Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is DOOH and Why Should We Care?

What is DOOH and Why Should We Care?

"Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a dynamic, fragmented, and rapidly evolving space. It's one of the fastest growing media channels, with year-over-year growth pegged in the double digits through at least with many emerging media channels, DOOH is a bit of a gray area in terms of what type of agency should own strategy, planning, and buying. A traditional agency because TV spots can be repurposed? The OOH shop because it's just a digital version of a billboard? The interactive shop, because it's digital, often interactive, and highly measurable? Or will a new class of DOOH specialty shops emerge to deliver services explicitly for the channel? This lack of clarity creates uncertainty and hesitation in advertisers.
-Jeremy Lockhorn, ClickZ  7/13/09 Digital Out-of-Home Landscape Brief (pdf)

This is an industry that is beginning to take off, just as internet-based advertising and web-design/user experience did during the 1990's. The number of players, and potential players, is growing.

At the same time, the web and video content is migrating to mobile devices, such as smartphones and net-books, that have broad-band wireless access.   Everyone will want a bigger share of our eyeballs, and attention!

  • No one has complete ownership of this space.
  • Converging industries and disciplines come to the space from very different vantage points.
  • People are interested in the DOOH space because they see the potential for $$$$.
  • Digital Out-Of-Home experiences have the potential of becoming something that we DON'T WANT:
          - In-your-face used car sales TV ads, but not on your TV
          - Internet pop-ups and banner ads, but not on your PC screen
          - No option to "opt-out", like the irritating 15-second "pre-trailers" that we are forced to view  
            when we access video content on the web.

Below is an example of what things might be if we have no say in the matter. The scene is from Minority report. The character played by Tom Cruise walks across a mall full of translucent 3D digital signage ads, all customized to match his identity, which is determined by a mandatory scan of his eyes.

Although the content is beautiful and seductive, it is overwhelming and in my opinion, worse than what I experience when I'm out and about or when I'm on the Internet. scenario above doesn't allow people to opt in, as their identity is determined from automatic eye scans, connected to a vast database of information that fuels the system. (This sort of data is there, just ask Google!)

We aren't quite there yet, so there is time for thoughtful people to create a world outside of our homes that might be unobtrusive, pleasant, or entertaining.

Here are some examples:

Below is a slideshow of an assortment of pictures of screens and kiosks from airports, malls, grocery stores, cruise ships, and a smattering of other places, taken from 2007 to the present:

It is not always pretty, but there is hope:

Digital Signage Insider
Bill Gerba, Senior Writer

Bill Gerba is the CEO of Wirespring, a company that provides hardware, software, and services for digital signage and kiosk projects.  Founded in 2000, this company has grown along with the digital signage industry. Wirespring's clients include Walmart, bp, P&G, Harris, Clear Channel, Televisa, Marriott, and GLFinancial.  

One of the reasons I started following Bill Gerba's blog is that he takes a very user-centered view, and his recommendations are based on evidence supported by metrics as well as what is known about human information processing and behavior.  Bill takes a wider view when gathering information, and he shares his thoughtful insight in a clear manner.

Digital Signage Screen Placement: Targeting the Attention Zone
Digital Signage Screen Placement: Understanding Store Layout
Digital Signage Screen Placement: Angle, Height and Text Size
Digital Signage Screen Placement: Modeling Consumer Behavior

What makes good digital signage content effective?
Making Great Digital Signage Content:  A Quick Reference Guide
This article contains links to more in-depth "how-to" articles that cover topics such as the serial position effect, use of chunking and coding to facilitate better recall among customers,  optimizing for context while eliminating distractions, crafting copy and "call-to-action", use of font faces, sizes, and styles, use of features related to color, contrast, motion, silhouettes, and animation, and composing shots and scenes.  
The DOOH Advertising Paradox: Better Spots Are Harder to Sell

OVAB Digital Media Summit:  Focus on Digital Out-of-Home
OVAB (Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau) Audience Metric Guidelines  (pdf)
"Founded in 2007, the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau(OVAB) represents leading out-of-home video networks and the advertising community that is actively engaged in planning, buying, and evaluating the effectiveness of the medium. On behalf of its members, OVAB seeks to foster ongoing collaboration between agencies and out-of-home video advertising networks, and provide standards, best practices, and industry-wide research as well as promote the effectiveness of out-of-home video advertising."

The Web Outside's DOOH Dictionary
"DOOH refers to digital signage that is displayed in public spaces (Times Square, airports, outdoor concert venuesenormous office buildings in Dubai), social places (bars, restaurants, cafes, college campuses,convention centers), and retail environments."
DAILY DOOH  Adrian J. Cotterill, editor
Profiles of a variety of digital signage related companies
(from the Digital Signage Universe website)

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