Sales Research & Resources

This resource hub is aimed at supporting the OOH advertising industry with the relevant information and proof points on the value of OOH.

COMMB Resource Centre

This resource hub is aimed at supporting the OOH advertising industry with the relevant information and proof points on the value of OOH.

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Acceptability & Truthfulness

The Ad Standard’s Studies on Consumer Perspective on advertising look at Canadians' comfort with the level of truth and accuracy with advertising across different media. 

Online Activation

OOH Online Activation Survey

The latest Nielsen study shows that OOH advertising is the most effective medium in driving online activity and continues to deliver more online activity per ad dollar spent compared to television, radio and print (newspapers and magazines).

Download Study Here

Source: OAAA/Nielsen 2017

Strengths of OOH

Top Reasons for Using OOH

  • OOH Generates Reach Quickly

  • OOH Delivers Targeted and Mass Audience

  • OOH Delivers High ROI

  • OOH Motivates Viewer Action

  • OOH Creates Viewer Interaction

  • OOH Creates Emotional Connection with Viewer

  • OOH Enhances Impact of Other Media

  • OOH Connects Brands with Active and Alert Consumers

Outdoor Strengths

  • Generates mass reach quickly; ideal for short term promotions & product launches

  • Weekly reach of 81% of persons age 5+; COMMBNavigator® provides detailed R/F for different demo groups by operator, products , markets

  • Kilometres driven weekly: Average weekly 150 km /Urban 114 km / Surburban 148 km / Rural 193 km.

  • Higher mileage outside urban, though urban traffic increases OOH exposure

  • Target different audiences based on socio-demographic data, spending habits

  • Location specific targeting – POS, competitors

  • Consumers are 33% more alert when outside their home leading to lasting brand impressions

  • Mobile integration

  • Cost effective

Transit Strengths

  • 1 in 4 Canadians use transit weekly with much higher rates in the urban areas

  • 22% – use Bus / Street Car & LRT

  • 13% – use Commuter Train / Subway

  • 25% Transit users overall (38% in urban areas)

  • Weekly Transit Users: Toronto 61% / Vancouver 52% / Montreal 51%

  • Reaches a broad segment of the Canadian population. Transit use is highest among younger adults, those that have a university degree and are employed in MOPE positions

  • Transit riders spend over an hour daily commuting, there are many opportunities to interact, provide information and offers.

Place-Based Strengths  

  • Place-based networks reach a highly targeted audience defined by a lifestyle, behaviour or the venue itself.

  • COMMB provides audited audience counts for resto-bars, campus, arena, cinema and women’s networks

  • High level of visitation to place-based networks by principal HH shopper: 60% shopping malls, 55% QSR restaurants

  • Almost 3/4 (75%) of consumers take action after seeing a place-based ad; most common actions are visiting a website, seeking more product info, watching a TV program.

OOH Motives Consumer Action

What action(s) have you taken after seeing any OOH advertising in the past 6 months?

Source: BrandSpark Shopper Survey 2018

There is no seasonality to Outdoor!

Mediacom (OUTFRONT) and the University of Alberta conducted an analysis of over 300 OOH advertising campaigns to examine the relationship of different variables on advertising awareness levels.   Some of the variables measured included message style, legibility, # of messages and seasonality.  Most of the campaigns examined used posters or TSA’s

The research showed that awareness levels of OOH are not significantly different throughout the year, suggesting that the season has no impact on a campaign’s effectiveness.  However, the creative execution and campaign characteristics were shown to have a significant impact on campaign awareness levels.

Outdoor is effective throughout the year 

Outdoor advertising is effective in building high awareness levels for both new and established brands. 

Index Mean Recall

108 – Short-term promo, new product launch/line extension

100 – Established brand, sustaining campaign

Source: Mediacom (OUTFRONT) and University of Alberta Study

Outdoor is effective in reaching consumers in large urban and smaller markets.

Index Mean Recall

  • Markets less than 1mm – 100

  • Markets greater than 1mm – 101

Outdoor is Effective in Reaching Men and Women

  • Awareness levels are not significantly different between men and women.

  • Ad awareness varies relative to use or involvement with a specific product/service.

Source: Mediacom (OUTFRONT) and University of Alberta Study

Transit Shelters and Posters Can Deliver Similar Impact!

TRANSIT SHELTER                                                          POSTER    

Average Recall 37.9%                                                 Average Recall 39.2%

Source: Mediacom (OUTFRONT) and University of Alberta Study

OOH Brand Builder & Sales Activator

An analysis of the IPA Databank case studies showed that OOH is a highly versatile channel capable of building brands and activating sales.

The research revealed that effective brands spend 48% of their investment on brand building alone. 28% invest solely on sales activation and 24% spend on both brand building and sales activation.

The brand building quality of OOH has long been recognized. The research proves that OOH is able to drive strong increased, sustainable short term sales among power users (15% or more of ad spend in OOH) showing a 22% uplift in immediate short term sales activations versus non-users.

According to Paul Sambrook, Global Marketing Director for Rapport UK, it may sound obvious that advertising would drive short term sales, however, given the belief that OOH typically drives sales at a slower and more sustainable rate, the magnitude of the increase was most surprising.

It is impressive to note that OOH power-users typically see an increase in brand trust ratings and equality (brand stature and fame) when they run a brand building only campaign. Research showed that outcomes can be turbo charged by the inclusion of sales activation.

Paul also stressed that clients should blend and combine brand building and sales activation tactics in order to achieve best practice and optimal success in OOH. These general trends were observed across all product categories. Source: IPA Databank case studies 2004-2016

Source: IPA Databank case studies 2004-2016

OOH Amplifies Other Media

An analysis of the IPA Databank case studies revealed that OOH boosts stature and fame among brands. This research showed an increase in stature (esteem) by 62% and fame by 50% for campaigns by power users (15% or more of ad spend in OOH) vs non-power users.

Fame contributes to success, therefore, increases the likelihood it will feature more prominently in conversations. In other words it “Gets your brands talked about”.

Stature or esteem helps build belief in a brand. It increases the level of quality and service associated with it – a powerful brand perception and driver.

Increases in these brand effects also contribute to a significant uplift in Customer Acquisition, Profitability and Market Share.

Paul Sambrook, Global Marketing Director for Rapport UK, noted that power-users have recorded a 10% uplift in Customer Acquisition when compared to non-power users. OOH works to increase the profitability of campaigns and market share achieved by those advertisers.

Profit is a strong KPI showcasing marketing effectiveness while market share provides performance metrics vs competitors, proving that OOH is contributing towards longer term business growth.

Source: IPA Databank case studies 2004-2016

Building Brands During Uncertain Times

While the COVID pandemic has caused uncertainty of what lies ahead, it has resulted in a reawakening of the importance of health, family and community. Despite these unsettling times, there are opportunities for marketers to develop relationships with consumers, build brand trust and increase sales.

Here are the top 5 reasons why OOH advertising should be part of your current communications plan.

1. OOH reaches Canadians

Tracking of Canadians travel and activity levels across the country show significant increases as restrictions were lifted. During the summer, local travel increased as restrictions reduced people’s ability to travel outside of the province or internationally.

Retail, recreational and resto-bar activity are just below the pre-pandemic normal levels. Transit and workplace activity are trending upwards but has been increasing more slowly as employees split their work weeks between the office and remote home offices.

While the pandemic has altered people’s commuting habits and other activities, OOH remains an effective medium for reaching Canadians.

2. OOH provides a safe and trustworthy environment for brands

The Ad Standards annual survey with Canadians has consistently shown that OOH advertising has one of the highest rankings for truth and accuracy. OOH is real and unlike other media it cannot be delayed, skipped, or blocked. Brands can confidently deliver engaging messages, in a medium that is a significant part of the customer journey.

3. OOH offers advertisers flexibility and control

Programmatic DOOH offers advertisers control and flexibility to change campaign messaging at short notice in an uncertain climate. Weather, sports event results, lock down restrictions or other events can trigger creative optimization on an ongoing basis.

4. OOH creates an emotional and relevant connection to brands

The alignment of mindset, moment, medium and message creates contextual relevance and improves advertising effectiveness. OOH offers marketers unlimited creative potential for brand messaging. Dramatic visuals, intriguing messages and the use of humour can re-engage consumers and increase receptivity to your brand.

5. OOH increases brand metrics, consideration and purchase

Research has shown the sales value of an integrated channel approach and the use of OOH to deliver a broadcast base. With the surge of e-commerce, OOH can drive both search and social helping to forge a community around a brand.

A Nielsen study concluded that OOH is more effective than any other offline medium in driving online activity. OOH was shown to deliver more online activity per ad dollar spent compared to TV, radio or print.

For brick and mortar stores, OOH’s proximity to point of purchase can entice consumers back into the stores.

Location data and analytics can tie actual consumer actions back to ad exposure to show how OOH contributes to footfall traffic. Studies have shown that OOH contributes more footfall traffic than mobile only and cross-device (web and mobile).

Acura Attribution Case Study: 72% of dealership visitors were exposed to the campaign, visitation lift of 20%. Click here for details!

Impact of Media Fragmentation

Canadian’s media habits continue to change. A new 2016 study highlights the challenges in reaching shoppers, particularly millennials.  Some of the key findings from this study are:

  • 39% of Shoppers, 18-64 are using adblocking software to avoid online ads

  • Almost 1 in 2 adults 18-34 also use adblocking software

  • 79% of adblock users pay attention to OOH ads

  • 61% of shoppers 18-34 watch less than 5 hours per week of Cable and or Broadcast TV

  • Over ¾ of light TV viewers pay attention to OOH ads

  • Over 50% of shoppers 18-64 spend less than 1 hour a week reading print and digital newspapers and magazines

  • 73% of light readers pay attention to OOH Ads

Source: BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study (2016)

Consumer Alertness

Consumer alertness leads to lasting brand impressions. When people are out of their home they have a significantly higher level of alertness than when in their home, according to a U.K. study. The study utilized skin conductance readings to measure emotional or cognitive arousal along with eye tracking to show what people were actually looking at in different environments.

The research showed that people are 33% more mentally alert when they are out and about, which can lead to higher absorption of OOH advertising messages.

Impact of Creative

Creating Effective Out-of-Home Communication

Mediacom (OUTFRONT) and the University of Alberta conducted a study to determine the relationship between creative characteristics and ad awareness levels. OOH ads were categorized on over 30 variables that included:

  • Message Style

  • Use of Colour

  • Copy Length

  • Type Size

  • Type Style

The key findings from this study were:

  • Literal ads tend to be factual and state the obvious

  • Literal ads were the least impactful

  • Single-minded focused ads deliver more impact

  • The use of a brand icon can create higher awareness levels because of the familiarity and known positioning of that icon.

In addition the study also found that:

  • Legibility is a key factor in a successful outdoor campaign

  • Legible copy is primarily related to copy length and size. A larger type size and shorter copy length are shown to be the most effective

Source: Mediacom (OUTFRONT media) and University of Alberta Study

Eye Tracking Study

An Eye-Tracking Study shows how consumers interact with OOH ads by measuring what consumers see and the frequency of seeing OOH ads.

Maximizing Advertising ROI

The World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) released a Global Ad Trends Report that suggests that the budget allocation to OOH by successful brands averaged 13% over the eight year period analyzed.

WARC’s media analysis examined data from 96 countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, France, China, Japan and Germany.

WARC’s Data analysis also shows that OOH’s cost per thousand (CPM) tends to be lower than for other media. Globally the average CPM for OOH with a target audience of adults 18+ is $6.41 compared to the all media average of $12.20.

BrandScience, also analyzed more than 600 econometric studies to determine the impact of various media on sales – individually, in a media mix and over time. Several categories were examined including consumer packaged goods, retail and finance categories. The research revealed many interesting relationships.

Download the executive summary here.

Maximize Brand Metrics

Advertisers need to spend more in OOH to maximize brand metrics.

  • OOH works at different points of the brand funnel from optimizing Consideration to boosting Brand Awareness

  • Recommended OOH media spend is 9-17% depending on category and budget.

  • Larger budgets should aim to spend 9-14% in OOH and smaller budgets should be higher at 12-17% of their budget

Media Mix Value

Out-of-Home Adds Value in the Media Mix

A comprehensive study of Out-of-Home advertising campaigns across five product categories: wireless services, mobile phones, packaged food, QSR and casual apparel revealed the positive effect OOH can have on brand metrics.

The study conducted by Vision Critical analyzed the relationship between advertising spend levels and recall performance, as well as the influence OOH has on key brand metrics.

For an executive summary of the results click here.

OOH Effectiveness Evidence

A study conducted by BrandScience, an econometrics and data science business provided insights on how advertisers can increase their return on investment (ROI) in Out-of-Home.

An analysis of over 200 OOH advertising campaigns of which 160 had OOH in the media mix provided evidence of the effectiveness of OOH and demonstrated the medium’s value in delivering profitability. The study also looked at how OOH works with other media in an increasingly digital media landscape. The brands included FMCG – Fast Moving Consumers Goods, Travel, Technology, Finance, Charity, Grocery and Retail.

Key findings include:

  • Increasing investment in OOH as part of the marketing mix drives ROI for advertisers

  • Media channels consistently improve ROI across individual categories when OOH is included in the mix

  • Dropping OOH from a campaign can lead to reduced campaign effectiveness

  • Cost-effective tactical OOH campaigns can be very effective at boosting total campaign ROI

Download the executive summary here

Sales Impact

The WHOOHW Survey – Why and How OOH Advertising Works

This survey analyzed the sales impact on FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) when OOH is in the media mix. Some of the key takeaways were:

  • OOH does boost sales immediately and has long term effect as well

  • OOH adds value to the media mix. Best results with a mix of TV-OOH

  • OOH spend has impact on sales – short term and long term

Download the WHOOHW Survey here (pdf)

The Value of OOH

Research shows that OOH advertising:

  • Improves consumer consideration

  • Increases Sales Revenue

  • Provides opportunities to increase brand and ad awareness 

  • Improves campaign ROI in a media mix

  • Budget allocation should be increased

The research analyzed seven categories: Automotive, CPG Food & Drinks, Consumer Electronics and Retail (non-grocery).  An analysis of ad spend and the impact on brand awareness, consideration, recommendation and purchase intent revealed that the allocation of advertising dollars for OOH should be increased.

2018 – OOH Proven Effectiveness

2017 – Out of Home ROI and Optimization in the Media Mix

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