Study: Higher Allocation to OOH Channel Boosts Performance

Study: Higher Allocation to OOH Channel Boosts Performance

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It’s time for media buyers to click their heels together three times and repeat: there’s no place like out-of-home  (OOH).

A study of ad-trends data from 2017-2022, the most recent data available, indicated that brands that re-allocated more of their media spending to the OOH channel saw increased effectiveness of campaign performance.

Three verticals in particular–automotive, CPG food, and retail grocery–all benefited significantly from increasing their media spending to OOH channels, according to the study.

The Benchmarketing Modeling OOH Media Effectiveness analysis was sponsored by OAAA and The Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE), a 501 (c) (3) not for profit, charitable organization. Benchmarketing is a U.K.-based strategic marketing effectiveness consultancy and part of Omnicom Media Group.

“This analysis shows that by using the exact same overall media investment, but increasing the allocation to OOH, our clients can increase their revenue return on ad spend,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO of the OAAA about why the association commissioned the study. “Plus [the channel can] improve brand scores for awareness, consideration, and purchase intent.”

In terms of product consideration among consumers, the automotive category showed the greatest improvement in effectiveness using OOH, with brand-score increases of up to 11% when OOH budget allocation is optimized. Automotive also had the strongest improvement in driving brand awareness, and when the media mix was optimized, it generated brand score increases of up to 19%.

OOH advertising boosted brand awareness up to 9% in the retail-grocery category. While large retail grocery brands use OOH at higher levels, the analysis recommended these brands spend up to twice as much to achieve sales optimization growth of 4%.

“The findings suggest that OOH spend should be increased at up to five times for medium retail-grocery brands also to achieve sales optimization growth of 9%,” Bager said.

What’s interesting is that the category that spends the least in the OOH channel, showed the greatest potential for improvement in brand-purchase intent among consumers.

CPG-food brands saw a return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) improvement of up to +24% when allocating more media dollars to the channel. Once the media mix is optimized, the vertical sees an ROAS improvement of up to 27% to 32%, depending on the size of the brand.

“Our hypothesis and what our previous work in 2017-2018 with Benchmarketing showed, is that any category will see positive impact from increased OOH allocation,” Bager said. “That’s why we’ll be doing a second phase Benchmarketing analysis of three more categories in 2024. Many brands aren’t currently optimizing their media mix because digital and TV are almost always overspent beyond the point of diminishing returns. And, unlike digital and TV, OOH advertising can’t be skipped, turned off or blocked.”

She added that OAAA selected Benchmarketing for its strategic marketing effectiveness expertise and because the company is owned by one of the largest agency holding companies in the world (Omnicom).

Bager said, “They have a robust U.S. data set, and we’d been impressed with previous work they’ve produced for us and other clients.”

This study used Vivvix and SMI as key data sources plus hundreds of Omnicom U.S. brand market-mix models of sales versus media activity by channel. These sources produced anonymized and aggregated results that were used to generate product category level response curves. For each product category, response curves were created by media channel to determine optimal media mixes.

In a statement, Justin Lewis, Constellation Chair, Co-Founder of Instrument at Stagwell Inc., said, “Out-of-home advertising continues to have a significant impact on driving brand perceptions across industries, and as this research suggests, outsize returns can be had with just incremental adjustments in spend—especially for automotive, CPG, and grocery retail.”


Kathleen Sampey