Digital Out-Of-Home: The Best Of Both Worlds?

When it comes to brand awareness, the power of out-of-home (OOH) advertising is indisputable. While outdoor has always been a channel for mass reach, it’s not commonly offered by digital marketing agencies… but what if it was?


Google’s latest move is set to change the way media buyers can utilise digital out-of-home (DOOH) to maximise its potential.


Google’s Display & Video 360 offerings will now include digital out-of-home (DOOH). Their goal is to combine the best of both digital channels and traditional media, integrating them into one single plan.


With the flexibility and programmatic benefits of digital and the reach of traditional out-of-home, could this update help more brands adopt digital out-of-home strategies?


A Digital Outdoor Journey 


Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is becoming increasingly popular, with global spend on DOOH set to reach over US$16 billion by the end of 2022. (According to Statista). Fashion giants including ASOS and Topshop have already been implementing Google Display & Video 360 DOOH.


It’s been proven time and time again that the customer journey isn’t a straight line. We’re often bouncing back and forth between touchpoints before a purchasing decision is made. In a world where the average person sees thousands of ads every day, reaching potential customers on their real-world journeys holds increasing power. 

Studies show that consumers are 48% more likely to interact with a digital ad after being exposed to an OOH ad first. There’s always been a strong emotional power associated with out-of-home. Catching your customer at the bus stop, airport, on the street or inside a shopping mall opens new creative possibilities to connect and claim some of that all-important mental availability.


However, the current DOOH landscape seems to be operating with a hangover from traditional outdoor media. Media buyers select, negotiate and buy inventory from publishers, heavily reliant on their specific account manager relationships. It’s no surprise that measurement is murky and the desire for agility is often ignored.


It seems Google has swooped in at the perfect time, taking advantage of the increasing popularity of digital out-of-home and moving to modernise a clearly outdated system. 


Your Move, Google


From a media planning & buying perspective, the goal to integrate the screens in our pockets with those we see in the physical world is a bold move on Google’s part.


“Digital out-of-home ads placed through Display & Video 360 are not personalized, and we do not use individual identifiers or any user location data. Instead, advertisers can reach people based on contextual information of the screen location, like a traditional out-of-home ad, but with the flexibility and ease of programmatic,” said Google in an official statement.


With better access and increased flexibility, marketers will be better equipped to unlock the potential of outdoor, including the agility to be hyper time, location and context-specific. The perfect alchemy of these ingredients can make for a truly powerful advertising experience.


Through Google’s network, marketers can also explore new DOOH opportunities or work to diversify their current portfolio. This was a power previously held only by publishers. There will also be functionality to “build and execute campaigns using automated and real-time bidding to scale up or down.” This is a huge benefit for buyers looking for agility in their campaign plans.


From a digital perspective, this integration makes a lot of sense. Rather than liaising with individual media owners and their processes, buys can happen in one place. It all sounds suspiciously efficient. 


Is it really as good as it sounds? 


As always, measurement is (and seemingly will forever be) the number one issue for both digital and traditional advertising.


Google has claimed to be measuring ad impact with an impression multiplier and has committed to “vet all publishers to ensure they are abiding by measurement methodologies defined by industry-recognised vendors, like Geopath.”


But without the home comforts of tracking and ad tech that digital marketers are used to, is this adoption of DOOH really going to be as smooth as Google is claiming?


There’s a clear dissonance between the mass approach of outdoor versus the targeted nature of digital. Is it really possible to reconcile these two opposing elements and deliver a holistic DOOH solution? 

Like many things with Google, only time will tell. With global DOOH spend set to increase by 76% by the end of 2022, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we hear Google shouting about their new offerings. 


Learn more:



Thanks again for tuning into another weekly roundup with The Graygency. Check out our blog for more Midweek Media Breakdown posts.


Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn to get notified when we post next week’s social media insights! 

Become a client

Interested in working with us or have a question?

Reach out to our team.

Let's Chat
Man talking on the phone