Out Of Home advertising has seen rapid growth in the UK. In 2019, OOH advertising revenue rose 7.6% from 2018 to £1.3bn. However, OOH, by and large, has operated as an offline channel until recently.

OOH agencies have been traditionally managing and running campaigns manually. From campaign planning to media buying, pricing, placement and tracking, every step of the process is manual. The lack of industry standards add another layer of complexity by creating information silos that in turn make measurement and accountability complicated. A wholesome reimagining of the medium has long been overdue.

Today, disruptive brands that adopt OOH require data-driven campaigns to adapt to dynamic aspects of audience behaviour. OOH needs to leverage digitization and data-led insights to transform itself into a near real-time medium to deliver responsive and geographically tailored campaigns.

Talon, a specialist OOH agency with more than 30% market share, partnered with Sahaj to build a holistic platform that could make the entire cycle of planning, buying, implementation and ROI attribution of campaigns scalable, intuitive, and automated. By doing so, they would effectively lay down the foundation for a path-breaking, data-led disruptive framework that would yield significantly better results for brands.

This led to the creation of two innovative platforms – Plato and Ada.

Plato, an automated trading platform, aggregates all OOH inventory into a single, intuitive campaign planning and delivery system. It allows users to explore, plan, check availability, reserve, and trade paper and digital inventory across multiple markets through direct integrations with media owners and industry systems.

Plato has direct integrations with multiple media owners and industry systems. It uses more than a dozen web services, a document store running heavy geospatial queries with dense geo-location data and fast messaging queues to distribute the load with elastic infrastructure to rapidly ingest, process, and store data to the tune of a billion data points for optimized brand/business radius searches.

Plato increased the efficiency of Talon’s planning and buying teams by at least 50%. Users can now plan and book a campaign in just 5 minutes!

Ada, unlike Plato that aggregates the universe of inventory of OOH media in the UK, uses multiple data science models to analyse billions of device-level audience data points, real-world locations and advertising inventory to enable granular segmentation of audience, intelligent decision-making, campaign management and track ROI.

It leverages state-of-the-art data science models and technologies like Airflow, Apache Spark, Terraform, PostgreSQL, and Micronaut/Spring to recognise, classify and relay behaviors near-real time for a cohort of people.

Navigating the OOH landscape with Talon’s Ada has been hugely successful for businesses such as McDonald’s and Starbucks who have used it for their brand building campaigns.

To launch Starbucks’ new Blonde Espresso Roast, Ada built a custom behavioural audience profile of frequent visitors to high street coffee houses over a 6-month-period. The best performing large format digital inventory was then selected for OOH media buy. Finally, the campaign was measured against brand metrics to determine its effectiveness.

Starbucks’ campaign impact

To drive sustained awareness of the Saver Menu for McDonald’s, Ada created insights about how people travel and how to effectively reach and engage them on the go using billions of data points alongside information about real world places. The campaign was then executed using a blend of 6 sheets and kiosks to drive cost effective reach nationally and bursts were aligned with payday every month when sales spike.

McDonald’s campaign impact

Our View

As audience planning, delivery, and measurement become increasingly data-driven, advertising strategies derived from behaviours will assume significance for the agility they offer. Operational costs of running a campaign will reduce considerably.

Technology will play a pivotal role in enabling us to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of OOH media. Game-changers such as Ada will enable media owners to react faster to audiences and the changing dynamics with their surroundings — the pandemic being a classic example — and thus focus on impactful delivery. While the idea of delivering targeted content in OOH is exciting enough by itself, there will be a push to provide qualitative attribution by cross-pollinating data from target businesses, OOH environments, and other data sources.