Out of Home Advertising Remains the Strongest Primer for Consumer Digital Behavior

The last time I wrote a piece on OOH's impact on digital activation it was May 2017. While the landscape of social and online platforms has drastically changed in the past five years, OOH's ability to prime and drive consumer digital behavior has not. Recent data released from Comscore in June 2022 shows that OOH drives more digital activations than any other measured medium per ad dollar spent. In fact, for each type of online action measured, the data found that OOH outperformed all other media platforms by at least 2x. This conclusion aligns with several of our partners' experiences, with just a few spotlighted below.


Many new brands use OOH because of its ability to drive brand awareness at scale. An indicator of this is heightened search and website traffic throughout the duration of the campaign. The latest Comscore data shows that on average 41% of people searched for the brand on a search engine after exposure to the OOH display, which was 5.3x more than any other medium, per ad dollar spent.

New York City is an especially popular location for startup brands to launch. Wood Spoon entered the crowded space of food delivery with the differentiator of being a community-based marketplace that connects local chefs with customers craving homemade food. Their campaign aimed to increase name recognition and earn market share through app downloads and increased search. Strategic media along consumers' commuting patterns were chosen, capturing audiences when they were most likely to be thinking "what's for dinner?" The brightly colored, QR code enabled ads drove a 463% increase in website traffic and a 349% increase in app downloads during the campaign. As the brand noted: "Wood Spoon saw immediate unaided brand awareness growth as a direct result of the OOH campaign via our social media channels. We received messages from customers wanting to know more about the brand, we received messages from home chefs wanting to cook for the platform, and we received messages from reporters who saw the ads and wanted to cover our company, its story, and requested additional background. All these audiences were hugely important as an early growth company."


As a visual medium, OOH can drive immense social engagement and conversation around brands and businesses. Therefore, it is no shock that social posts are the lead consumer online behavior that is attributable to OOH; 7x more social posts than any other medium according to [Comscore]. In addition, Nielsen reported that one in four Americans have posted a photo of an OOH advertisement to Instagram. What at first sounds like an astounding number makes sense when taking a closer look. The combination of the visual artwork that is OOH with the short-term communication channel of Instagram makes it quite easy for people to take photos, post and share.

To promote its upcoming collaboration, Gucci and Adidas built a pop-up in the old Marc Jacobs space on Melrose Place, a street in Los Angeles that boasts an ever-evolving mix of luxury brands. Above the store was a billboard that can best be described as a work of art. The excitement over the collaboration as well as the beauty of the store and billboard combo drove an additional 54.8M reached on social during the campaign launch, according to social listening tool NUVI.

BelliWelli received the earned social attention they deserved in reaction to their somewhat shocking "Hot Girls Have IBS" playful pink billboards that covered the Westside of Los Angeles. Co-founder Katie Wilson shared: "The billboard cost approximately 8K. So far, it's the best 8K we've ever spent. We've received hundreds of DMs from celebs, influencers and community members excited to have finally found an IBS community and, yes, a revenue bump as well." BelliWelli offers gut-friendly, plant-based and certified low FODMAP snacks for those suffering from gut-related conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. On top of the earned social media attention, they also noted a significant increase in product sales.

OOH remains the best primer for all things digital, delivering exceptional value in a brand safe environment. No ifs, ands or bots about it. Its real life, trusted presence makes it the perfect complement to any digital media buy or to drive more online engagements. So, you can see why we absolutely love it when the research provides concrete proof of what our partners have been experiencing all along.

Note on Research Methodology: Comscore measured whether, within the past six months, 1,580 survey respondents (U.S. residents aged 16-64) had taken any of these online actions after seeing or hearing an ad: Use search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Amazon), visit advertiser's website, make an online purchase, download an app, search social media sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), post to social media sites, search video sites (e.g., YouTube, Tik Tok) and post to video sites. Comscore June 2022.

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