Imagine for a moment that you were sitting in a Starbucks where you didn’t notice an advertisement, which didn’t put a smile on your face and didn’t keep you entertained. And for a twist, imagine that you were never reminded about this piece of unassuming content. Conclusion: it doesn’t matter, because you didn’t notice it, right?

Advertising is meaningless without stopping power, storytelling and the ability to follow up. In this blogpost, we will set our sights on out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Because let’s face it, OOH and especially digital OOH advertising are formats to be taken seriously.


Since the introduction of on-demand streaming, smartphones and digital video recorders (DVR) people are no longer consuming commercials as they used to. No news here. To prove this point, a Nielsen study from 2009 found that 91% of DVR owners where skipping the commercials. Not surprisingly this trend has continued, leading the way to online advertising and a noticeable increase in out-of-home advertising. The rise in OOH advertisement also means that your message needs to stand out among the rest. In this article, we will delve into what you need to know in order to succeed with your OOH advertising and how mixed reality can advance your purpose.

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How to have stopping power

Let’s say that you just emerged from the F-train on the corner of Lafayette and Broadway on your way to work. Most likely you’ll be immersed in your digital universe of tweets, PM’s, and streaming services. Your senses are fully engaged, so there would need to be a reason for you to take notice. How many of the billboards do you look at? Probably not many.

Surprisingly, the same Nielsen study finds that 62% of US residents 16 years and older have noticed a conventional billboard, 37% have noticed a digital billboard in the past month. This number would be concerning if it weren’t for the fact that there are 58 times more conventional billboards than digital in the US. This shows that people do take notice of OOH advertising. But while traditional billboards have an advantage in numbers it becomes apparent that digital OOH advertising with its combination of graphics, movement and light has serious attention-grabbing potential.

Stopping power, or the art of making people notice, is not getting easier with our ubiquitous connectivity to entertainment, friends and never-ending information. That is why you will need something extraordinary to get people’s attention. Here is where virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality steps in as a head-turner. Being the closest thing you’ll get to magic; mixed reality merges the physical and digital worlds to become one. In other words, it’s a display platform where physical and digital objects co-exist and can interact with each other in real time.

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So, let’s imagine again the stopping power of a rocket ship suddenly appearing out of the corner of you eye. Not in the sky, but inside a store. Now that would grab your attention and stop you in your tracks.

Now you have got people’s attention, but what to do with it?

Convey your messages in a visual way

Despite our hardest efforts to concentrate and remember, our brains will not play ball if they are not stimulated. Put in other words, our brains are finely tuned to sift out unimportant information.

By using storytelling, visuals, and interactivity you will convey messages that stick and your audiences remember.


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Remembering information comes down to structure. Humans are inherently storytelling organisms, leading storied live, and wired to arrange information in such structures.

According to sociologists Connelly & Clandinin storytelling varies from culture to culture, but crucially there are some characteristics that are universal. All stories have a plot, characters, and a narrative point of view. By implementing these storytelling elements in your message, you are helping your audience remember your message and keeping them engaged.

About one fifth of our brain is there to process visual information, indicating that visual information plays a significant role in the way we perceive the world around us.

Combining pictures, visuals or moving pictures with your written message is key to making a message stick. A study has shown that If you hear a piece of information, then a few days later you will only remember 10%. But if you add a visual to that information, recall goes up to 65%.

It should come as no surprise that devoting a significant portion of your resources on visuals is a sound investment.


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When you are actively engaged, as opposed to just receiving a message, the cortex activity is increased and two areas in the brain are activated (broca’s and Wernicke’s areas). This makes you remember facts and information way better.

By using interactive features people will stay engaged with your message longer and get a better understanding of your brand. Spending time finding meaningful points of interaction can elevate user engagement and give them a delightful experience that will stick.

So, they’re engaged and interested in your message, but you don’t want to lose them.


Give them a simple way of ‘converting’, so you can follow up

Let the smartphone be the bridge between on- and offline. Nearly 1 in 4 OOH viewers who have a smartphone interact with an out-of-home advertisement by either swiping an NFC sensor or scanning a QR code. Now you can continue the conversation through follow-up emails, interactions on social media or even sending push messages through apps.

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Your goal is to drive your visitors through a buyer’s journey with relevant and delightful content. Don’t leave them hanging after their encounter with your brand, instead keep the conversation going.


 To round up here are the 3 things you need to master to succeed with digital OOH advertising:

  1. A Stopping Power

  2. Convey your message in a visual and informative way

  3. Give them a way of converting

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