SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Out-of-home advertising is rebounding as brands seek to reach consumers who getting outdoors more often after being stuck at home during the early days of the pandemic. Alongside this shift, technological advancements are transforming outdoor advertising.

“We’re going through a big digital transformation right now,” Anna Bager, president and chief executive of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), said in this interview at the Beet Retreat San Juan. “Out-of-home for the longest time has been a very static medium, but right now it’s all exploding — digital screens everywhere.”

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) signage lets marketers show video that can be more eye-catching than still images, and to quickly change the ad creative for different times of day or weather conditions. To promote the adoption DOOH advertising, the OAAA is working to establish common standards.

“We really believe that out-of-home is a key ingredient in any media plan,” Bager said to interview Ashley Swartz, chief executive of Furious Corp. “It can deliver incredible things for an advertiser as a standalone, but also as an amplifier of other forms of media.”

Digital Natives Embrace OOH

As digitally native brands mature from their early days as market disruptors, they are developing ad campaigns for traditional media channels to extend their reach among more consumers. Increasingly, their media plans include some kind of out-of-home presence.

“Brands are looking to out of home right now for a number of reasons,” Bager said. “It’s brand-safe. You can’t skip it. You can’t block it. It has incredible creative opportunities. It’s big screens. It’s bold messaging.”

As more advertisers buy media through automated online auctions, the digital transformation of out-of-home advertising will allow for more opportunities to participate in programmatic marketplaces, Bager said.

“We are a different medium. We’re one-to-many and we’re a platform that’s based on location, not on content,” she said. “Now, that’s changing, but we are a little different. As we are becoming more digital and more programmatic, I think we’ll fit right in where the rest of the media world lives.”

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