Outdoor advertising is a huge industry. In the UK alone it accounts for nearly £1.4 billion annually and is growing over ten percent each year, driven partly by the outdoor digital signage market, which currently makes up 14% of all outdoor sales (£1 in £8 spent).
Outdoor digital signage is becoming increasingly attractive to advertisers for a number of reasons. Firstly, compared to other outdoor media, the vivid nature and moving imagery of outdoor LCD screens makes them far more attractive, eye-catching and engaging. Secondly, with digital outdoor content is uploaded remotely; this saves the need to employ technicians to travel around to paste up content manually. And finally, digital outdoor advertising content can also be uploaded remotely.
Because of these advantages outdoor digital signage is now becoming a mainstream advertising forum and while it is not as ubiquitous as indoor digital signs are, there is a reason for that:
Outdoor advertising has less view time than indoor adverts – whether that is digital or static signs – and so a typical outdoor digital sign has to be bold and attractive as view-time is probably less than a few seconds.
However, increasingly advertisers are turning to knew ways of acquiring people’s attention and one method is to provide information people may want and to allow interactivity.
By providing information, whether it is relevant news, weather, wayfinding or other such information will attract people to the screen probably more so than an advert and by allowing interactivity such as deploying touch screens or other systems it increases dwell time.
Adverts can be interlaced with information and because the dwell time is increased by the interactivity, and the attention rate is improved due to information, it makes the advertisement more successful.
This sort of interactivity is now being deployed in many outdoor digital signage locations. With touch screen devices are even being used to provide entertainment at bus stops where simple games are run on the system, along with advertisements, which not only keeps those in the queue amused but provide advertising revenue for the bus companies.