Home Digital Out-Of-Home Publicis Media’s Su Kwon On The “Amplifying” Power Of DOOH

Publicis Media’s Su Kwon On The “Amplifying” Power Of DOOH

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Publicis Media SVP of out-of-home data and technology solutions Su Kwon chose to work in digital out-of-home (DOOH) because it’s the “only channel that speaks to me on a daily basis,” she said.

“I’m a very avid consumer, but I’m also super millennial,” Kwon said. “I’m a cord cutter. I have ad blockers. I do everything in my power to try to avoid ads, even though I work in advertising. And digital out-of-home is one of the only spaces where you can’t have any of those blocks and limitations.”

One of the biggest misconceptions about DOOH is that it’s solely an upper-funnel tactic, according to Kwon.

Sure, DOOH can provide mass awareness to a broad audience, but like every channel in a marketer’s media mix, it can also target people in contextual and relevant ways. For instance, a pharma brand can run DOOH ads in doctors’ offices, while CPGs can run them inside and right outside grocery stores.

Plus, because DOOH is a one-to-many channel, consumers are less likely to find ads creepy.

“You can get away with a lot of things that you couldn’t in the digital space,” Kwon said. As a consumer, you’re less likely to be annoyed when you see the same DOOH ad three times outside a store, versus getting the same ad 15 times on Facebook and feeling like your phone is listening to your conversations.

And while nobody takes a picture of a TV or social ad and shares it on their socials, they might do so for a DOOH ad, giving it “that viral element,” she said.

DOOH plays well with others, too. Publicis always recommends a blend of static and digital OOH to its clients, since DOOH is a “small subset” of OOH and not every market has digital options, according to Kwon.

Last year, Publicis ran a national programmatic Walmart campaign that included DOOH, and “we saw every single brand metric light up green when we turned on DOOH,” Kwon said. “It’s an excellent amplifier to every other channel.” She spoke to AdExchanger about what she sees ahead for the channel.

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AdExchanger: What’s the state of programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH)?

SU KWON: Only about 5% to 10% of the traditional OOH medium is digital. There’s a vast amount of outdoor space out there that’s still in the old, static space, so it can’t be transacted.

But even though DOOH makes up such a small portion of the inventory, it makes up over a third of the revenue for a lot of our partners, and it’s growing rapidly. Every year, we’ve seen double- or triple-digit growth, except for the pandemic.

What does targeting look like in DOOH?

Targeting is all based on mobile device IDs. [You’re] aggregating the specific audience you’re trying to reach and analyzing their aggregate geotemporal [location and time] behavior.

People are creatures of habit. By looking at device ID pools, you can understand when and where your audience is most likely to be and how to best reach them with a digital home screen. Targeting has become really nuanced and very effective.

How is measurement evolving?

It’s a little bit trickier. It’s also dependent on device IDs, but because it’s based on exposures, you get a decrease in the amount of people that you’re able to actually measure.

We’ve made a lot of improvements in the space, where now we’re able to utilize those exposed device IDs to measure out beyond typical brand studies or foot traffic studies. You can look at sales lift, raw studies, tune-in studies. It still has a long way to go in terms of accessibility and being able to measure. You need a lot of scale just based on the drop-off in match rates.

There’s more to come in the measurement space. It’s limited by the technology that we have now.

What do programmatic buyers get wrong about DOOH?

How we measure impressions. All the impressions in DOOH are modeled because we can’t accurately measure every single person walking by a billboard and quantify that. Every single media owner is using modeled impression data. Understanding how the impressions are modeled and what impressions you’re actually buying is a key element.

What are you excited about in DOOH?

I’m excited about the technology that’s evolving to do dynamic content, utilizing the data we’re feeding into DSPs to trigger different kinds of creative and actions.

Let’s say I’m a bank, and I’m opening up these new store locations or ATMs. You could have a dynamic section on your ad where you tell the person exactly how to get to that store. And it’s all dynamically done, so your team doesn’t have to make 20,000 iterations of that creative. You can just insert a little code in there to pull exactly where the nearest store is.

Can generative AI play a role in DOOH?

StreetEasy is a New York–based app for real estate, and they always have excellent out-of-home creative where they really home in on that neighborhood and things about that neighborhood that may speak to that person. Wherever the creative can be more relevant to the locality and become hyperlocal, we see a lot more interest and engagement. So that’s definitely a use case for generative AI: to be able to crunch all that data.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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