What Is Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Advertising?

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DOOH advertising depicted by a kiosk display with orange checkers. Behind is a street lined with blue trees and a billboard with orange checkers.

It comes as no surprise that traditional advertising methods are evolving to meet the demands of a tech-savvy audience. Advertisers are searching for the smartest ways to leverage technology to optimize their campaigns. 

One of the solutions? Digital out-of-home advertising, also referred to as DOOH. 

DOOH is a dynamic and highly effective way to reach consumers in public spaces. More advertisers are investing in this ad format with global DOOH ad spend over $15 billion.

When crafted strategically, a DOOH campaign has the potential to reach a diverse consumer market, resonate with your target audience, and drive conversions for your brand — whether you’re aiming for more sales, store/website visits, social media engagement, higher brand awareness, or something else.

In this guide to digital out-of-home advertising, we’ll help give you a better understanding of how this media format can be a game-changer for your brand.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Does DOOH Mean?

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising refers to the use of digital screens to display advertisements in public spaces. These screens can be found in various locations such as: 

  • Airports
  • Bus shelters
  • City centers
  • Highways
  • Subway stations
  • Shopping malls
  • Walls
  • And more 

Unlike traditional static billboards, DOOH ads can display multiple messages, full-motion videos, or interactive content. With DOOH, you are often given a “spot” in a cycle of multiple advertisers. Your ad will appear for a certain duration in a set interval (e.g., for 8 seconds every 64 seconds).

OOH vs. DOOH Advertising

Apart from the obvious differences between traditional OOH and DOOH — static vs. digital — there are a number of distinctions that set these media formats apart.

Dynamic Content

DOOH allows advertisers to display dynamic content, including full-motion digital, animations, and real-time updates. There have also been some pretty epic 3D billboard campaigns, demonstrating that DOOH unlocks a whole new set of possibilities.


With DOOH, content can be easily changed and updated quickly, allowing for greater flexibility and relevance to current events or trends. In many cases, you can change your creative at any point during your campaign free of charge.


Street-level DOOH displays can incorporate interactive features such as touchscreens or QR codes, enabling audience engagement and real-time feedback.

Targeting Capabilities

Some DOOH platforms cen be equipped with advanced targeting capabilities, allowing advertisers to reach specific demographics or target audiences based on location, time of day, or even weather conditions.

DOOH isn’t available in every market, however. In more rural areas, your options might be limited to static only. Not to worry though, outdoor ads of all sorts have proven to be effective.

Types of DOOH Placements

Digital out-of-home advertisements aren’t limited to large-format billboards along the highway. Other DOOH advertising placements include:

  • Digital Transit Displays: Screens located in transportation hubs like train stations or bus stops.
  • Digital Airport Displays: Most airport ad placements are digital, giving you access to a diverse and relatively affluent audience.
  • Digital Street Furniture: Digital screens integrated into urban infrastructure like bus shelters, kiosks, or benches.
  • Digital Screens in Retail Spaces: Screens installed in retail stores, shopping malls, or supermarkets to promote products or brands. Also referred to as place-based media.

New Ways to Target Your Audience

Given its technological capabilities, DOOH gives you a number of opportunities to reach and engage your target audience.

Location-based targeting utilizes GPS data to display ads based on the audience’s location. Check out our post on geofencing and geotargeting to learn more about these strategies. Keep in mind that many agencies and operators do not offer this option.

Context is key when it comes to any advertising campaign. DOOH also allows you to leverage contextual targeting. Display ads based on the context of the location, such as promoting coffee near a busy train station during morning rush hour. 

Dayparting is another option for DOOH advertisers. Dayparting allows advertisers to align their ads with consumers’ media consumption patterns. This involves displaying ads at specific times of the day to target audiences during peak traffic hours or relevant times (e.g., breakfast ads in the morning). Right place, right time, right message.

Taking a Multichannel Approach

Pairing outdoor media with other advertising methods can really make your campaign shine. Drawing a bridge between the digital and physical world can be the key to more meaningful engagement. Reaching a consumer at multiple touchpoints can reinforce your message further and strengthen ad recall.

Measuring Your Impact

DOOH combines the high exposure of outdoor advertising with the technological insight of digital media channels. Some ways that advertisers can measure their campaign effectiveness include:

  1. Impression Count: Measure the number of people who see your ad, based on foot traffic or vehicle traffic data as well as the CPM (cost per thousand impressions).
  2. Engagement Metrics: Track metrics such as dwell time (how long people look at the ad), interactions (if they engage with interactive features), and social media mentions.
  3. Conversion Tracking: QR codes or unique URLs can help track how many viewers take action after seeing the ad, such as visiting a website, completing a form, making an appointment, or making a purchase.

DOOH also makes it simple to A/B test different ads. With the ability to quickly swap out your creative during your campaign, you can observe how your audience engages with different messaging/visuals.

Real-World DOOH Campaigns

We’ve compiled some of our favorite DOOH ad campaigns we’ve helped launch over the years to give you a sense of what’s possible.

Launch Your Own Digital Out-of-Home Campaign!

Whether you’re a first time outdoor advertiser or you’ve run multiple campaigns, we’re here to equip you with the information you need to launch your best campaign yet. 

We’ll send you a custom proposal including pricing and other features based on your campaign goals. Launch a campaign you’re proud of by taking advantage of our in-house design services at no additional cost.
Getting started is as easy as filling out this brief online form.