Sensing vulnerability, Out-of-Home goes on the attack against digital display
Trade group seeks to capitalize on complexity and confusion with online display advertising among media planners and buyers.
In what appears to be a first, traditional media has gone on the offensive against digital advertising. In a report called This is What Reality Looks Like, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) uses online fraud, viewability, bots and ad blocking to question the effectiveness and value of online display advertising.
The effort is part of the trade group’s “feel the real” campaign seeking to demonstrate the value of Out-of-Home advertising (OOH).
The report calls online display (including programmatic) “complex, opaque, intrusive and ultimately uncertain.” It begins with a range of sources and third-party articles cataloging the current woes of digital display:
- 54 percent of online display ads are non-viewable.
- Non-viewability wasted $7.5 billion spent on digital banner ads in 2013.
- 61.5 percent of internet traffic is from bots (2013 stat).
- Higher CPM media attracts more bot traffic.
- 40 percent of the world’s internet users have installed ad blockers.
- Bot fraud will cost brands $7.2 billion globally this year.
- Estimates argue only eight percent of digital impressions are ever seen by a real person.
Each one of these stats may be disputed, but collectively, they present an indictment of the current state of digital display advertising.
The report continues, as might be expected, by contrasting positive information about the effectiveness of OOH. Ironically, some of that has to do with OOH’s ability to stimulate search, mobile activity or other online research:
- 23 percent of people exposed to OOH use their mobile device to search for more information vs. 16 percent for other media.
- OOH is nearly three times more efficient at driving online search activity than TV, radio and print.
Using the vocabulary of digital media, the report argues that OOH can be customized and targeted to specific “mediums” (building, bus, T-shirts and more) and locations and even to reach “influencers.” The trade group then uses its “feel the real” promotional campaign as a case study to argue that OOH is a more effective and efficient media buy than digital display.
The report uses digital channels to show the value of the traditional medium, saying the campaign “drove 27,061 unique visitors to FeelTheReal.org between September 25 and November 15, 2015”:
- 73 percent came from mobile phones.
- 25 percent came from desktop.
- Two percent came from tablet.
- 57 percent were male, 43 percent female.
The report also discusses the impact of the campaign on Millennials:
- 70 percent entered the URL directly into their browsers.
- 85 percent of all visitors said they had arrived at the site after seeing an OOH ad in the real world.
- Nine percent said they were there [feelthereal.org] because of word of mouth.
The use of digital media to measure traditional OOH is somewhat ironic but coherent. It will be interesting to see whether any of the online ad trade groups respond. Separately and somewhat coincidentally, the IAB today issued its first Primer for Publishers on Improving Ad Viewability.
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