4 Ways to Leverage Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

graphic showing an ad on a billboard at a transit stop to illiustrate digital out-of-home advertising

Ads outside the home have been around for centuries. But over the past few years this channel has become more precise and effective, thanks to technology, at reaching audiences in a hyper-targeted way.

The offline advertising industry has been embracing technological innovations that make it possible for this channel to offer the advantages that come with other programmatic advertising channels, like precision-based targeting and enhanced traffic data. These are features that weren’t possible in the past.

Advertising outside of the home, known as “digital out-of-home,” is now one of the fastest growing channels in advertising, with global expenditures projected to amount to $45 billion USD by the end of 2024.

What is Digital Out-of-Home

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is any digital advertising that is found outside the home, and in a public environment. The classic example of a DOOH ad is an ad run on a billboard in Times Square. But the reality is, you can run DOOH campaigns on a variety of formats and sizes, and in various public environments. 

Here are some examples of DOOH ads you may have encountered in your own, daily life:

  • Road-side dynamic displays of gas stations and rest stops coming up on the highway. 
  • Meal offers on mall directory screens for restaurants that are in that mall’s food court. 
  • Tour operator ads played on screen in the arrival halls of the airport.

Programmatic combined with DOOH allows you to make more efficient and strategic out-of-home media buys. This enables you to seamlessly integrate DOOH media into your multi-channel marketing strategy.

Benefits of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

Let’s explore 4 of the major benefits of DOOH advertising. 

1. DOOH Ads Appear in a Contextual Environment

DOOH is not subject to privacy regulations because it doesn’t use or collect cookies. You’re able to leverage DOOH as a cookieless advertising solution, since it doesn’t require 1st or 3rd-party data. 

And, by reaching your target audience in contextual environments, like on digital signage at the mall, in elevators, or at the gas pump, you can continuously reinforce your brand’s messaging, in relevant moments. 

2. Programmatic Platforms Make It Simple to Purchase DOOH Placements

Programmatic automates the buying and delivery of DOOH advertising on digital billboards and other signage. This means that you can buy, and manage, your DOOH campaigns through your programmatic platform. 

Through your programmatic partner’s platform, you’re able to set specific conditions, like how, when, where, and who will see your ad. When those conditions are met, ad space is purchased, and the ad is delivered automatically. You can plan your DOOH campaigns based on budget allocation or location-based targeting criteria across multiple screens, all in one place. 

3. Ads on DOOH Can Engage Your Audience in Exciting Ways 

DOOH ads can be served in locations like airports or transport hubs, where people are usually killing time. Using DOOH to entertain with games and competitions or share interesting information can be a powerful way to build brand relationships with your audience, in moments when they’re looking for entertainment.

You’ll build brand awareness while also telling your message at scale by capturing your audience’s attention with an ad that they can’t skip over. For example, a restaurant chain that is inside the terminal can use DOOH to advertise their takeaway meals as the perfect preflight treat.  

4. Target the Right Audiences, Outside of Their Homes

DOOH advertising is very versatile. It can be leveraged to cast a wide net that reaches a broad audience, which is ideal for brand awareness. Or, narrow down the audience with targeting tactics like with geotargeting and geofencing, to maximize your chance of a conversion.

For example, a CPG brand might run their ads on screens inside a grocery store, and near the point of purchase. This captures audiences who are in an ideal moment to convert. A DOOH ad could show a promotion for a new almond milk, for example. Shoppers who view that ad are in a position to pick up that almond milk that same day. This brings those shoppers directly into the conversion funnel. 

Common DOOH Ad Formats

There are 3 main formats for DOOH ads. Selecting the right format will depend on where the ad will be placed, and the creative and messaging for the ad. 

Large Format 

This DOOH format is large format media that can be displayed in locations like highway billboards, and bus shelters. They’re best viewed by pedestrians and street-level traffic.


Contextually relevant environments like malls, gyms, office buildings, gas stations, restaurants, taxis, and more. This format provides a unique opportunity to engage with consumers in a natural setting.

Point-of-Purchase (POP)

A subcategory of place-based inventory, POP signage is typically found in shopping destinations like malls, grocery stores, and retail stores. This ad format gives marketers the opportunity to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers while they’re in-store.

Add DOOH Advertising to Your Digital Strategy

Ready to reach people out in the world? Programmatic DOOH will help you engage your target audience in public spaces, driving brand awareness and engagement. 

Whether you’d like to reach drivers as they sit in highway traffic, or spark the interest of consumers as they wait to check out of the grocery store, DOOH has the potential to level up the performance of your multi-channel digital strategy. 

Want to run digital out-of-home campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.


Digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads are ads that are dynamically and digitally served in outdoor and out of home public spaces.

Digital out-of-home advertising leverages automated buying through a programmatic partner. Like with other programmatic channels, inventory is bought and sold through a demand-side platform, or supply-side platform.

Digital out-of-home advertising reaches a large audience, establishes brand awareness, and can be easily integrated into a multi-channel digital strategy. 

Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.