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On-Site Insights: The Edison Research Digital Out-Of-Home Study

Just released: New DOOH study from Edison Research

With more and more Americans subscribing to ad-free content and blocking online advertising, brands are finding it increasingly challenging to reach consumers with even the most relevant information. One channel that remains strong, however, is digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. Until someone invents glasses that block advertisements, DOOH will continue to be a compelling and effective means to disseminate brand messages.

In order to measure the value of digital out-of-home, Edison Research conducted a national online survey of 1,013 Americans, ages 18+, to gauge their recall and perceptions of DOOH advertising in the places where they work, shop, eat, and travel. Approximately two-thirds of Americans (65%) say that they recall seeing an out-of-home digital video display in the last month in any of the 20 different locations listed. The study found that the highest recall for these screens were in locations where they could immediately influence a transaction such as gas stations, convenience stores, malls, and retail stores. Nearly a quarter of Americans also noted that they had seen a display in the last month at a café or quick service restaurant, which is indicative of just how rapidly this channel is becoming more commonplace, especially with the growing number of digital menus installed by some of America’s largest food service companies.

Which locations have the highest recall?

Some of the most fascinating data in this study are the recall of DOOH displays in various locations by people who have actually visited those locations. For example, while the net percentage of Americans who recall seeing digital video displays in an airport is relatively low, that is more a function of the fact that most people haven’t visited an airport in the last month. But when you look only at people who have visited each location, airports lead the way in recall, at 74%. In fact, the top locations by recall (airports, sporting events, and movie theaters) all offer truly captive audiences making these locations particularly effective for delivering a message. Of course, the power of DOOH advertising is that it is designed to capture the attention of consumers who are literally in transit, and we observed high recall of these screens not only at the airport but also at train stations (50%) and waiting areas for public transportation (32%).

The benefit of asking about each individual out-of-home venue is that we can create audience profiles for each location. Location-specific demographics and perceptions of digital video displays are available upon request.

How do consumers react to digital video displays?

Of course, recall alone is not enough–DOOH displays have to actually work! And, in fact, they do–46% of Americans 18+ who recalled seeing a display in the past month agree that digital video displays are a good way to learn about products and services, while more than a third (35%) take the sentiment a step further and agree that these displays are “engaging.” Finally, people take action subsequent to engaging with DOOH displays. One-third of those who recall seeing an ad on a digital display in the past month say that they have sought out more information about a product as a result of that interaction, while 29% say they have recommended a product they had seen advertised on a DOOH display to a friend or family member.

How do we continue to measure DOOH effectiveness?

We anticipate that DOOH advertising will continue to grow for these reasons and more, especially as new technology continues to improve the interactivity and contextual relevance of the content being served to digital video displays. Of course, if it isn’t measurable, it isn’t useful. Edison’s unique expertise in the science of exit polling and America’s most extensive network of trained out-of-home researchers give us the ability to deliver quantitative and qualitative metrics for all manner of DOOH displays and in literally any location imaginable. For more information on our capabilities or more on our On-Site Insights research, contact info@edisonresearch.com.

Access the full On-Site Insights from Edison Research report here.