Perspective - The dynamic evolution of the OOH industry

By Steve O’Connor | 12 December 2023
Steve O'Connor.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

Being part of the Out-of-Home industry for 30+ years, I’ve been privileged to witness the dynamic evolution of our industry.

2023 has seen a focus on sustainability. It’s not just a buzzword; it's a commitment to our planet. The Out-of-Home industry has a responsibility to minimise its ecological impact. This year JCDecaux shifted from carbon neutrality to aggressive, science-based targets for achieving net zero. We are dedicated to implementing tangible and measurable sustainability practices. That has included hiring our first local Head of ESG this year to implement our ambitious strategy and partnering with Scope 3 to measure and report the carbon footprint of media and advertising.

By prioritising sustainability, we not only contribute to a healthier planet but also resonate with environmentally and socially conscious consumers who increasingly choose brands that share their values. This is crucial for Gen Z– constituting 20 percent of Australia’s population - as evidenced by our report with The Future Laboratory earlier this year.

The importance of accountability is crucial

In the age of big data, every industry is harnessing the power of information to make informed decisions. The Out-of-Home sector is no exception. By leveraging data analytics, we can offer advertisers unparalleled insights into consumer behavior, enabling them to create more targeted and effective campaigns.

In the realm of digital-first marketing, there is a collective desire for established norms governing our transactions, measurements, verifications, and every aspect in between. Currently, we haven't reached that point, but it's within our grasp. Achieving this requires industry-wide consensus on standards. While the path may not be as straightforward as we anticipate, with unified agreement on standards, we can undoubtedly attain our goal.

The most significant update to MOVE for over a decade – MOVE2.0 - will provide seasonal and hourly audiences for a new layer of accuracy to Out-of-Home planning. This ties in with the roll-out of the standardised Impression Multiplier methodology via the Outdoor Media Association, to provide consistency in audience delivery by media owner.

Everyone in the industry must prioritise accountability, emphasising precise audience delivery aligned with the evolving nature of audiences in MOVE 2.0. However, we must extend our focus beyond basic accountability. Merely knowing who saw a campaign is insufficient; the holy grail lies in determining campaign effectiveness and results. Key to this is gaining insights for enhancing and optimising future campaigns. Our strategy shifts from mere audience counts to comprehending their journeys, behaviours, and using advanced campaign evaluation tools. Through our JCDecaux PROOF program, this proof of impact not only instills confidence in our partners but also underscores the effectiveness of Out-of-Home in the modern advertising landscape.

We have worked closely with clients this year to cultivate digital audiences through Out-of-Home channels, while concurrently implementing online retargeting strategies. The significance of omnichannel activation is a pivotal approach for 2024. Leveraging our proprietary first-party equivalent dataset, facilitated by partnership with Adobe, we are equipped to unveil optimal methods for reaching target audiences seamlessly across both online and offline platforms.

The future of Out-of-Home advertising is programmatic

I expect to see this grow in 2024. We have invested in our programmatic capabilities and are now reaping the rewards.Programmatic trading not only enhances the agility of campaigns but also enables advertisers to allocate budgets more efficiently.By embracing automation, we empower brands to stay relevant in a fast-paced, ever-changing market.

Technology advancements in creative delivery are also about to drive innovation for programmatic campaigns with the release of dynamic, optimised campaigns at scale. JCDecaux is running the first pilot campaign now which provides advertisers the chance to deliver bulk creative variations based on variables such as location, audience, time and weather.

Embracing real life experiences

On the cusp of 2024, our industry finds itself navigating a landscape marked by profound shifts in consumer behaviour and technological advancements. Traditional avenues such as TV face the dual challenges of aging audiences and a steady decline, prompting advertisers to seek alternative platforms. The online sphere, while a go-to for many, grapples with increasing fragmentation and clutter, diluting the impact of marketing efforts.

Amidst this digital chaos, a resounding theme emerges—the enduring trust and affinity audiences hold for real-life experiences. As the industry takes strides towards environmental, social, and governance commitments, it aligns with a broader societal shift towards sustainability. The convergence with the digital ecosystem is palpable, with smarter data strategies and a concerted effort to close the attribution loop.

The scalability of programmatic and digital Out-of-Home capabilities marks a paradigm shift, offering targeted and dynamic advertising solutions. Notably, the imminent launch of MOVE 2.0 stands as a significant catalyst, promising to redefine the industry landscape by providing a comprehensive measurement framework.

In 2024, the Out-of-Home industry is not merely adapting— it is evolving, leveraging innovation and sustainability to shape a future where real-world experiences remain at the heart of advertising strategies.

Steve O’Connor is CEO at JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus