Meet the Digital Ad Display Tech Giving Internet Ads a Run for Their Money

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( — August 30, 2022) — It doesn’t take a marketing expert to know that the internet’s been the king of the hill in advertising for some time now. Magazines and newspapers are on the verge of going extinct. And television, while still pulling in big audiences, keeps losing ground to the myriad streaming services now available.

And the statistics on the subject bear that all out. In 2020, 54.29% of all advertising spending went into internet ads – roughly doubling television’s share of the pie. It’s a lead that nobody expects to evaporate anytime soon. After all, the internet’s not going anywhere and its competition will only continue to fade.

But there is one competing advertising channel that’s getting a big boost from some new technologies that could help it gain some ground on internet advertising. I’m talking, of course, about digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. It’s the category that includes all of the digital signage you see in stores, malls, and other public locations.

And while it’ll be a long time (if ever) before DOOH challenges internet advertising for supremacy, it’s still worth checking out the new display tech that’s fueling its rise. Here are three of the kinds of next-generation DOOH advertising you can expect to see coming to a location near you soon.

3D Holographic Advertising Displays

One of the new DOOH advertising types you might start seeing more of soon is 3D holographic displays. They’ve been a dream of AdTech companies for years – at least since the premiere of 1989’s Back to the Future 2 and the debut of the imaginary Jaws 19 holographic movie marquee. But these days, such technology isn’t a Hollywood dream anymore, it’s a reality. At least to a certain extent.

Today, retailers are starting to roll out 3D LED fan displays from companies like GIWOX, which can display full-motion video at 640p. They’re still a long way off from offering photorealistic HD images, but they’re impressive nonetheless. Such displays offer retailers an eye-catching way to debut new products or to lure customers toward a particular part of their store.

But those stand-alone displays are just the beginning. Companies like Hypervsn offer advertisers the ability to turn entire walls into holographic displays. And because their proprietary controller technology can coordinate an unlimited number of displays, there’s theoretically no upper display size limitation. That creates a flexible canvas that advertisers will soon put to creative use all over the world.

Programmatic Mobile Displays

One of the key advantages that internet advertising had over all other mediums was the ability to target audiences using any number of criteria. And that led to programmatic advertising systems that helped businesses optimize their spending by only paying for messaging that successfully reached their target audience.

In the DOOH arena, that kind of targeting has historically been harder to achieve. Electronic billboards and other signage were static, meaning that they had to aim at whatever audience happened to pass by. But that’s beginning to change, too. Companies are building out mobile truck led advertising fleets allowing everyday drivers to add electronic displays to their vehicles.

With those kinds of fleets in place, advertisers can apply the same programmatic advertising strategies they use online to their DOOH campaigns. And as the density of available digital signage grows, the price of such campaigns will start to drop – making demand-side pricing more popular and accessible.

Curved 3D Billboard Displays

Although cutting-edge holographic and mobile display solutions are adding new options for DOOH advertisers, there have also been huge improvements in stationary display advertising technology, too. And of those, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that’s more impressive than the 4K curved 3D billboards companies like Japan’s Cross Space now deploy.

A few months back, one of their displays shocked onlookers in a busy Shinjuku neighborhood when a 3D image of a giant cat appeared on it, seemingly popping out of the display’s confines. It was an effect that went viral around the world, garnering countless social media shares and news stories detailing it.

And the same kinds of displays are already showing up elsewhere, too, including one in South Korea and another in Chengdu, China. Given their broad appeal and have-to-see-it nature, it’s a safe bet there are more on the way, too. So don’t be shocked if the robotic Coca-Cola sign in New York’s Times Square soon has some new company and competition for the attention of passersby.

A Medium on the Verge of a Boom

It’s also worth pointing out that there’s another, more low-tech reason that DOOH advertising is set to grow exponentially. It’s that after almost two years of social distancing and lockdowns, people all over the world are itching to get out of their homes – and thus away from their primary screens – to go back into the world. That should turn them into receptive audiences for the new types of advertising displays they’re going to encounter.

And as any marketer can tell you, budgets flow to where the people go. So, when all of the new high-tech displays converge with big advertising budgets and a receptive audience, it’s obvious what will happen. And although the growth that convergence creates won’t be enough to threaten the online advertising giants just yet, it should start to provide at least one viable alternative for advertisers to turn to.