It’s time for the doohvolution

Ten takeaways from WOO Toronto

Putting on a global conference after a three year hiatus is a tremendous feat and the organisers of WOO Toronto are to be commended for a sterling job getting 400 odd delegates together for an industry rah-rah.

There were some sage words for a channel in which market share has been flat for a decade. There were some stellar moments too.

  • The need for more consistency regards audience measurement between markets if OOH is to build market share.
  • The need to make it much easier to buy out of home.
  • The need for more efficient automation. Advertisers want things faster.
  • More transparency for media owners about the pathway towards programmatic. We are not selling bananas after all.
  • The big need for a focus on sustainability because this is already impacting channel selection.
  • Being braver about what we charge.
  • More of a focus on classic OOH which still accounts for 63% of revenue worldwide.

Music to our ears.

We have longed believed that using different definitions and different processes is sub-optimal. We know that dynamic scheduling is more effective than the loop in bringing new money into OOH whilst giving OOH audiences the content they want at the right time in the right place.

It was good to hear how media associations used the constraints of the pandemic to reinvent themselves by building new models based how audiences are changing.

But as media owners invest in new assets, that investment is unsustainable without the next new innovation. The need to make the channel easier to buy is paramount.

There’s still a big job to do.


Next year’s WOOH Congress will be hosted by Lisbon. Here are three things we’d like to see and hear.

Doohvolution – where are all the young people coming into WOO? Well they weren’t in Toronto. If young OOH talent can’t be given part of the main stage, then let’s devise an accessible, vibrant parallel fringe where new talent can blow it all up with their brilliant ideas and inventions in an open,  inclusive way.

Less Powerpoint – we’d like to see far more interaction, not only during the presentations but on the show periphery. Where were all the eye popping tech demos? The rich, visual OOH experiences. Less Powerpoint and more immersive story telling please.

Culture we heard that red tape prevented delegations from certain countries attending the Toronto Congress. Hopefully this won’t be a barrier for Lisbon, however there were a couple of moments, comments and protocol which stopped some of us in our tracks. So here’s a friendly reminder that OOH is a level playing field regardless of gender, or where you happen to live. Women don’t consider evening dress as “business attire” and they are definitely not in charge of a tidy kitchen.

We will be returning to some of these topics in the near future, starting with sustainability.