Outdoor digital signage is not yet as popular or as widespread as screens used in indoor environments such as subways, metros, airports and shopping malls. The additional cost of outdoor digital signage combined with the challenges of protecting outdoor screens from the weather, mean outdoor digital signage has some way to go to catch up.
However, it is steadily growing in popularity, with one in eight outdoor adverts in some areas now being displayed on some form of digital signage display. And as the cost of outdoor screens continues to fall, and indoor digital signage reaches its natural upper limit where advertisers have nowhere else to place screens, more and more will turn to outdoor digital signage.
Outdoor digital signage screens have one big advantage over indoor screens, too. No matter where an indoor sign is located, the amount of people that view the display will always be restricted by the amount of people in the indoor environment. However, with outdoor digital signage, the audience potential is far greater, especially in high profile locations.
In London, for example, outdoor digital signage on several high profile locations, such as on top of the Euston Road underpass, which receives a potential 100,000 views a day as drivers pass underneath. Of course, not everybody travelling into London will take notice of the screen, but the scope is huge.
Even for retailers that already implement screens inside their premises can reach out to a huge potential audience by installing an outdoor digital signage screen at the front of their retail unit. While the indoor displays may be effective at engaging with people inside the store, these people are already potential customers. However, by placing a screen outside, a retailer can engage with an audience that may not have intended to visit the store, and perhaps if the promotion is appealing enough, help influence them to go inside the store.
And it’s not just people walking past the store that get to view an outdoor digital sign. If the screen is big enough, and the content bold enough, the screen can engage with people travelling past in public transport or walking on the other side of the street.
Outdoor digital signage displays also operate 24 hours a day, a long time after the indoor screens are turned off. This means that people out for a drink or meal can see the content during the evening, and if the promotion appeals to them, it may instigate a visit to the store later in the week.