Does Out-Of-Home (OOH) Advertisement Still Work In Singapore?

TV killed radio

Video killed music. 

The internet killed newspapers and magazines. 

And now, we just might be witnessing the death of OOH advertising – or is it?

With the rise of digital advertising and the ever-changing media landscape, many have predicted that OOH advertisements are becoming obsolete. But is this true?

Well, we’re about to find out. By conducting extensive research and surveys, we will examine the effectiveness of OOH advertising in Singapore – its strengths, weaknesses, and future trends. So if you’re an advertiser, marketer, or simply someone interested in this topic, stay tuned!

What’s OOH Advertisement? 

Ooh advertising, also known as out-of-home advertising, is a form of marketing that uses physical media such as billboards, bus stop ads, and ads placed in shopping malls and cinema halls. 

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Other place-based media the ads can be placed in include public transit systems, vending machines, retail outlets, bars, gyms, fitness clubs, restaurants, and sports stadiums –to name a few.

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It is one of the oldest forms of advertising, having been around since the early days of print ads and radio commercials.

It’s exactly as the name suggests – an ad designed to be seen and heard outside the home. And although it might be considered old-school in today’s digital world, many advertisers still believe that OOH advertising still has a place in modern marketing.

Why is OOH Advertising Important?

OOH advertising offers many unique benefits that other forms of advertising simply can’t match. 

For one, it has a much broader reach than digital ads or print media. Unlike online ads, which users can easily block or ignore, OOH ads are impossible to miss — it’s literally everywhere.

Another benefit of OOH advertising is its ability to generate interest and curiosity. Since the ads are highly visual and often interactive, they tend to capture people’s attention in a way that written text or simple images can only dream of. In fact, one study found that OOH advertising delivers higher recall than TV and radio ads.

OOH advertising is an excellent backup to other forms of advertising, as it can reach consumers when they are out and about in the real world. Prospective customers will step out of their homes, drive past billboards on the road, and pass by bus stop ads in the morning – all opportunities for OOH advertising to make its mark.

Some of the big brands you know, including McDonald’s, Netflix, Apple, and Samsung, use OOH advertising to reach their target audiences.

So,’ does this mean that OOH advertising is here to stay? Or will it eventually be relegated to the annals of history, like many other media formats before it? We can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain – advertisers and marketers should take advantage of this unique form of marketing while they still can!

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What Are the Benefits of OHH Advertising?

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There are many benefits to OOH advertising, including:

  • Broad reach: Unlike other forms of advertising that focus on specific demographics or channels, OOH advertising has a much broader reach. Advertisers can easily access a wide range of consumers by placing ads in high-traffic areas like shopping malls, bus stops, and city streets.
  • No Ad Blockers: Unlike online ads, which can easily be blocked or ignored by users, OOH advertising is impossible to miss — it’s literally in your face! That makes it incredibly effective in capturing people’s attention and generating interest.
  • Positive Effect on the Buyer’s Journey: OOH advertising can help to move customers along the buyer’s journey, from awareness and consideration to purchase and post-purchase satisfaction. By reaching consumers at key points in this process, OOH ads have been shown to impact both brand recall and conversion rates positively.
  • Brand Awareness: By placing OOH ads in busy locations such as shopping malls, airports, and public transit hubs, brands can ensure that their messages are visible to large numbers of consumers.

High visibility helps to generate high brand awareness and convert prospects into paying customers.

Among today’s fragmented media landscape, OOH advertising still stands as the channel that aggregates audiences with its strength as a one-to-many advertising medium.

47% of consumers say they expect brands to advertise on OOH ads. Consumers also tend to associate OOH advertisements with premium quality and trustworthiness. Therefore, brands that invest in OOH advertising are perceived as innovative and forward-thinking, helping to build positive brand perception among consumers.

  • Proximity to Store: When OOH ads are placed near a store, brands can easily drive visitors to their locations. The “last window of influence” can help convert prospects into customers and increase sales.

That is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses, as many consumers still prefer to shop in person. 

For example, brands may place OOH ads at the entrance of a mall to encourage shoppers to visit specific stores or use dynamic digital OOH screens at bus stops to highlight in-store promotions and rewards.

  • Engage Consumers on the Go: OOH ad campaigns reach consumers during their regular commute, while on the go, and often in between other activities such as checking their phones. 

Even better, they can be paired with mobile campaigns to amplify reach through retargeting and location-based targeting. That allows brands to engage consumers with relevant content and message, even when they’re not in front of a computer or TV screen.

With OOH advertising, brands can tap into the captive audience on public transit or in busy streets and shopping districts. Not only are they engaging consumers during their downtime, but they’re also engaging individuals at key moments when they’re likely to be more receptive to a brand message.

  • Integral Part of Omnichannel Marketing: As part of modern omnichannel marketing strategies, OOH ads offer brands a way to reach consumers across different channels.

By combining digital OOH advertising with other channels such as TV, radio, social media, and online marketing, brands can create a consistent brand experience that resonates across touchpoints.  

OOH advertising can complement other marketing strategies, such as digital campaigns and in-store promotions. For example, brands may use OOH ads to increase awareness for new product launches or sales and then promote those products through online ads, social media posts, or in-store promotions.

  • Unlimited Potential for Creative: There’s no limit to what you can do with OOH advertisements. 
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Whether using static billboards, posters, or interactive digital displays, the sky’s the limit regarding creative executions. 

With the rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), brands can use OOH advertising to create immersive brand experiences that engage consumers on a deeper level.

An Ocean NeuroScience study shows that consumers are 48% more likely to interact with a digital ad after seeing a physical OOH ad. That demonstrates the effectiveness of OOH advertising in driving engagement and increasing sales.

What’s Digital Out of Home Advertising (DOOH)?

Does Out-Of-Home (OOH) Advertisement Still Work In Singapore?

A new form of OOH advertising, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a dynamic and interactive medium that uses digital displays, such as large LED screens and interactive kiosks, to reach consumers.

Compared to traditional OOH advertising, DOOH has several key advantages. For one, it is highly customizable – advertisers can easily tailor the content shown on digital billboards or other platforms based on location, demographics, traffic patterns, and more.

What’s Digital Out of Home Advertising (DOOH)?

A new form of OOH advertising, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is a dynamic and interactive medium that uses digital displays, such as large LED screens and interactive kiosks, to reach consumers.

Compared to traditional OOH advertising, DOOH has several key advantages. For one, it is highly customizable – advertisers can easily tailor the content shown on digital billboards or other platforms based on location, demographics, traffic patterns, and more.

To a consumer, DOOH ads are nothing new. They see LED screens, electronic signage, and digital billboards everywhere — in shopping centres, bus stops, subway stations, in the middle of city parks, major business districts, etc.

Some are even mounted on the roof of taxis, public buses, and city trains.

Overall, DOOH advertising offers a unique way to reach consumers and stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re a big brand looking for ways to connect with your target audience, or an entrepreneur trying to launch a new product or service, DOOH is an excellent tool for growing your business and increasing sales.

How Does DOOH Work?

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DOOH gives a modern twist to the traditional OOH advertising model, using digital displays and interactive platforms to reach consumers in new and engaging ways.

Some of the most common types of DOOH advertising include:

  • Digital Billboards: Large LED screens display ads based on the time of day or other factors, such as traffic patterns or weather conditions. These billboards can be placed in high-traffic areas, such as major highways and city centres, to simultaneously reach large numbers of consumers.
  • Digital screens: Interactive kiosks display ads based on user data, such as location or browsing history. These screens are often found in public spaces like shopping malls, retail stores, restaurants, and other locations frequented by consumers.
  • Mobile ads: Mobile ads are usually displayed on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. They can be text messages, pop-up notifications, or interactive ads and games.

Advertisers buy ad space, and publishers display the ads for the public to see. The ads run on a programmatic system, automated to deliver ads to specific audiences at the right time.

Like online programmatic advertising, DOOH advertising uses real-time bidding (RTB) to target consumers with relevant ads. Advertisers bid on ad space in an automated auction, and the highest bidder’s ad is displayed on the screen.

Overall, DOOH advertising offers a powerful and cost-effective way to reach consumers at key points along their buyer’s journey. 

Singapore’s cityscape is constantly evolving and changing, making it a prime location for DOOH advertising. The entire city space is peppered with digital signage, screens, and billboards, making it easy for advertisers to reach many consumers with a single ad.

Not only that, but advertisers can also track the engagement generated by DOOH advertising campaigns, allowing them to stay on top of consumer behaviour and fine-tune their strategies over time. And with an ever-growing number of brands turning to DOOH ads to connect with their target audiences and boost sales, it’s clear that this dynamic medium is here to stay. 

Where Do DOOH Ads Show

DOOH ads can be installed and displayed virtually everywhere, from shopping malls and retail stores to city parks, public transportation, and sports arenas. That makes it a highly versatile medium, allowing you to reach consumers no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

Here are a few of the places where you can find DOOH advertising in Singapore:

  • Malls and retail stores: DOOH ads are ubiquitous in shopping malls and retail stores, where they are often displayed on digital screens or interactive kiosks. These ads help keep consumers engaged while shopping and can even lead them to the stores where they’re displayed.
  • Airports, railways, bus stops, and bus stations: DOOH ads are commonly found in airports, railway stations, bus stops, and bus terminals. Travelers often have time to kill as they wait for their flights or trains, making DOOH ads a great way to engage and inform them.
  • Public Transport Vehicles (e.g., Taxis, Buses, Train Stations): DOOH ads are also expected on taxis, buses, and train platforms. They’re often displayed in high-traffic areas, making them easy for consumers to see and interact with.
  • Public Announcement Kiosks: In addition to digital screens and billboards, DOOH ads can also be displayed on public announcement kiosks. These kiosks are generally found in large public spaces, such as city centres and transportation hubs.
  • Sports Arenas or Events: From stadiums to music festivals and other large events, DOOH ads can be found at pretty much any type of venue. They’re a great way to engage consumers and reach new audiences.
  • Doctor’s offices, hospitals, and medical facilities: DOOH advertising is also becoming popular in medical centres, clinics, and other healthcare providers. These ads are often displayed in waiting rooms, conference rooms, and patient care areas.
  • Condominiums, housing complexes, public housing: You will likely see DOOH ads in condo lobbies, apartment hallways, and even public housing units. These ads are a great way to keep residents informed about what’s going on in their community.
  • Major Roadways, highways, and bridges: DOOH ads are also a common sight on major roadways and highways. They’re often displayed on digital screens along the side of the road or bridges and overpasses, making them easy for motorists to see as they drive.
  • Scheduled events: DOOH ads can also be displayed ahead of an event, giving consumers time to learn more about it and plan accordingly. Whether you’re advertising a music festival or a sporting event, DOOH advertising can help to build interest and drive ticket sales.
  • Areas with high foot traffic: DOOH advertising is an engaging and effective medium for pretty much any type of business or organization. But it’s particularly well-suited to industries that rely heavily on foot traffic, such as retail stores, restaurants, and bars.
  • Movie Theatres, Concert Venues, and other events: If you’ve ever been to a movie theatre or concert venue, you most likely have seen DOOH ads there. These ads are displayed across the front of the theatre, on the ticketing booths, and even in the bathrooms.
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What’s the Future of OOH and DOOH in Singapore?

Perhaps the biggest trend in OOH and DOOH advertising today is the move towards digital and interactive platforms. As more brands shift their marketing budgets to digital, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of DOOH technology in advertising. Some potential developments could include:

  • Sophisticated targeting techniques, such as location-based targeting, weather targeting, and more
  • Advanced interactive experiences, such as touch screens and augmented reality (AR) technology
  • Increased integration with other digital channels, including social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc
  • More sophisticated real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic advertising systems
  • New ad formats, such as video and 360-degree ads

OOH is becoming an increasingly popular and effective marketing tool in Singapore, and its future looks bright. Whether you’re a brand looking to reach consumers with engaging DOOH ads or a publisher hoping to maximize your ad revenue, the opportunities in OOH and DOOH are limitless.

OOH Advertising Expenditures in Singapore from 2018 to 2022

In 2018, OOH accounted for 9% of the total advertising expenditure in Singapore. The share would decrease slightly to 8.3% in 2019 and decline further to 7.4% in 2020. 

That was largely due to the continued growth of digital advertising platforms like online programmatic and social media ads, which have been steadily eating into OOH budgets in recent years. 

However, given the impact and effectiveness of DOOH advertising, we can expect to see brands continuing to invest in this dynamic medium in the years ahead. So if you’re looking for an effective way to reach consumers and drive sales in Singapore, OOH and DOOH are worth exploring, especially now that innovative technologies and ad formats are revolutionizing this dynamic industry.

More Statistic findings (source: Statista):

  • The spending on OOH advertising is expected to reach U$160.70 million in 2022 in Singapore.
  • The largest segment is DOOH, with a market volume of U$94.22 million in 2022. 
  • In global comparison, the highest ad spending is generated by China (U$9204 million in 2022)
  • The average ad spending per capita in 2022 is expected to be U$27.3 for OOH/DOOH advertising in Singapore.

OOH Advertising and the Path to Purchase in Singapore

One of the key benefits of OOH advertising is its ability to help brands reach and engage consumers along their path to purchase. Whether driving to work, commuting on public transit, or walking through a busy shopping district, consumers are constantly exposed to OOH ads in Singapore. That allows brands to reach potential customers at all stages of the buying journey, from initial awareness and consideration to purchase and post-purchase engagement. 

Additionally, OOH ads also offer brands the ability to target specific audiences based on location and real-time data. For example, brands may choose to reach consumers based on their location in a shopping mall or target individuals who have recently searched for certain products online.

With the rise of digital technologies, many OOH ads are now incorporating interactive features, such as touch screens and augmented reality (AR) technology, that allows consumers to engage with the ads and explore additional product information in real time.

What Brands Have to Say About OOH Advertising

It’s not just about OOH media owners singing the praise of their assets and what they think they can do for brands. Leading brands are also at the forefront of OOH advertising and have seen tremendous success with this medium.

One example is Lazada, an ecommerce operator in Singapore. Lazada quickly points out that they haven’t kicked OOH advertising to the curb in favour of digital but rather see both as complementary strategies.

They mix them according to customer demographics and consumption habits, which have broadened in recent years as they get new customers and sellers on board. 

For example, Lazada used OOH advertising to reach consumers on their commutes for a campaign promoting its same-day delivery service while leveraging its digital presence for a campaign promoting its in-app payment feature.

Another example is McDonald’s, which uses OOH advertising to engage consumers in various ways. They have run campaigns that feature their iconic golden arches, highlighting them as the “new home of the Happy Meal.” 

They’ve also used interactive digital OOH screens to engage passersby with fun games or highlight special promotions at their restaurants.

ShopBack is another excellent example of a brand successfully leveraging OOH advertising to drive sales. 

Most of their marketing mix is via digital mediums. Digital media provide a direct avenue for consumers to access their e-commerce platform while offering a wealth of data that can be used to make better decisions. 

According to their chief commercial officer, Candice Ong, OOH channels are cost-effective, and on top of that, they allow them to track their ad spending. They think about their marketing investments based on customer acquisition costs, and with OOH, they can attribute cost to sales tracked via redemption vouchers on the ad.

OCBC bank takes a different approach — their mix is geared towards digital rather than OOH advertising, but they frequently use OOH advertising to complement their digital efforts. 

Their OOH ads are primarily meant to drive campaign awareness and a top-of-mind presence for their products. According to Koh, the conversations around their ads often gain momentum after their initial OOH media campaign. At this point, they’ll engage with prospective customers through digital channels, allowing them to scale their efforts and convert these conversations into sales.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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