Edited version in Forbes Agency Council Community Voice
By Susan Akbarpour
Mavatar CEO/Co-Founder, Investor, Board Member & Blockchain Enthusiast.
Online advertising has entered a crisis. While Americans spend nearly four hours a day on personal digital devices, those ads barely register. Due to the hyper-saturation of ads we see daily, we have developed banner blindness, where our minds don’t register online ads, leading click-through rates to plummet to .05% today.
While digital and static push advertising are becoming less effective, “transitional” out-of-home (OOH) advertising is making a comeback with digital billboards and interactive displays. These benefit from the same modifiability and data-driven potential as online advertising, but they less intrusively grab the undivided attention of the captivated commuters with hard-to-ignore ads.
At this year’s Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas on March 26–29, I explored some of the biggest concepts in the OOH advertising industry. Here are four OOH trends defining the ecosystem:
1. 3D Holographic Images
As rich user experience becomes a commodity these days, advertisers are resorting to novel OOH techniques to make people pay attention to their messages. I think that consumers and advertisers should look out for new cutting-edge concepts in digital signage like 3D holographic displays. The novelty of 3D holograms makes them useful OOH that may be able to hold viewers’ attention better than the highest-quality displays.
Hypervsn, for example, has created 3D holographic images with a device made up of four blades covered in LED lights. When the device spins, it creates a 3D image that looks like a higher-quality version of R2-D2’s hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars.
Hypervsn’s novelty makes them useful OOH, holding viewers attention better than the highest quality displays. Evidence has shown that a Hypervsn in-store can improve customer acquisition by 47%!
Consumers and advertisers should look out for new “cutting-edge” concepts in digital signage like Hypervsn’s 3D holographic displays — although probably embodying the phrase less literally!
2. Cloud-Based Peer-To-Peer Content Creation And Delivery
Billboard advertising used to be the domain of a few select operators. However, the industry is democratizing as digital signage makes it easier to publish ads and web-based platforms facilitate connections between billboard operators and prospective advertisers.
One company, Adomni, has created an OOH advertising marketplace for ad creation, delivery and audience analytics. Advertisers can choose from over 50,000 screens supported on the marketplace. Depending on operator processing time, an advertisement can be up in minutes.
Digitization is probably the biggest trend in OOH advertising in general, but OOH advertising platforms that facilitate peer-to-peer or user-generated advertising, customization and personalization can empower traditional players to advertise smarter while bringing in a new generation of OOH advertisers.
3. Localized & Contextual Advertising
Time spent at airports is up every year as more people fly, with an average wait time of up to 133 minutes for some airports in 2017. And travelers, 73% who like to indulge at the airport , are basically captive audiences for advertising and retail opportunities. Maybe that’s why the global airport retail market is projected to explode from$40 billion in 2017 to $59 billion in 2021.
By deploying dynamic digital signage in airports, operators can create experiences relevant to specific events, local inventories and contextual ads to target travelers.
80% of business travellers say that while at the airport, they feel a sense of excitement for their upcoming trip. To monetize this excitement before it’s too late, airports can provide them with the “first impressions” about that destination and optimize shopping journeys right after leaving the airport.
Lamar Airport Advertising and display maker Nanolumens teamed up to engage this excitement by installing 60 new Nanolumens LED displays in Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport’s Terminal 1 baggage claim. Travelers arriving at McCarran for Las Vegas’ many large-scale events see beautiful digital ads throughout the terminal customized to relevant events of the day, giving advertisers a powerful new tool to give new arrivals a “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” experience before they hit the Strip.
4. More Software And Hardware Options For Large Format And Captivating Billboards
Large digital displays might get more attention in OOH advertising, but they also need powerful software and hardware to run as smoothly as an iPad. Powerful back-end software and hardware are increasingly important for large format, interactive digital OOH advertising. Since the modern consumer has become accustomed to a high-level touch-screen experience, interactive OOH advertising screens may need to keep pace so the consumer stays engaged.
BrightSign’s XT1144 Expanded I/O Player is one example of this trend that’s currently on the market. The player features touch screens, 4K video, motion sensors, barcode scanners and more.
5. Evolving Mounts And Accessories
You may produce the best content and digital displays, but without the right frame and framework, you can’t make them eye-catching, safe, accessible and compliant. In the world of high-quality displays and captivating content, the frame often means subtly designed mounts integrating multiple moving parts to deliver greater public engagement, customer support and seamless content updates.
While mounts will likely never get the same attention as the displays, I believe that mount and accessory providers will continue evolving to keep pace with the innovations in display technologies. At DSE, Peerless-AV showed some of its products, such as the Smart City Kiosk and the All-in-One Kiosk, an LCD display terminal that lets advertisers deploy powerful content.
As we become increasingly numb to digital push advertising, I believe that innovative OOH advertising trends like what we saw at DSE this year will push the advertising industry in a new direction.