How Attention Applies to DOOH

Earlier this summer, IAB Canada’s DOOH Committee had a panel discussion that addressed how DOOH can be used as a video/TV audience extension, how brand and performance marketing might be enhanced, and what advancements are driving DOOH measurement.  The recording can be found here.   

Following the panel discussion, we sat down with Barb Huggett, General Manager and SVP Ad Sales, Canada at Captivate to provide more insight.  

IAB Canada (IABC): How can we continue to encourage industry to integrate DOOH into other channels, rather than for it to operate in isolation? 

Captivate (CV): I do believe that the industry is starting to move DOOH out of the traditional silo of OOH   as we are seeing some Video Strategies that include DOOH. However, we need to continue to educate, keep the dialogue going and provide best use examples that demonstrate the points we’ve been consistently talking about for inclusion in omnichannel planning. More specifically the following: 

  • Data Driven Insights: Highlight the benefits of DOOH’s data -driven insights and audience targeting capabilities, demonstrating how these can enhance campaign when integrated with other channels. 
  • Cross Channel Campaigns: Showcase successful case studies of cross-channel campaigns that effectively combined DOOH with other mediums. 
  • Collaborative Partnerships: Foster collaborations between DOOH providers and agencies – promoting execution of integrated campaigns. 
  • Educational Initiatives:  Organize workshops, webinars, and industry events to educate advertisers about the benefits of integrating DOOH and how to effectively incorporate it into their broader strategies. 
  • Technology Integrations: Highlight tech advancements that facilitate seamless integration, such as programmatic platforms that allow real-time optimization across various channels. 
  • Industry Thought Leadership: Open discussions with industry leaders and influencers about the advantages of integrated campaigns and what they believe needs to happen for more widespread inclusion of DOOH into those campaigns. 
  • Measurement and Analytics:  Need to continue to demonstrate how integrating DOOH can provide comprehensive measurement. 

IABC: When considering the attention economy, how does DOOH fit in? 

CV: There is a lot of interest in the Attention Economy because attention is a finite resource. On average, people are exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements a day. The average human brain is simply incapable of processing such a bombardment of content, which means the vast majority of ads seen are only ignored forgotten about within seconds1. What we’re hearing is impressions, views, reach, frequency, and opportunities to see are not good enough.  It’s important to note that awareness is not the same as attention. 

In the end – I believe that brands and publishers both see attention’s potential as an advertising currency.  

Data points used for attention as they relate to digital media today include eye-tracking studies, as well as proxy signals like viewability, time in view, dwell time, contextual alignment, cursor hover time, scroll depth, click-through rate, and audio volume levels.  

While some of the current digital attention data points can be aligned to DOOH (and have been with number of studies and tests around the world),  I think that the four drivers of Attention aligned with DOOH are best described by a Teads study:   

  1. Quality of Media 
  • Trusted – DOOH can create a sense of reliability and credibility through reputation of the advertising network. Additionally, when DOOH content is well-curated, accurate and respectful of viewer preferences it can build trust among audiences. 
  • Brand Safe –  When DOOH has safeguards in place to ensure a brand’s ads are placed in an appropriate and suitable environment it ensures that ads are displayed in contexts that align with a brand’s value and target audience. 
  1. Ad Experience 
  • Viewability – DOOH is placed in high traffic or prominent positions to engage audiences. Size can contribute to breakthrough in a busy environment while size may not be a concern in an uncluttered environment  
  • Dwell Time – DOOH dwell time (as with any media) can directly correlate to message absorption, engagement and behavioral impact 
  • Complementary to Digital Channels – DOOH can work in harmony with digital channels, extending the reach of online campaigns into the physical world and reinforcing brand messaging across various touchpoints 
  1. Relevance:  
  • Contextual  – DOOH can be tailored to specific locations, times of day, and even weather conditions. This increases the chances of capturing audience attention and resonating with their immediate surroundings. 
  • Editorial Alignment  – some place based DOOH (like Captivate)  offer editorial alignment so the ads will be synched to run with appropriate editorial content and thereby increasing relevance to the viewer. 
  • Real-Time Updates – DOOH can incorporate real-time data feeds and updates, ensuring that the content remains relevant and timely, which is crucial in a fast-paced attention economy. 
  1. Creative  
  • Impactful – DOOH can use large displays or offer high SOV to showcase eye-catching visuals to stand out in urban environments, attracting attention  and creating memorable brand impressions. 
  • Content RotationDOOH allows for frequent content rotation and updates, preventing viewer fatigue and maintaining a level of novelty that can help sustain attention over time 
  • Creative Storytelling –  DOOH’s unique canvas allows for innovative storytelling and narratives that captivate audiences and hold their attention longer. 

In essence, DOOH enhances the attention economy by providing advertisers with a powerful tool to capture attention in physical spaces, offering creative possibilities that align with the ever-evolving ways people consume content and engage with their environment. 

To join our next DOOH conversation, please reach out to

1 The Attention Economy: Standing Out Among The Noise.