2024: Leap Year of Faith?

Fields Mall Copenhagen. Photo credit Ocean Outdoor

Working in OOH often feels like groundhog day. But a new year brings new opportunities to break the mould. OOH optimists Jonas and Mark review, reflect and reveal their 2024 predictions.

Biggest step forward of 2023

J: 2023 underlined the resilience of OOH, reflected by a strong revenue comeback across multiple markets following the pandemic (remember that?) despite all that’s going on around the world. Which is probably why the year ends a little flat.   

M: Seeing OOH play a strengthened role in the effectiveness debate. So where are all the attention-based case studies?

Most memorable piece of OOH creative / asset launch

J: All of those creatives and agencies who have embraced the use of relevant, dynamic content as opposed to just running the same still image, or standard video clip, across the campaign period.

M: London’s Marble Arch banner. Since helping to pioneer the format in the UK I’ve always had a soft spot for huge banner wraps. They come, they go, but a one-off spectacular can never to be replicated which is what makes them so captivating and special.

Biggest let down

J: Collaboration. The lack of it. All too often a running theme at countless industry events past and present, but there’s very little evidence of any progress. How we speak and how we sell remains fragmented, sometimes right down to media owner versus media owner operating in the very same market.

Take programmatic. Yes, it’s just another way of buying and selling ad space, but by adapting the global language of online / programmatic trading we already have DOOH campaigns that were bought in one market and are live in others. Easy. Can our industry now please do the same with traditional sales?

M: Add to that effectively addressing the sustainability issue, and not least diversity and inclusion. Hopefully some of these industry sub-committees can get beyond the superficial, but at this moment in time it appears to be all talk and no trousers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the wisdom of our industry will prevail.

Who did the most to push OOH forward

J: Each market has its own stars, but I think it’s good that we are seeing localized, more affordable breakouts. The DPAA and WOO have done a reasonable job by hosting smaller, more relevant events and forums, and niche publishers like dooh.co.za have emerged to help educate their particular markets about tech, innovation and creativity.  

M: Clever creatives who know that an irresistible OOH activation not only builds brand trust but should also make us all smile. Leave the dull, unentertaining ads to those click bait publishers and performance marketing channels.

2024 Predictions

J: Revenue will remain at 2023 levels; the programmatic landscape will see some changes with more omni channel campaigns rolling out; and more demanding clients knowing what they want to buy based on data.   

M: Another tricky year economically will inevitably present its challenges. Consolidation will continue as the likes of Clear Channel continue to off load assets, and the UK sets about the TFL tender. This will also spill over into AdTech. Opportunities will arise but proceed with caution.

Your message to OOH media owners

JInvest in technology and boost your in-house skill sets to meet client demands. And don´t use your digital inventory as an analogue scroller. The commercial pressures might be acute, but there is untapped money to be made.

M: Be under no illusion, change is coming. Embrace it and ensure you’re match fit for the technology that will help drive the consolidation needed to breakthrough the fabled OOH ad spend ceiling.