Bringing Digital Out Of Home in line with other media

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This post is provided by our partner MediaCo Outdoor.

It’s been a landmark year for Out of Home. Following £19m-worth of cross-industry investment, Route came to fruition. Out of Home finally achieved its goal of becoming a 10% medium. And with Digital Out of Home growing fast and now accounting for over 20% of all sector spend, there have been more headlines about innovation than ever.

Yet despite suggestions by some that 2013 will go down in history as the year digital finally turned OOH advertising into a dynamic cutting edge medium, an important issue has yet to be addressed.

More measurable, more accountable are the dual pillars of the digital advertising promise. Yet few can deny that the sector’s desire to invest in digital technology has significantly outpaced its willingness to deliver on the full potential of digital – real-time content, real-time data, real-time audience-based trading.

Until now.

CityLive is a new highly advanced, interactive network of 20 ultra-premium digital touch screens – the most technologically-advanced available – with full motion capabilities, active NFC, facial detection software, HD camera and video, dynamic audio, live news and weather feeds  and MiGuide interactive city way finding screens.

Though the technology used by CityLive existed before, how it’s been configured and integrated into this real-time, live data-driven DOOH network is new. And by enabling flexible content, flexible planning and flexible trading – not just on a one-off basis but network-wide – it allows outdoor to make good on the digital advertising promise for the very first time.

It’s all about flexibility.

CityLive can run static posters or online ad content. TV content, animation or interactive content, too. Which means it’s a branding platform and a real-time activation platform. But bridging the gap with other on and offline media isn’t just about technological capability. Which is where a new real-time audience-based trading and a pricing model that rewards interactive and real time content comes in.

At MediaCo Outdoor, which developed CityLive with Manchester City Council, we have built a new kind of management platform which includes real-time audience optimisation software.

This enables CityLive to provide automated real-time media scheduling – an outdoor first. And its advertising opportunities are based on audience ‘impressions’ across over 250 different audience types. Which means OOH can finally offer tight enough targeting to mirror press, TV, online or radio schedules – again, for the very first time.

Combined with complex retail flow modelling, demographic and lifestyle data will be delivered by hour, individual day and month. And when facial recognition via the touch screens is added into the mix, real-time targeting both by age and gender is also possible.

As investing in digital technology fast becomes a given, how that technology is configured and – in turn – how brand owners use it will be key. Which is why, as CityLive brings Digital Out of Home in line with other media for the very first time, MediaCo Outdoor is in no doubt that mindset is what will ensure Out of Home takes its next big leap.

Richard Blackburn is Commercial Director at MediaCo Outdoor.