We are here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here?” – Steve Jobs

So, why are we really here? Disruptive innovation is one of the primary agendas for every visionary in this world. People want to do things that leave a significant impact on consumers, thus improving the brand recall factor. Brands, in the past decade, have started creating tools, techniques and technologies to maximise performance and innovate in a true sense. This has come into play in almost every industry, including advertising.

Advertisements have always been able to capture the imagination of the audience like no other medium. A great ad can not only leave an impact but is memorable, hummable and share-worthy. The Indian advertising market is a testament to some creative concepts that have paved the way globally for brands to touch a chord with their customers. Every medium of the advertising sector from print to TVC and online to OOH have been explored, used and overused.

Another sector in advertising, which has seen a slow and steady yet powerful disruption, is Digital-Out-of-Home (DOOH). This medium is now seeing a renaissance with an incredible blend of engaging content and customer acquisition techniques. DOOH has used unconventional methods to rope in people’s interest level and surprise the audience every single time. Because it is digital, real-time data and reactions can be easily captured which helps in anticipating their next move.

Considering this, how does one constantly surprise the audience? Let’s look at a couple of ways which will help us keep our audience engaged.

Understand & Act

It’s always best to know the history of something; wasn’t understanding and knowing our roots interesting? In the same way, before working for every brand, it is imperative to know where they come from. The challenges, failures and successes of a brand will help in mapping their future, thus understanding the brand’s desired focus through DOOH. Value is created and added once problems are accepted and worked upon, and innovation is classified. As humans, we are all very intuitive and have a strong gut feeling. Unfortunately, we do not use this evolutionary trait enough and limit ourselves to only calculative and practical thinking. We get satisfied too soon and too early once we get an ‘instant gratification’ solution. How efficient would this world be if we could understand the core of the problem and not just look for ideas in the same old box?

Creative Content

Smart and relatable content is what works. The content needs to be in sync with the brand deliverables with an integration of digitisation. High-resolution displays and technologies like OLED, transparent displays are helping open up new possibilities for DOOH, allowing for brighter colours, wider viewing angles and seamless integration with the surrounding environment. With fibre connectivity, live content can be streamed to screens worldwide, and interactive technologies such as touchscreens and gesture recognition are set to bring a new level of immersion to DOOH.  These screens will enable the consumer to engage with content on a deeper level.

Real-time & Measurable

The USP of DOOH has been benefiting the advertisers and consumers with real-time updates which is useful in hyper targeting. Digital displays have become increasingly effective at identifying their audience in recent years, with technologies such as gender recognition, gaze-tracking and vehicle recognition enabling further precise targeting. Thus, digital is allowing us to truly stretch the limits of our creativity. Due to increase in media, there has been an increase in media-fragmentation making DOOH a preferred platform because of its RoI-driven offering.

Additionally, DOOH media owners have started utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy Devices (beacons) for data collection. Beacons allow the digital boards to communicate with the viewer. In the near future, mood-aware DOOH displays will be able to advertise to people based on their emotional state.

Integration & Everything

In today’s marketing world, integration has worked as a fruitful step. In the same way, DOOH can also be integrated with a mobile phone. A working human being spends most of his time becoming smart on his smartphone. New technologies will enable DOOH to integrate more effectively on such a platform. With mobile, another important medium is touched upon—social media. Mobile and social media strategies will become essential for an integrated campaign approach. To tap the millennial audience, seamless integration is required with smartphones. This will amplify the campaigns and brand messaging.

So, there you go! The digital push seen in the Outdoor Advertising industry is analogous to the Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring the Avengers. Every feature has its own super power to disrupt innovation in this sector. There is no escape of the digital push and the scope is tremendous. It won’t be too long before OOH converts into DOOH because of its return on investment; not only for the brands but also for its consumers. So, bringing a Marvel analogy into this article which has no mention before may sound absurd. But, we are thinking disruptive, right?

(The author is Managing Director of VYOMA Media)

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