Programmatic OOH – Digital transformation of the last media channel

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We’re currently living in a digital age. But we’re not just talking about the rise of social media, smartphones, or online gaming. In fact, we’re talking about digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising changing the game, with programmatic techniques driving interest in the latest channel to undergo digital transformation.

Delivering programmatic OOH solutions in an innovative way is at the heart of what we do at VIOOH. We use our technology to bring advertisers and consumers together in real time to make meaningful connections and enable advertisers to make the most out of their media budgets.

Below are the top five ways in which programmatic is transforming the OOH industry:

Buying digital OOH

Programmatic advertising refers to the way much of digital advertising works, often visually represented by a Lumascape showing the relationships between agencies/trading desks and Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) on the buy-side, exchanges, and Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) and media owners on the sell-side. . At VIOOH, we are an SSP for out of home who works with our media owner partners and DSPs, and use audience segmentation to target precise groups or activate against certain triggers for DOOH.

When buying direct, advertisers tend to trade via media owners, specialists and agencies, and have traditionally worked to a 60-day advance booking and planning cycle.

With the power of the VIOOH Exchange (our programmatic platform), campaigns can be live in as little as 48hours, and advertisers will only purchase inventory in real time, providing the ability to easily flex where, when and how the campaign is run. Media owners set the CPM; fixed or floor, with no buy side fees or commissions. This inventory can then be bought on either a guaranteed or non-guaranteed basis, depending on the advertiser’s media plan and strategy. It’s an incredibly transparent process

Trigger-led targeting

Despite being on the precipice of a third-party cookie-less world, VIOOH has been at the forefront of broadcast and brand-safe advertising from the beginning. Historically, OOH has strict rules about where creatives can be displayed, and with recent studies suggesting up to 50% of internet traffic is non-human, advertisers can be reassured that with programmatic OOH, there is little chance of the audience fraud or click bots that can be found in display. OOH is by nature, a broadcast medium, offering a one-to-many environment, and with programmatic you are able to provide contextually relevant ads to your target audience, at the right time in a brand safe way.

With programmatic OOH, advertisers have the opportunity to change, amend, or switch off their digital billboard ads in real time. Billboards are able to react to the ever-changing conditions with trigger based targeting and trading, allowing advertisers to maximise the effectiveness of their campaign and optimising their budgets.

For example, Klarna, the online payment provider, ran a 6-month non-guaranteed deal in Germany across street furniture during the pandemic. The ads targeted specific groups and changed the creative frequently to grab the attention of audiences. The flexibility afforded by programmatic was utilised to its full potential, allowing the client to pause the campaign when mobility numbers dropped due to lockdowns and reactivate the campaign when audience numbers increased. After the 6-month campaign, brand recognition was shown to have increased by 42%.

Omnichannel synergy 

Programmatic OOH gives advertisers the opportunity to synergise their strategy across multiple digital channels, including OOH, for truly holistic targeting. Optimisation is delivered via first and third-party data, for enhanced targeting and planning across channels, which also provides the opportunity to enhance other digital channels, such as mobile. 

Utilising mobile audience data for example, in conjunction with digital OOH, enables a plethora of campaign efficiencies to be unlocked. With mobile datasets cross-referenced with location-based data, advertisers can track whether a user has visited a specific location or taken an action on their mobile after being exposed to an OOH ad.

Burger King recently utilised mobile datasets to create and target audience segments of fast-food lovers using programmatic DOOH, combined with proximity targeting around selected restaurants. With live footfall tracking enabling optimisation towards the best performing DOOH locations, the very best use was made of the campaign budget.


By including programmatic and digital OOH into media planning, media buyers can only benefit from how it strengthens their omnichannel campaigns. DOOH can map and match the physical journey of customers, allowing advertisers to integrate campaigns across channels rather than being heavily reliant on a single route to market.

Whilst OOH has always been known as a high-impact, branding channel, the addition of programmatic technology has enabled DOOH to become relevant throughout all stages of the purchase consideration funnel. Indeed, in VIOOH’s 2020 State of the Nation research, 55% of agency and advertiser executives globally felt that programmatic OOH was important for performance-led campaigns.

The ability to activate campaigns using real-time data and optimise in-flight based on metrics such as footfall, has provided brands the opportunity to use DOOH in increasingly creative and effective ways. For example, Nespresso wanted to resolve the issue of stabilising their in-store visitors throughout the day. Programmatically served DOOH stabilised visits throughout the day, and brand metrics, footfall and sales all saw significant uplift, with a huge 19.5% sales uplift across all Nespresso products.

With programmatic OOH, advertisers can truly influence consumers in the short lead up to a purchase during mid-flight, using the same methods as other digital channels such as footfall, brand effect and sales uplift.


One hundred percent of media spend goes on the campaign – no platform commissions or fees for demand partners when they buy using our VIOOH Exchange (SSP). Advertisers will see exactly where and when  their copy was displayed providing full transparency from start to finish.

Although current programmatic trading levels equate to approximately 10% or less of all DOOH, the forecast for 2022 is that this will rise to 15%, and continue to increase year on year. With the “new normal” of digitisation and an increased desire for flexibility, agility and true omni-channel planning and activation, we can confidently say that programmatic is a strong part of the future of out-of-home.


Gavin Wilson is Chief Revenue Officer at VIOOH. For more information visit: www.viooh.com

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