Manila, Philippines–with the still advancing visual technology (may it be VR, laser, widescreen,
or touchscreen), static designs and mediums like out-of-home and print ads may already seem
so insignificant nowadays. With this visual technology also present in personal mobile gadgets,
this visual digital movement is more rampant and relevant than ever. And the ones most allured
to these devices? The Millennials.
YOUTH (YO-OOH-TH). noun.
While it is true that millennials are the most tech-savvy generation hence the ones to benefit
from these technological upgrades, undeniably, they are also the ones always on the move.
They like to go out with friends, shop, go bar hopping, visit art fairs, attend concerts, festivals,
and many other trendy affairs. They are exposed to OOH almost every day as they are, literally,
also always out of home. By this time, their generation is also on the brink of moving out of their
parents’ house and move in to condos or units in the city where most OOH displays can be
According to a global research by Nielsen, 60% of millennials trust out-of-home
advertising—and it is reflective of their digital behavior as well. Most think that just because
millennials are always online that it meant digital ads is the only way to penetrate them. But
millennials are very careful when it comes to their social media or online activities. They want
control of the content they see. They want authenticity—branded and “unskippable” ads do not
belong in their carefully curated digital media feed. Their digital life IS their personal life—to
mess with it is an automatic click on the close button.
The Millennial generation is then the perfect market to witness a transformative period in the
industry where all mediums need to be more cohesive and helpful of one another.
The re-emergence of vinyl players, cassette tapes, and old gaming consoles are also a
testament of how this young generation crave the physicality (and nostalgia, for the Old
Millennials) of experience. The age bracket of the millennial generation is too broad a spectrum
to say that they never knew the concepts of analogs or cables. But they are the generation to
have experienced a huge technological shift that quickly buried these physical belongings in
favor of purchasing digital.
So that in itself, this digital life they have lived in for so long, compels them to see the allure of
the real life again. A clever, interactive OOH set-up gives them the flair of the dramatics in the
physical world (both in scale and experience) that they share it online to tell their friends and
This exposure to a good OOH campaign almost guarantees an online action amongst
millennials—more importantly, they chose to do it so on their own. According to a study by
Outsmart in the UK, there is a 147% increase in millennials’ mobile brand actions once exposed
to out-of-home executions.
Then with the emergence of Digital OOH, it all the more comes attractive to them when finally,
their two worlds collide—when their craving for the physical is met with the genius of digital. The
huge public exposure of OOH helps them display their personal brand choices, preferences,
and image—which they have carefully built online. Imagine a brand influencer on a billboard ad
together with some big shot celebrity? Imagine winning an online contest announced via a
billboard shout-out in EDSA?
This merger of digital and OOH also improves the millennials’ disposition and loyalty in the
landscape they live in. It is progressive and it is modern—just like them. OOH is a significant
variable in building the ideal ‘smart city’ they may want to choose to live in.
THE MARRIAGE OF OOH-DIGITAL
In another study by Outsmart UK, almost 63% percent of mobile users use ad blockers. It is a
significant number especially to newly launched brands. But with the scale and location of OOH,
every ad displayed on site will be noticed, creating a much needed brand awareness. This
awareness can then encourage mobile activity in order to know the brand or promo further via
visiting their official page or website.
This partnership of digital and OOH also strengthens brand trust amongst viewers as the
presence of both online and traditional ads in a campaign solidifies the brand as true, authentic,
and importantly, safe—for many can place online ads (some of which can be scams, bots,
viruses, etc.) but only a few can afford the luxury that is OOH.
With the ever-growing activation gimmicks—from QR codes to facial recognition—having OOH
in a digital campaign creates a wonder-filled consumer journey that heightens the digital
experience. A good example is the Spotify 2016 “It’s Been Weird” campaign. With the
abundance of their user data, they transformed these online behaviors into a collective,
relatable, public experience by producing billboard ads. This exposure grounds the digital
platform into the physical, daily lives of its users and good-naturedly “exposes” their online
behavior vis-a-vis the real-life struggles, joy, mishaps, etc. they—or the world—is experiencing.
To see digital and OOH as competition is a loss to an industry that could gain more through its
marriage. The merging of these two channels can fulfill a meatier and more meaningful
advertising experience via an impressive 360°campaign. OOH can increase brand awareness,
reach, and dramatics while digital can enhance brand knowledge, affinity, and even secure
sales and purchase.
Online and traditional ads can always be of support of each other. A great campaign always
starts with a good marketing strategy, then a great creative can be executed with proper media
buying—a selection process in which digital and OOH, in the beginning, must be in equal
footing before the creative strategy takes place. Because the beauty in advertising is that there
is more than one way to tell a great brand story.