Digitally-native brands thriving through OOH promotion

3 min read

Editor's Take: More and more brand creatives are leveraging the power of Digital OOH solutions to gain a more competitive edge. This article shares how digitally-native companies can use OOH to increase sales and raise brand awareness.

While the return of shoppers post-COVID has certainly revived the retail market in the past year, digitally-native brands without physical locations still have to find ways to thrive in a competitive market.

The answer: out-of-home ad spending.

OOH promotion provides brands with access to a wide range of consumers without having to pay for a brick-and-mortar location. For 2022 and beyond, the growth trajectory for digital businesses using OOH is high. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America reported that OOH ad spend grew more than 40% in 2022 compared year-over-year to 2021.

In addition, brands have expanded their choice of where to place OOH, from major transportation areas to smaller formats such as street furniture. It's all about getting the right message to the right audience.

Chris Grosso, CEO of Intersection, helps brands get their messages noticed. Intersection, an OOH media and technology company, was founded in 2015 and is based in New York City. In an email interview with Digital Signage Today, Grosso talked about how digitally-native companies can use OOH to increase sales and raise brand awareness.

Q: Why is it important for digitally-native brands to have a presence in physical spaces?

A: Having a physical brand presence is important for brands' long-term strategy for a number of reasons:

  • Consumers are ready to be outside. While they're out, they'll increasingly notice advertising as they return to the physical world. Data is clear that consumers are seeing OOH advertising a lot more as they emerge from their homes.
  • In-store commerce is still king. Even during the pandemic, a majority of retail sales happened in stores, so it is important for advertisers to be close to decision points for commerce.
  • Physical presence is part of the marketing mix. Marketers must rethink what provides them with the most ROI – some may need more physical stores, some may not. The smartest marketers are trading off rent costs with marketing spend to see what has a better ROI.

Q: What are some of the benefits OOH provides for digitally-native brands?

A: Leveraging OOH in place of the cost of a traditional physical retail space is a quicker, more cost-effective, and much simpler entry point into the physical world than a traditional retail space. OOH is becoming increasingly measurable, with certain OOH formats like street furniture and interactive kiosks that can provide more granular location-based targeting close to retail locations, giving brands a better view inside the success and ROI of their advertising mix.

Public spaces like transit hubs, in particular, have the added benefit of acting as areas for pop-up shops and product sampling as well. All in all, these benefits allow brands to move into physical spaces without the long-term commitments of physical retail leases and without the need to bring on specialized talent that understands how to work in physical space.

Q: Are there any digitally-native brands out there that are already leveraging OOH?

A: According to the OAAA, DTC and technology brands make up nearly one-third of the top-100 OOH advertisers. Fueled by digitally native brands like Amazon, Apple and Google, OOH is experiencing massive growth, with the OAAA reporting that OOH ad spend grew 40.5% in Q1 of 2022 compared to YoY in 2021. Tech giants, Apple and Amazon, have invested in retail store networks to increase touchpoints with consumers and eyewear brand, Warby Parker, also extended its digital brand into the physical space in recent years. However, most digitally-native businesses cannot afford building a physical store network due to many factors like cost and lease commitments.

OOH advertising is a valuable alternative to bring digitally-native brands in front of people out and about at a fraction of the cost.

Q: Any real-world examples of this?

A: In 2018, Netflix placed a number of billboards promoting their content along the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, one of the most desirable advertising spots across the U.S. Fast forward to 2021 with the surge of sports betting across the U.S., and DraftKings took over Addison Station outside Wrigley Field in Chicago, reaching all Cubs fans that walked through the station for game days through OOH media assets like stair risers and branded station signage.

Q: In the future, do you think more digitally-native brands will invest in OOH to engage shoppers?

A: The future is looking bright for OOH. As more digitally-native companies continue to emerge in the post-pandemic world, we expect even more brands to leverage OOH as a cost-effective real world connection point with their customers.


This article was written by Kevin Damask from Digital Signage Today. News Features and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to


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Kevin Damask