Dan Brough | Head of Agency Business Development | Waze

Dan Brough

“The Evolution of OOH…Combining Art & Science”

What makes a career in advertising exciting in 2017?  Luckily, quite a bit.  Technology continues to be the driver that knocks down barriers connecting consumers to brands in unique and insightful ways.

The very definition of “evolution” is “the development of something from simple to complex.”  The Out of Home industry is at a crossroads and its very definition of what constitutes OOH is being redefined.  OOH has always been known as media intended to reach consumers “as they move about their day.”

Like OOH, Waze’s mission has evolved from ”saving every driver five minutes a day every day” to the ambitious goal of “eliminating the world’s traffic.”  From an advertising perspective, the goal has never been simpler…speaking to consumers in car with the most relevant and useful ads.  Advancements in targeting: location, destination, route, demographic and even weather targeting has made reaching drivers at the right place at the right time and in the right context a reality.

So is Waze OOH?

The question itself seems pretty straight forward.  Waze is the world’s largest crowdsourced navigation app with over 90M users each month globally.  Ads served to these drivers can only happen outside of the home, while drivers are on-the-go.

What might muddy the waters is that mobile or in-vehicle display ads don’t exactly align with traditional in-car platforms like billboards or radio.  Digital OOH ads require a new skillset needed to evaluate strategy, pricing, and effectiveness which all differ from OOH placements.

Brand marketers now have the opportunity to align their OOH efforts with mobile, digital advertising often reaching the same consumers but in different environments.  How can brands take advantage of the evolving art and science of OOH?


Growing up in and around New York City, I was always fascinated with trips into Times Square, the unofficial “center of the universe” for OOH advertising.  As an “always on” platform, brands have utilized OOH to attract huge number of eyeballs with striking, beautiful visuals.

In car, mobile placements are able to “sync up” and add a complimentary nature to the OOH experience.  Additionally drivers can now “take action” and engage with these placements either by learning more about an product or actually choosing to navigate to that brand’s location.

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Beautiful, impactful creative is only relevant if it’s delivered in the right context.  Wow, that breakfast sandwich looks delicious…is the restaurant near me, how do I get there, is the store even open?

The ability to rotate creative by time of day, location, demographic and even weather ensures brand messages are received at the most impactful, ideal moments.  Even the most niche segments, like sports fans, can receive impactful, game day offers like this…

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Perhaps the most impactful evolution of OOH has been attribution…the ability for a brand to measure performance based on exposure.  Does footfall increase? Is my creative reaching the right consumers in the right moments?

Digital OOH platforms take this a step further to measure brand lift and navigations in-store.  DOOH can segment creatives to reach the not only the right person at the right time in the right place, but can take this a step further to understand in what mindset the person is in and their potential journeys forward.  Additionally, results can be captured and reported in almost real-time.  Brands can shift budgets to the most impactful creative and the best performing regions aligning to specific KPIs.

Capitalizing on the evolution of OOH – What’s important?

  • All advertising works together…understanding how and which platforms are delivering value is paramount. Consumers are constantly being exposed to ads both digitally and via OOH.  Location marketing via digital OOH is usually the last step in a consumer’s journey when they are out and about.  For pennies on the dollar, LBM (location based marketing) can attract consumers at the last moment, influencing a consumer to take action.
  • Set a clear vision of performance. What KPIs are most important and how will they be measured?  Are my offline and online campaigns working together?  If I’m a brand manager, I want to make sure metrics are being evaluated fairly across the marketing spectrum.  OOH KPIs likely will differ from those run across digital changes.
  • Continue to ask questions about location marketing. What constitutes a store visit? Was an arrival initiated by an OOH or digital placement?  In what context was a consumer exposed to a brand message? (if they saw an ad in a mobile app, was it even open?)

2018 will be an exciting year with the continuing convergence of technology and OOH.  Brands will have the opportunity to “link” their marketing efforts more clearly and define how they complement one another.   Advancements in digital targeting and measurement will lead to more accountability and creativity across both the digital and OOH landscapes.