higher ad recall with consumers versus live and streaming television, podcasts and radio, print, and online executions.  Moreover, a Nielsen White Paper found that DOOH campaigns can increase brand awareness by 38% on average, compared to 21% for traditional OOH campaigns.

Improved ROI Tracking

One key differentiator of DOOH advertising is improved ROI tracking abilities. Geo-targeted ads that direct consumers to a specific location can be measured by an increase in foot traffic, or by website traffic, organic searches, and the increase of product sales within those geographic areas or zip codes (as compared to markets where you do not have DOOH). For social codes on DOOH ads that link to a specific website or offer a specific coupon or code allow for accurate tracking of user interaction with digital media.

Cost-Effective Advertising

DOOH advertising has proven to be more cost effective than online and traditional advertising because of its unique ability to reach a larger number of people – whereas online ads are only viewed by those that open the selected page/site, and can be skipped or blocked using ad blocker technology. The ability to narrow your target, make changes based on time of day, location, weather, etc. make ads even more impactful and therefore more cost effective.

In addition, because DOOH advertising results in such high brand recall, web traffic and local foot traffic (all cited above), it can be one of the most cost-effective means of generating business.

Greater Flexibility and Creativity

DOOH advertising campaigns have enabled markers to unleash their creativity with the graphics capabilities of screens. You are not restricted by design format or content, and have use of an endless range of colors, fonts, types of imagery, etc. Furthermore, if a campaign is not gaining traction, you can simply replace it with a new one instantly. There is no additional cost involved to have a different ad appear on screens. You also have the flexibility to test market various campaigns in various regions, targeting different types of customers.

Advertise on LoopTV

One of the most effective ways to use DOOH to promote your business is using screens that might already be in place to provide entertainment or serve other purposes within your business itself.  Bars, restaurants, entertainment complexes, etc. can promote specials, discounts, upcoming events, etc. right inside their venue. Retail stores, spas and other businesses can advertise sales and deals (BOGO, etc.) to customers within the store. This allows businesses to target customers right when they are most able and ready to take advantage of what is being advertised.  That’s where Loop TV can work for your business!

One of the most affordable options to create digital signage is using the free, simple interface of built-in software tools available on Loop TV. Digital ads can be designed from scratch using Loop TV’s easy-to-use online tools, or users can select from a wide range of pre-designed templates and simply insert their own images and wording. The templates are already designed to have a big impact.

Loop TV integrates seamlessly with screens in thousands of businesses across the country, including bars and restaurants, offices, spas, retail stores, medical facilities and many more. Digital ads can be integrated as stand-alone messaging or simultaneously within the screen. Users have the power to change the messaging throughout the day or at whatever pace they choose. In addition to running ads on screens already located in your business, Loop TV offers the opportunity to run your ads on other Loop TV screens located in other businesses. You can select other screens in your city or region, and/or by business category. For more more information, go to https://www/loop.tv/advertisers.

In addition to signage tools, Loop TV offers 150 channels of music and non-music streaming content for use in businesses across the U.S. For more information, visit www.loop.tv/business.

DOOH Advertising Best Practices

Now that you might be convinced that a DOOH campaign could be the way to go to promote your business, here are some tips and best practices for optimizing your campaign.

Select Strategic Locations for Impact

As explained above, digital out-of-home ads can reach potential customers for your business as they are out and about throughout their day.  Consider the best locations where screens exist to make the most effective choices. One obvious choice is to select screens in the closest physical proximity to your business as possible. If your business is in a mall, then space-based screens throughout the mall would be a wise choice. If you own a restaurant near an office building, see if there are screens in the building’s lobby, elevators hallways and/or offices.

Consider selecting screens in locations where your potential customer might be. If you sell a medical-related product, consider running digital ads on screens in a medical setting; a local orthopedist or sports medicine doctor might consider digital ads at the local ice skating rink, track, or other sport-related location.