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Behind the billboards

A digital information structure for Out of Home advertising industry.


Guru Cingh

Out-of-home advertising with all its reach and impact for branding, commands a little over 5% share of advertising spending.

The estimates for future are not rosy either, with OOH taking the biggest hit due to the pandemic and with economic recovery coming through government subsidies and not introduction of new products and services, there is not much hope or reason for higher allocation of marketing budget.

If estimates are to go by, the future looks bleak, and if present is an indicator, it is downright catastrophic.

Revenue generated by JCDecaux fell from 3.89 billion Euros to 2.31 billion Euros. Outfront, Lamar and Stroer have similar sordid tales to tell. And since Ooh is a highly fragmented industry, the smaller players have even bigger woes.

Here is a tell all from industry leader, GroupM, -


Bad news abound, what is the way forward?


Out of home at best of times is fragmented in every which way. The audience, the agencies, media owners, media planners, media sites of numerous shapes and sizes, patchwork of regulations, media auditors and there has to be some tax guys and local government laws on use of language and images.

All the stake holders communicate and connect with each other on different networks that limits the size and scale of any campaign. Non-standardization creates redundancy and paradoxically information loss. Both of that makes for unfavourable media audit and the subsequent lack of transparency, creates an unfriendly environment for the outdoor advertising industry.

The limit of information exchange has created over capacity and reduction of prices for the media. No wonder media allocation has increased over the same price. Advertisers suffer equally from sub-optimal resource allocation and poor brand performance.

A complete lack of systems, processes, documentation and absence of standard operating procedures creates a nightmare for auditors and reduces transparency.

This might sound ambiguous and obscure as I have tried to condense the ills of the industry in one passage.

But the question is still out there, with Ooh being the most effective branding tool known to man, how does the brand communicate with the audience - effectively and efficiently.


Strengthen the digital infrastructure, strengthen the world of Ooh Advertising


What the industry needs is a universal language for the out-of-home industry. Standardization that enables information exchange on various networks and makes it accessible.

Accessibility democratizes the playing field, reduces barrier to entry and reduces barrier to trade. Accessibility reduces barriers for both media owners and advertisers to communicate better and more often. It also brings in more transparency that will help overcome the challenges of compliance and performance.


Geospatial Mapping, Location Intelligence and Data Analytics


Data, technology and expertise is required to create modern framework for a platform. Platform that is programmable, searchable and accessible, and also works efficiently with myriad laws and network of local government regulations.

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