OOH advertising refers to any form of advertising that reaches consumers while they are outside their homes. It aims to capture attention, increase brand visibility, and drive consumer action in various public spaces. Traditional forms of OOH include billboards, posters, and signs strategically placed along highways, transit routes, shopping centers, and other high-traffic locations. In recent years, digital screens and interactive displays have emerged as popular elements of OOH advertising, offering dynamic and engaging content.
Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has long been a powerful medium for reaching consumers on the go. From billboards and transit advertisements to digital signage and interactive displays, OOH advertising offers a unique opportunity to capture the attention of a broad audience.
It is an irrefutable truth that Lagos accounts for about 70 percent of the Out-of-home business (OOH) in Nigeria. Lagos is the leading light for creativity and innovation for the OOH business. The most thriving advertising business in Nigeria wants a play in the Lagos market.
With the above facts established, this article seeks not to just delve into the world of OOH advertising but to stimulate our thoughts on how technology is about to disrupt the OOH industry and leapfrog the business for better value creation. It is unarguable that media buyers in Nigeria hide under the absence of data to negotiate payable rates and fees for OOH media owners. While other media channels like TV, Radio, and, Online Media have enjoyed a bigger share of the advertising budget, OOH media owners may just begin to find the right bargaining chip to join that class of technology-driven media platforms.
I recall vividly how late Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya foretold the future in his keynote presentation titled “The Future of Out-of-Home Advertising in Smart City Lagos” at the 2021 Outdoor Advertising Conference and Exhibition. The event was organized by the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) to set the roadmap for the growth of the signage and OOH industry in the post-Covid era.
He posited that the OOH industry requires “A syndicated tool to put some method to this madness and will also bring in the basis of cost” . He added that “A baseline survey of all OOH assets is key, mapped with parameters that will help capture various attributes e.g. Vehicle traffic, pedestrian, visibility, angle, attention, clutter, etc.
He noted that “Leveraging on the new smart city Lagos interconnected with fiber and high-speed internet – a collaboration with strategic partners e.g. Mobile Operators, Traffic Police, Google Map, etc. Will help generate a heat map of audience movement, with real-time data for out-of-home, enabling data fuelled planning to bring efficiency & effectiveness (not just as part of pre-planning but also part of post-evaluation to validate audience Reach, Frequency and GRPs)”.
He concluded that OOH can leverage the Lagos smart city with fiber and high-speed internet and interconnect with OOH Assets, with a real-time dashboard access to view live relay of feed on LEDs
The Role of AI in OOH Advertising
With the emergence and ongoing integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), OOH is undergoing a transformative shift, revolutionizing the way brands engage with consumers.
As AI technology is revolutionizing other sectors and practices, the OOH industry in Lagos cannot be an exception. Artificial intelligence will make OOH more dynamic, personalized, and data-driven. The outcome of these transformations in the OOH advertising sector are:
1. Data-Driven Insights: AI-powered analytics can help harvest and process vast amounts of data, including consumer behaviour, demographics, and location-based information. This data helps advertisers make informed decisions about where and when to display their advertisements, ensuring maximum impact and relevance. AI algorithms provide valuable insights into audience segmentation, allowing advertisers to tailor their messages based on specific consumer profiles.
2. Digital Personalization: With AI, OOH advertising can be highly personalized, delivering relevant content to specific audiences. By analyzing data from various sources such as mobile devices, social media, and location-based data, AI algorithms can target advert campaigns based on demographics, behavior, and preferences.
With real-time data such as weather conditions, traffic patterns, and social media trends, AI algorithms can optimize advertisement campaigns to suit the context and preferences of viewers and audiences. This personalization creates a more engaging experience and increases the likelihood of consumer interaction and action as well as the relevance of the message, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.
3. Dynamic Creative Optimization: AI-powered platforms can analyze real-time data to determine which creatives perform best in different locations and at different times. This allows advertisers to dynamically adapt their content to meet specific audience demands, ensuring that their campaigns are always fresh and appealing.
4. Real-Time Targeting: Through Artificial intelligence technology, advertisers can deliver highly targeted messages in real-time using geolocation data. By leveraging mobile devices and GPS technology, OOH campaigns can be tailored to match the interests and behaviours of consumers in a specific area, offering relevant promotions and enticing them to take immediate action.
5. Measurement and Attribution: AI-powered analytics enable advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their OOH campaigns with greater accuracy. By tracking consumer response, footfall and eyeball data, and purchase behaviours, AI algorithms can attribute conversions or engagements to specific OOH placements. This data-driven analysis provides advertisers with valuable insights into campaign performance viz- a- viz return on investments on ad spend.
6. Fraud Detection and Security: AI will play a crucial role in OOH advertising by detecting potential fraud and ensuring value delivery and media integrity. Through AI algorithms, the industry can identify and prevent fraudulent activities, such as advert stacking thereby protecting the interests of advertisers and increasing transparency in the ecosystem.
Challenges and Ethical Considerations
While AI offers immense opportunities for OOH advertising, there are challenges and ethical considerations to address. These include ensuring the responsible use and protection of consumer data, addressing potential privacy concerns, and being transparent about the use of AI in delivering personalized content. Advertisers must find a balance between personalization and user privacy to maintain trust and respect consumer boundaries. Outdoor advertising media owners must understand that the new Data Protection Act provides safeguards for consumer privacy and frowns against illegal data use
In today’s advertising market, consumer data is critical for media buying across channels. Online media is enjoying huge patronage due to available data through analytics with impressions and fact sheets on reach thereby opening up new avenues for engagement. AI will significantly transform the Nigerian market for OOH advertising, making it more intelligent, personalized, and data-driven. The integration of AI into OOH advertising will reshape the sector’s overall perception.
The impact on OOH advertising is likely to grow, leading to even more sophisticated campaigns which will enable advertisers to create more relevant, impactful, and optimized campaigns in real-time on one hand while also enhancing overall effectiveness and tailored experiences for consumers. It is my sincere hope that the sector will turn the tide and become a seller’s market rather than what currently exists.