Technology

back to billboards

Digital ads that appear on web pages, apps, or games offer a wide variety of advantages over more traditional forms of advertising. For example, it is possible segment thoroughly the target audience, adjust campaigns based on certain budgets, effectively measure campaign performance and modify (or deactivate) them in the blink of an eye.

All these advantages have turned into a multi-million dollar business. Just remember that the bulk of revenue for companies like Alphabet and Meta comes from their respective targeted ad divisions. The Wall Street Journal points out, however, that outdoor advertising is more alive than ever. In fact, interest in this alternative also known as out-of-home advertising is growing.

Advertising that cannot be skipped

Segmented advertising, as we have seen, has many virtues, but it is not perfect. One of its biggest weaknesses is that can be easily skippedFor example, by using ad blockers or bypassing promotional videos. Faced with this reality, marketing experts have begun to consider alternatives for specific cases and the answer, surprisingly, lies in an old concept.

“When you live in a neighborhood that has a digital billboard, you don’t have a choice,” Scenic America president Mark Falzone told the aforementioned American newspaper. Many agencies are betting on this type of advertising again, although not in all cases with static ads. Technology is also coming into play in this resurgence as a way to make ads more effective.


In the United States, the company IKE Smart City stands out, which offers interactive digital billboards. Its platform not only allows you to display dynamic ads, but it can also display multiple ads at once. In some cases, users can even interact with them through a touch screen to perform certain types of actions directly from the place where they saw the ad.

IKE Smart City Digital Billboard

Changes in the advertising sector are also reflected in market projections. The research firm Research and Markets says that global spending on outdoor advertising, which also includes presence in taxis, public transport and static ads, reached $37.03 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $75.01 billion in 2027, which will translate into an increase of 12.3% in that period.

Now, not everything is rosy with outdoor advertising. Just as digital ad platforms face challenges related to privacy concerns, the resurgence of billboards may not sit well in all parts of the world. Many cities have been removing these types of structures over time and limit, and in some cases prohibit, the installation of new ones.

The use of public visual space for private interests is presented as one of the reasons for controversy. In addition, according to WSJ, critics point out that digital billboards are not friendly to the environment due to their energy consumption. On the other hand, there are also those who point out that they contribute to light pollution. It remains to be seen how this business will evolve and if it will finally grow as projected.

Images: Bram Naus | IKE Smart City

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