What is DOOH Advertising and How Can I Use it? | Guide

Classic offline advertising is gradually dying out. The interest of advertising agencies to invest in huge advertising banners in the long term has been declining for years. This is because potential buyers no longer pay the necessary attention to advertising on billboards after only a short time.

Conventional outdoor advertising is increasingly being replaced by more advanced formats — Digital-Out-of-Home (DooH) advertising. These advertising formats grow as fastest, currently. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about it.

Digital-Out-of-Home (DooH) at New York Time Square
Digital-Out-of-Home (DooH) at New York Time Square

What is Digital-Out-of-Home Advertising?

When outdoor billboards are replaced by screens or large LED screens, we speak about “Digital-Out-of-Home Advertising”; in other words, the digital transformation of classic outdoor advertising. The etymology comes from the Anglo-Saxon collective term for outdoor advertising, Out-of-Home (OoH). The preceding D transforms the term into DooH Advertising.

If you look around the downtown of a major city today, you will notice that numerous outdoor advertising is undergoing a digital transformation. Traditional billboard advertising is being replaced by digital out-of-home marketing in high-traffic locations such as train stations, airports, transit hubs, subways, and shopping centers.

The term for the business model of Digital outdoor advertising is Digital-Out-of-Home. But what is exactly behind the DooH definition?

OOH vs DOOH – What's the Difference

From marketing, many are likely to be familiar with the term OOH (Out-of-Home) as a label for traditional general outdoor advertising.

The core is to place the commercials, creatives and other forms of advertising on digital media. For example:

This type of advertising has a wide reach. It quickly attracts the attention of passers-by through interactive elements and moving images. DooH marketing can reach large coverage of potential buyers, promote a brand, and increase its awareness.

How to use DooH to Enhance your Advertising?

DooH (Digital-out-of-home) advertising is a highly effective way to enhance your advertising efforts. Here are some tips for using DooH to enhance your advertising:

Choose the Right Location

The success of your DooH advertising campaign will largely depend on the location you choose. Select a location where your target audience is likely to be present, such as high-traffic areas like malls, airports, and public transportation hubs.

Make it Eye-Catching

DooH advertising screens are often placed in areas where people are on the move, so it's important to create eye-catching ads that grab attention quickly. Use bright colors, bold graphics, and dynamic content to make your ads stand out.

Keep it Short and Simple

Digital-out-of-Home marketing has a limited amount of time to capture people's attention, so it's essential to keep your message short and to the point. Make sure your message is easy to understand and remember.

Use Dynamic Content

DooH advertising screens are capable of displaying dynamic content, such as videos, animations, and interactive content. Use this capability to create engaging and memorable ads.

Integrate With Other Advertising Channels:

DooH advertising can be a powerful addition to your advertising mix, but it's important to integrate it with your other advertising channels for maximum impact. Use consistent messaging across all channels to reinforce your brand and message.

5 effective Creative Strategies for DooH

DooH advertising offers unique opportunities for creative strategies that can capture the attention of audiences in public spaces. Here are five of the most effective creative strategies for DOOH advertising:

  1. Contextual Advertising

    Display ads that are relevant to the location and the audience. For example, a sports retailer can show an ad for running shoes near a jogging track. Contextual advertising increases the relevance of ads, making them more effective.

  2. Personalization

    Digital technology allows advertisers to personalize ads based on audience demographics, behavior, or location. For example, a restaurant can display different ads based on the time of day or weather conditions.

  3. Interactive Advertising

    Allow viewers to interact with ads, for example, by using their smartphones to engage with an ad. This type of advertising increases commitment and creates a more memorable experience.

  4. Storytelling

    Digital screens provide an opportunity for advertisers to tell stories and create emotional connections with viewers. Advertisers use storytelling techniques to create a narrative that connects with viewers on a personal level.

  5. Gamification

    Create games and interactive experiences that engage viewers and increase brand awareness. Gamification is a powerful way to create a memorable experience for viewers.

Overall, the most effective creative strategies for DOOH advertising are those that engage viewers, provide relevant information, and create a memorable experience. By using dynamic content, personalization, storytelling, gamification, and other creative strategies, advertisers can create effective DOOH campaigns that connect with audiences in public spaces.

Example of DooH

Modern digital signage solutions support DooH with smart features based on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. This technology opens up new ways for advertisers to reach target audiences with advertising messages more effectively than ever before.

An excellent Digital-out-of-Home example of a successful advertising campaign using this technology is the British Airways advertisement from 2014. At the time, the campaign was called “Magic of Flying”. A huge video wall set up at key locations in London showed an animation of a boy standing up and pointing upwards as soon as a British Airways plane flew over the heads of passers-by.

Hintergrundbild von youtubevideo
Video of the British Airways as DooH example
Click on the image to open YouTube.

As the plane flew by, animations also showed its type, flight number, and destination or departure point. This advertising campaign by British Airways was a massive success at the time and has gone down in the history of the advertising industry. It is a wonderful example of the possibilities offered by DooH advertising with cloud technology, Internet of Things, geodata as well as transponder data of an aircraft.

7 ways to Implement Digital-out-of-Home in your Marketing Strategy

Here are seven steps to consider when implementing Digital-out-of-Home (DOOH) in your marketing strategy

  1. Define Your Marketing Objectives

    Determine what you want to achieve with your DOOH advertising campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or promote a specific product or service? Having clear objectives will help you measure the success of your campaign.

  2. Identify Your Target Audience

    Determine who your target audience is and where they spend time. This will help you choose the right locations for your DOOH advertising screens and create ads that resonate with your audience.

  3. Choose the Right DOOH Advertising Partners

    There are many DOOH advertising networks and platforms available. Choose partners that have screens in the locations where your target audience is likely to be present.

  4. Create Compelling Ads:

    Create ads that are eye-catching, memorable, and relevant to your target audience. Consider using dynamic content, personalization, storytelling, and other creative strategies to make your ads more engaging.

  5. Monitor and Measure Your Campaign

    Use analytics tools to track the performance of your DOOH advertising campaign. Monitor metrics such as impressions, commitment, and conversions to see how your campaign is performing.

  6. Optimize Your Campaign

    Use the insights from your analytics to optimize your campaign. Adjust your targeting, creative, and messaging to improve the performance of your campaign.

  7. Integrate With Your Other Marketing Channels

    Integrate your DOOH advertising with your other marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and search advertising. This will create a cohesive marketing strategy that reinforces your brand and message.

By following these steps, you can implement DOOH advertising as part of your marketing strategy effectively. With the right objectives, target audience, partners, ads, monitoring, and integration, DOOH advertising can be a powerful tool for driving brand awareness, commitment, and conversions.

DooH Advertising vs Billboard Advertising?

The advantages are in the real-time updates and the resulting fast addressing of different target groups at the same time. Dynamic, bright and high-contrast visualization options for advertising quickly create attention. Due to falling prices, ever larger digital advertising spaces are becoming attractive.

In contrast to billboard advertising, DooH impresses with its versatility and good visibility. Modern technologies enable DooH to interact with the target group and target advertising content to a specific audience. Any digital medium can have a built-in camera, for example, to count the passing crowd and analyze the reaction to the commercial shown.

Are people looking at the billboard? What emotions does the ad evoke on passersby's faces? Such data is particularly important for determining the accessibility and impact of the advertising on potential customers. In contrast, this cannot be realized with classic outdoor advertising. In addition, the use of video technology must always comply with local data protection laws (e.g., DSGVO in Germany).

DooH in Tokio
DooH Facades in the Inner City of Tokyo

Thanks to the networking of digital advertising billboards, the advertising strategy can be adapted at any time and integrated into other advertising campaigns, such as with smartphones or mobile DooH on vehicles, regardless of time and location. What characterizes DooH advertising, and what advantages and disadvantages does it offer compared to conventional billboard advertising?

Benefits of Digital OOH

One of the benefits of Out-of-Home advertising is incredibly flexible when combined with the latest digital signage technology. Media networks can deliver ads to places like shopping centers or subway stations, or display high-resolution animations on digital billboards at busy intersections. Digital out-of-home advertising can broadcast relevant content that matches the urban environment, attracting attention and evoking positive emotions.

  • Fast addressing of target groups due to dynamic, bright and high-contrast visualization options of the advertising
  • decreasing prices on digital LED displays
  • No printing and delivery logistics necessary
  • modern digital advertising walls convince with wide viewing angles, interactivity, and clear images
  • Through flexible planning and control, multiple target groups can be addressed at different times.
  • Information transmission possible regardless of time and place
  • Automatizability of the advertising shows
  • No limitation of the image quality, even in bad weather or strong sunlight
  • modern software and networking of display devices enables precise targeting and always helps to keep control over data of potential customers thanks to easy management

Problems With Digital OOH

Overall, while DOOH can be a powerful advertising tool, there are potential problems that can limit its effectiveness. By addressing these issues and ensuring the technical, location, content, ad-blocking, and privacy concerns are appropriately managed, advertisers can minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of DOOH advertising.

Here are some difficulties that can occur.

  • Location Issues

    The location of screens is critical for their effectiveness. If the screens are in areas with low foot traffic or in areas that are not relevant to the target audience, the advertising will not be effective. A full-fledged placement of digital out-of-home ads only makes sense in large cities. For large-scale targeting, small cities lack sufficiently frequented locations.

  • Privacy and Security Concerns

    There are potential privacy concerns with DOOH advertising, particularly if cameras or other tracking technologies are used to collect data on viewers. Advertisers need to ensure they comply with relevant privacy laws and obtain appropriate consent from viewers. The devices also need elaborate protection against hacking and vandalism.

  • Technical Difficulties

    DOOH relies on technology, which can sometimes fail. Technical difficulties such as screen malfunctions, connectivity problems, or power outages can result in ads not being displayed, leading to a waste of advertising spend.

  • Content Issues

    Creating engaging and relevant content for DOOH advertising can be challenging. If the content is not compelling or does not resonate with the target audience, the advertising will not be effective.

    Watching many videos in a row can also lead to distracting the attention of potential customers.

  • Ecological Concerns

    Too many digital billboards with flashy content can lead to confusion and light pollution.

Billboard Advertising Pros / Cons

Most people know it — the classic billboard advertising Out-of-Home advertising. It can be seen on various billboards in the form of volumetric lettering or illuminated signs. We meet them on the street while we work or study, we see them in pedestrian zones and shopping malls. It is impossible to imagine a modern city without OoH-advertising. This makes outdoor advertising almost the most effective conventional advertising medium. What ensures the competitiveness of this marketing, and what are the disadvantages?


  • Great reach for advertising campaigns due to placement in multiple neighborhoods
  • by repeated viewing, advertising continues to have an effect on the subconscious
  • OOH marketing is less intrusive compared to TV advertising
  • Low investment costs compared to TV and radio advertising
  • mobile and flexible to use, e.g., on roofs, vehicles, or streetlamps
  • combinable with other advertising campaigns such as television or radio advertising


  • no tracking of target groups possible
  • great competition of Out-of-Home advertising due to an oversupply
  • unlit billboards are overlooked at night
  • Posters require logistics for printing and mounting
  • only static content possible without animations
  • Requires high creativity as people are less receptive to outdoor advertising due to oversupply
  • short contact with advertising. On average, a potential customer looks at the poster for about 2 – 3 seconds. Advertising content must be selected carefully and must not be overloaded.
  • Due to high-demand and limited placement options, it is difficult to find a suitable place

What is understood by m-DooH?

In contrast to static outdoor advertising, mobile Digital Out-of-Home Advertising takes the approach of placing digital billboards on surfaces of transportation vehicles such as vehicles, trucks, vans, e-scooters and courier bikes.

Optimization of Advertising through GPS

In this way, the advertising gets right to the potential customer, even in traffic-congested areas. Thanks to built-in GPS and cellular modules in the displays, the advertising strategy can be optimized at any time via an online advertising platform by specifying routes, changing advertisements to achieve maximum reach.

6 ways to measure the Effectiveness of Digital-out-of-Home Advertising

Measuring different KPIs is essential for understanding the effectiveness of your campaign, demonstrating its ROI, and making data-driven decisions to optimize it for better results.

  1. Impressions

    Impressions refer to the number of times your ad is displayed to viewers. This metric can help you understand how many people are potentially exposed to your ad.

  2. Engagement

    Engagement can include interactions with the screen, such as tapping or swiping, or actions taken as a result of seeing the ad, such as visiting a website or making a purchase.

  3. Conversion

    Conversion can refer to a range of actions, such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter. This metric can help you understand how effective your ad is at driving action from viewers.

  4. Sales Lift

    This metric compares the sales before and after the campaign to determine whether the advertising had a positive impact on sales.

  5. Brand Awareness

    Measure the impact of your DOOH advertising on brand awareness. This metric can include surveys or focus groups that assess whether viewers remember seeing your ad and whether it positively impacted their perception of your brand.

  6. Location-based Metrics

    Measure location-based metrics such as foot traffic, dwell time, and audience demographics. These metrics can help you determine whether your DOOH advertising is reaching the right audience and whether it's in the appropriate location.

Overall, by measuring the effectiveness of your DOOH advertising campaign using a combination of these metrics, you can gain insights into the impact of your advertising and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaign for better results.

Pricing of Digital-out-of-Home Advertising

The pricing of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the screens, the size, and types of the screens, the length of the campaign, and the target audience. Here are some of the most common pricing models used for advertising:

  • Cost per Thousand (CPM): This is a common pricing model in which advertisers pay a set amount per thousand impressions (or views) of their ad. The CPM can vary depending on the location of the screens, the size of the screens, and the target audience.
  • Cost per Engagement (CPE): With this pricing model, advertisers only pay for interactions with their ads, such as clicks or swipes. This pricing model can be effective for driving engagement and can help ensure that advertisers are only paying for ads that are actually being interacted with.
  • Fixed Pricing: Some advertising networks offer fixed pricing for a set period of time. This can be a suitable option for advertisers who want to ensure that their ads are displayed in a specific location or at a specific time, and who are willing to pay a premium for that guaranteed exposure.>
  • Dynamic Pricing: Means that the cost of advertising can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, such as the time of day, the day of the week, or the weather conditions.


Emerging trends in DooH advertising include programmatic advertising, interactive digital signage, data-driven advertising, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and location-based advertising. These trends are helping advertisers to create more engaging and effective campaigns that deliver better ROI. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of DOOH advertising in the future.

How can I Ensure that my Digital-out-of-Home Advertising Campaign Reaches the Appropriate Target Audience?

To ensure your DOOH advertising campaign reaches the appropriate target audience, you should define your audience, use audience data, geolocation, programmatic advertising, contextual targeting, and partner with DOOH advertising networks. These strategies will help you deliver more targeted and relevant ads to your audience, resulting in better engagement and ROI.


Digital outdoor advertising is going through the process of interconnection with digital technologies. This is happening against a backdrop of rapid digital innovations that are driving the emergence of new formats that improve the effectiveness of advertisers' communications with audiences on the go, too.

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Author: Niko Sagiadinos
Developer & Co-Founder SmilControl – Digital Signage
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