IAB Member Q&A: Attitudes to pDOOH

On September 07, 2022 Research & Resources

The IAB Australia DOOH Working Group recently released the Attitudes to DOOH 2022 report. With programmatic DOOH evolving, we thought it was important to understand the needs of buyers in this space and explore the opportunities available. This Q&A dives deeper into some of the key themes that came out of the research, hearing from experts in the working group to help further understand the DOOH sector.

Thanks to Shopper  Val Morgan Outdoor,
The Trade Desk and Seedooh for their contributions.


James Poole, Head of Platform, Shopper 

Q. Let’s talk creativity – there is potential future growth for more innovative animated formats, video formats and dynamic creative optimization. Do you have any recommendations here and can you share any great examples of brands who have done this well and why?

Despite being around for over a decade, dynamic DOOH creative is still incredibly under utilised in Australia. Dynamic DOOH is, in its simplest form, the use of data or intelligence to trigger creative in real time or in response to a particular event or real-world circumstance.

Dynamic DOOH considers the location of a panel, its environment and surroundings, its audience and their demographic or behavioural characteristics. These factors are used to trigger what message runs and where it is displayed. What is unique is that pretty much any data feed can be used for a dynamic campaign, such as a particular news headline, sport scores, live stream content – it’s almost endless and it is an incredibly powerful way to engage with an audience in a way that is relatable and drives a deeper connection in an intelligent way.

There’s a popular misconception that dynamic DOOH creative executions are costly, time consuming and difficult, which isn’t the case. In fact, due to the domination of digital screens across OOH formats these days, it is just as straightforward to run campaign creative when the pollen count is high as it to run one because its Monday.

DOOH creative should absolutely be planned and tailored to suit the OOH environment, as opposed to repurposing creative from another format or channel, and the capabilities of DOOH and dynamic creative should be considered.

Globally there are some great examples of best practice in DOOH creative. Spotify’s end of year ‘Wrapped’ campaign showcasing the platform’s users’ listening habits over the year featured 7000+ user profile creatives, practically impossible in a linear DOOH execution. Uber have also delivered outstanding dynamic creative, utilising a data feed that showcased the live average pick-up time in specific location, delivering useful, customer-centric messaging that drove immediate action from their target audience. Along a similar theme Specsavers optical chain ran a retail DOOH execution linked to their live booking system to show how many eye tests appointments were available that day in the local store providing real-time updates to customers who could benefit from last minute bookings.


Sabarish Chirakkal, Director – Programmatic, Val Morgan Outdoor

Q. The Attitudes to DOOH research is a detailed study based on the voices of the buyside, were you surprised or encouraged by any of the results of the study?

We are highly encouraged with the results of the DOOH research which echo our conversations with the market. DOOH is one of the fastest growing advertising sectors with 20% YOY growth forecast – (PWC Media outlook 2022). Programmatic OOH has evolved from experimental campaigns in 2021 to 52% of buyers regularly considering Programmatic OOH as part of their media mix in 2022.

Buyers recognise the dual role Programmatic OOH can play by extending reach to existing OOH campaigns and also as part of the OMNI channel brand strategy. Programmatic unlocks a new level of flexibility and control in terms of dynamic activation, enhanced targeting and attribution. The growing investments in technology, measurements (MOVE 2.0), sales & operations are sure to augment programmatic adoption over the next 12-18 months

Q. The number one driver of usage for programmatic DOOH advertising is data and targeting which has overtaken flexibility as the number one driver. What data and targeting benefits can programmatic buying offer in the DOOH space?

Data & targeting being the number one driver for Programmatic DOOH is a step in the right direction for overall programmatic adoption. It adds a layer of sophistication to help brands increase on-target reach and maximise returns. At VMO, our focus is on delivering innovation via data and technology. Advanced DATA technologies are implemented across our Programmatic solutions at all levels from calculating Impressions Multiplier (how many impressions are delivered in a single ad play) to audience targeting at a campaign level.

For example, our proprietary data platform, DART is a privacy compliant, real-time, view-based measurement solution integrated into VMO screens.  At a campaign level buyers can also overlay Audience/ time/ Context & creative targeting. For example, an automotive client can target audience segments based on historical visitation data or online browsing behaviours across auto dealerships/auto content, geo-fence based on defined locations for owned or competitor storefronts. Above targeting capabilities will help us transition beyond efficiency to data-driven effectiveness outcomes in programmatic out-of-home.


Chi Lo, Director of Accounts ANZ, The Trade Desk

Q. Let’s talk creativity – there is potential future growth for more innovative animated formats, video formats and dynamic creative optimization. Do you have any recommendations here and can you share any great examples of brands who have done this well and why?

Programmatic buying makes it easier to serve different creative in a campaign - especially when targeting in the appropriate environments. After all, screens in a doctor's office, for example, are very different from those in an airport waiting area. Instead of booking inventory separately with each individual provider at fixed conditions, advertisers can instead concentrate on where the focus should be in the course of the campaign. Depending on this, programmatic bids can be made for the impression in a specific environment that corresponds to the campaign objective or the right target group - and at the price that the advertiser has assigned to this impression.

Earlier in the year TTD ran a campaign in the UK, where ridesharing apps upweighted ads to tube stations with the lengthiest delays (all ingested via API). The ridesharing apps would go so far as to display wait times for a ride, showing frustrated tube riders that a ride home was only a few clicks away – the campaign was a massive success.


Joe Copley, Chief Revenue Officer, Seedooh

Q. The Attitudes to DOOH research is a detailed study based on the voices of the buyside, were you surprised or encouraged by any of the results of the study?

The survey results were very encouraging, in terms of the progress made since the first survey last year - it’s tremendous to have such a comprehensive update, from such a broad sample of participants - but there were no real surprises.

In particular, I wasn’t surprised to see that 21% of respondents listed a ‘lack of verification standards’ as one of their top 3 biggest issues preventing DOOH from being a larger proportion of advertising volume.

Whilst Australia is leading the world in terms of the availability of independent, verified data for (non-programmatic) DOOH campaign delivery - and standards have been agreed recently, by the OMA and OFC - this hasn’t been broadly communicated yet, so there is some education required.

Also, it’s not yet clear how these standards will be applied to pDOOH delivery, which is not currently being verified properly in any market. Best practice verification requires that the delivery for every booking is monitored from the point of purchase (DSP), to the point of display (played to a specific screen in the real world).

This is relatively complex to achieve, given the unique technology used in DOOH ad-serving - and until recently there has been no real demand at a global scale for a solution. A few forward thinking Brands and Agencies in Australia have not (so far) attracted priority attention from AdTECH businesses with a global focus.

This will change rapidly for two reasons; a shift in the requirement for DOOH verification in other developed markets, and a concurrent increase in investment levels from omnichannel DSPs, whose users expect a tick-box to activate an automated, scalable, accurate and independently verified data set in return.

Q. How important do you think industry education is for programmatic DOOH and why? What tips would you give to readers to help them understand the opportunities here?

Massively important, of course. It’s critical for the future, that programmatic DOOH returns demonstrable value to brands who use it. Education is (equally) important on two levels.

Firstly, Brands and Agencies who are familiar with OOH and understand how and why it contributes to their campaign success, have plenty to learn about how to best enhance their communications by using pDOOH as a flexible, targeted inclusion in their activity.

Secondly, Brands and Agencies who are familiar with ‘programmatic’ more generally, in Display, Total TV and even Direct Response or Performance marketing, but not regular users of OOH, would do well to understand more about the role that DOOH can play in their own omnichannel programmatic endeavours. (It’s different from every other programmatic channel, of course).

Just about every brand has unique requirements and expectations, based on their specific business, so it’s a journey to test, and learn, and improve - ideally ensuring that success metrics are fairly well defined. So, in either, or both cases above, education will help establish realistic and meaningful criteria against which to measure outcomes and progress. This is a very important step, which should not be missed.

My tip: Ask yourself why you’re thinking about programmatic DOOH, then ask yourself how you will measure success. By the time you’ve worked out the answers - and you will if you try - you’ll be in a much better place to make it happen.