Programmatic OOH predicted to represent 2-5% in 2021 adjusted from 25%

Programmatic OOH predicted to represent 2-5% in 2021 adjusted from 25%

Opinion piece by Nicolette Briscoe, freelance OOH Marketer and owner Moonshot Marketing. 

On September 23rd some of the Out-of-Home (OOH) and AdTECH industry’s most influential came together (yes face-to-face) to share, learn and be inspired by what is to come in Digital OOH at the annual AdTECH: OOH Sydney Conference.

The event chaired by Joe Copley, MD APAC & Director of Partnerships Global, Seedooh opened the day with “it has never been more critical to make sense of the opportunities and barriers” to help with the post Covid rejuvenation process. “What we used to know and perhaps got comfortable with has been shaken globally and locally by the pandemic”.

Out of Home was arguably the media hardest hit by Covid-19. So, is there a Covid silver lining for the OOH industry in Australia? We heard from the industry’s most influential at the AdTECH: OOH Sydney Conference.

Joe reflected on a global theme emerging; the need for collaboration to make Out of Home easier to plan, transact, execute and measure. This sentiment was echoed throughout the day.

The keynote speaker, Pat Darcy, Chief Data and Technology Officer at Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ posed a BIG question – how do we connect with and keep pace with the consumer when they are Distressed. Demanding. Distrusting and Distracted?

Great question. And one I am sure many marketers would love the answer to.

Pat called for simplicity. Why complicate things with labels and acronyms when it is all the same thing? It is all OOH. However you ‘do it’, it is OOH. (see image).

Pat called for effectiveness stating; “just because you can do programmatic, doesn’t mean you should – if the tech isn’t proving greater value into your business then don’t do it!”. New technology should be about improved effectiveness.

The issue of creativity in OOH was hotly debated by the demand-side panel (agencies). OOH Specialist Ryan Hedditch said; “media and creatives are still disconnected”. Nicole Prior Chief Media Partnerships Officer at UM asked quite rightly, how can we use data to bring back creativity and innovation?

As a marketer who has worked at a media company, it seems to me that creativity is no longer at the forefront. I remember I time when brands were brave, and it was. A la the Cadbury ad featuring a gorilla playing the drums to “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. Who doesn’t remember that? Well that almost didn’t happen…

I feel that these days we get a little lost in copy, product, legalities, etc. forgetting that good creative is simple and relevant to its audience. How can the industry unite to educate marketers and brands about the importance of creativity in OOH?

I recently listened to a podcast on the Mi3 Audio addition where – Brendon Cook, CEO, oOh! Media said;

“40% of ROI is determined by creativity on out of home. So that becomes the single first thing that has to be solved. If we get that right, all the other tech related issues become easier to deliver because we sell more for clients.”

A piece of research commissioned by oOh! Indicated that if you do the digital part right in terms of context, location, creative messaging, you get a 28% further improvement in your ROI. That is huge.

Joanna Georges Director of The Stitch Agency put it simply; “creative is more than making it pink for ladies, let’s look at behavioural insights.”

OOH combined with AdTECH is incredibly powerful, those within the industry know that. But the challenge is getting the brands to know that and driving take up. Targeting consumers based on their behaviour is now easily achievable. In fact, you can use AdTECH to not only serve ads programmatically but to better plan and execute direct campaigns.

It has never been more critical for the industry to demonstrate that audiences are out and about again than now.

Steve O’Connor, CEO JCDecaux said “proving audiences are out is part of the [Covid]

recovery plan”.

Dan Richardson Head of Data ANZ Verizon Media showed us using Lifesight’s data analysis that affluent outdoor audiences had recovered to within -10% in Sydney except at retail mall locations.

Demonstrating that using mobile data, omnichannel planning and activation can start with Digital Out-of-Home.

From the supply side panel (the OOH media companies), the unanimous response was that investment in technology has never been more relevant for improving efficiencies and integrating mobility data.

O’Connor continued; the investment in technology is integral to maintaining confidence

in the industry and “tech is the only part of the 2021 budget not getting cut!”

Charles Parry-Okeden, Chairman of the OMA reflected on last year’s predictions of programmatic OOH trading at 25-30% – and asked what is a realistic prediction for the next two years post-Covid? Those brave enough to give predictions indicated that the next 12 months might be 2-5% with slow growth until 2023 when it might “hockey stick up”.

What might accelerate this number is availability of inventory and standardisation across the industry.

Joe Copley asked how do we get to standardisation? Singling out Vanessa Hunt Chief Digital Strategy Officer, GroupM ANZ we asked, who will lead that charge? She responded with “if an industry body doesn’t do it, then an agency will*.”

She suggested there is a three phased approach to standardisation;

  1. Agreement on methodology
  2. Benchmarking
  3. Then the final step would be transacting or accountability.

* Charles Parry-Okeden later clarified that there is already a working group comprising OMA, MFA and AANA members, working towards agreement of common standards.

A lot of good can happen when companies come together as Fiona FitzGibbon Founder Diversiffi Media shared via a pre-recorded video on the day. In just three days she was able to use her network to create unbranded artwork for the global OOH industry to use on their vacant inventory to help stop the spread of Covid 19. (Creative seen at Chatswood Interchange using VMO’s network).

We’ve seen bear hunts across ANZ to help boost morale in local communities during Covid using vacant inventory.

Didn’t you love this? (oOh! Media Street Furniture assets used).

Why does it take a global pandemic to see the media owners willingly give away vacant inventory and share the same creative for the greater good?

Why can’t altruism form a larger part of the inventory strategy helping to inspire marketers and command attention from the community?

The event demonstrated that there is both desire and demand for collaboration across the industry. But there is a way to go.

There is a need to help marketers become more creative using the OOH canvas and help them overcome some of the greatest challenges facing them right now – understanding behaviour change from Covid and what is on the other side.

I asked Joe Copley the event chairman following the event for his reflections from the

day and from the past 12 months; “It was tremendous to see so many engaged,

influential people in the room to discuss the common AdTECH OOH goal: data and technology coming together to create; better outcomes for brands, and streamlined processes for buyers and sellers.”

“Where we are in 12 months-time, will depend on the nature and consistency of the returning demand. But, from an AdTECH: OOH perspective, the sector has made huge progress since this time last year in planning, transaction, execution and measurement. It almost feels like the demand is the main thing that’s been missing recently… hopefully we’ll see a good recovery – so we can first prove – and then improve the evolving    AdTECH ecosystem from there. It’s a really exciting time, ‘like being at the top of a waterfall’ as someone said to me after the conference”.

I like that, we are at the cusp of something big or ‘top of the waterfall’ for the AdTECH and OOH industry, the digital inventory available is constantly growing, the ad serving technology is in place – trialled and tested, we have verification methodologies and incredible AdTECH vendors and agencies eager to showcase their expertise to better reach specific audiences. I can’t wait to see the day that media planning starts with a great programmatic OOH campaign.

For more information contact:

Nicolette Briscoe

Owner, Moonshot Marketing | 0416 096 733


Moonshot is a boutique marketing agency with passion, curiosity and creativity at the core. We use strategy, story and design to articulate your business offering in a way that engages your customers and gives your business the best shot at success. Owner, Nicolette Briscoe has 15 years of media and marketing experience specialising in OOH and technology.



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