This blog was updated on 22 December 2020, due to the rising popularity and effectiveness of programmatic OOH advertising.

Out-of-Home (OOH) is one of the oldest mediums of advertising; dating back to the Egyptian obelisks which were placed in key locations around the city to mass communicate laws and treaties to the public.

2,000 years later and OOH advertising is still one of the most effective ways of reaching a mass audience. In fact, a new study from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America claims that OOH is the most effective channel for driving search, with over 45% of people turning to Google after seeing an OOH ad.  In recent developments, programmatic digital OOH advertising has overtaken more traditional forms of OOH advertising, and here’s how.

Even in this digital world, clever copy and eye-catching creative on paper-and-paste billboards and bus stops continue to command attention. But innovation, technology and data bring a whole new world of opportunities for OOH advertisers. From Augmented Reality and facialrecognition,to dynamic content delivering specific messages tailored by time, audience and location; the new possibilities presented by OOH advertising makes this medium even more effective than ever before.

Here are just a few exciting OOH campaigns that have caught our eye recently, and how they could be nicely adapted for the education sector.

Disney's Doctor Strange Portals

To promote the new Marvel superhero movie, Doctor Strange, Disney used interactive digital screens to give the public a taste of Doctor Strange's superpowers. Installed across London and LA,passers-bywere able to bend reality with their own hands, or open portals to distant locations across the world. Some portals even connected strangers from across the pond, allowing Londoners and Angelenos to see and speak to each other in real time.

Universities could embrace this interactive technology to create OOH installations, placed strategically at bus stops outside sixth form colleges, for example, to allow prospective students to see into their own future; show them the university campus, give them a taste of life at your institution, and allow them to connect with current students on campus.

Lidl Ireland's Goodness Gang Grabber

On a mission to help make healthy eating fun, Lidl Ireland created the 'Goodness Gang'; a group of Food Hero characters including Bob Broccoli and BenBananana. This multi-channel campaign executed an app, in-store recipe cards andcollectibletoys which could be redeemed by earning stickers every time you shop. The OOH element incorporated a real arcade-style grabber game inside bus shelter panels, where the public could play, free of charge, to win a cuddly Food Hero character. The panels encouraged social media sharing too to integrate the offline experience with the online campaign.

Taking inspiration from the physical game element of this OOH installation, universities could commission some kind of maze or pinball game, encouraging students to follow the path to their future.

Sky Mobile interactive competition

Sky Mobile took over some of London's biggest train stations to promote their new handset swap campaign. They were giving away free phone cases topassengers,and had interactive photo booths on the concourse, which would upload selfies to the digital screens around the station, with the chance to win sweets or a new phone. As well as the competition in the main concourse area, screens throughout the station communicated Sky Mobile's USPs.

Interactive competitions are a great way of generating buzz around your OOH campaign, and anything shareable on social media, like branded selfies, gives the campaign further longevity and your brand further reach. Universities could easily replicate this campaign by handing out freemerch,and running the competition to win tickets to local concerts/attractions in your university town.

Feeling Inspired?

JCDecaux, the world's largest OOH advertising company at the forefront of this media revolution are joining a line-up of stellar speakers at our Annual Summit for Digital Innovation in Education this summer. Don't miss the Head of Public Sector, Gerard North, talk about how public and private sector brands and organisations are taking advantage of new technology, proving how OOH still plays a vital role when engaging with students and their peer groups.

Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to never miss another bit of ad-related news. And, if you’re wondering how you can make programmatic OOH advertising work for you, then get in touch today.

Article by


Rosie Crompton

Events and Marketing Executive