Creativity and Innovation Are Key to OOH’s Growth

December 12, 2016

By Rosanne Caron

The world’s oldest and largest screen continues to evolve through innovative ideas and integration with mobile and social media.

Biometric studies have revealed that when people are outside their homes, they are more alert than when they are watching TV and other screens in their homes.  This is an important distinction as alertness drives attention and memory encoding, both of which are key factors that underpin the impact of advertising.

The power of OOH was clearly demonstrated in Drake’s use of a single cryptic billboard which earned millions of social media impressions increasing the hype surrounding the forthcoming release.

With an increasing number of searches being done from mobile devices, Kijiji, a website for classified ads, took advantage of this opportunity with a campaign that ran on public transit networks and billboards in several Canadian cities. The locally tailored ads asked commuters if they had what they needed and informed them of the site’s million plus postings. Commuters could immediately respond to the advertising by using their mobile devices to search for their desired items on Kijiji.

With the growth of digital, the use of data such as sports scores, weather and temperature and even pollution levels have all been used to trigger ad copy.  Data is becoming increasingly important as marketers realize the benefits of delivering timely, contextual and personalized messages.  

Data is also expected to play a greater role in planning OOH campaigns in the future.  Media planners and marketers are looking for more granular audience data to target and segment OOH audiences.  The Canadian-Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau (COMB) is exploring how it can enhance the current circulation data provided to its members by looking at how locational intelligence can be fused with other information such as travel routes.

As the OOH media landscape continues to evolve there is also a need to educate media planners.  Last June, OMAC and COMB launched an OOH Certification Program.  The course can be taken on-line, or on-site training can be scheduled.  The entire program takes about 10 hours to complete providing graduates with a comprehensive understanding of OOH media. 

In 2017 OMAC will launch new initiatives to inspire and recognize great creative in OOH.   OMAC is collaborating with the Outdoor Media Association in Australia (OMA), the Outdoor Advertising Association (OAAA) in the US and the Federation European Publicite Exterieur (FEPE) to create and produce an international OOH creative book. The Open 3 book is the continuation of a series that was started by the OMA to create a forum for applauding strong creative design within the OOH industry.  Open 3 will provide a retrospective and a prospective look at OOH advertising, reflecting on the past, present and future of the medium. 

The foreword of the book is being written by Terry Savage, Chairman of the Cannes Lions. Open 3 will have sections highlighting great creative from participating regions and essays from two Canadians; Zak, Mroueh, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Zulu Alpha Kilo and Philippe Meunier, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Sid Lee. 

Open3 will be available from OMAC in May 2017.

For more information please contact Rosanne Caron at