DOOH Proof of Performance

Remi Roques
By Remi Roques | 17 August 2021
Remi Roques.

Remi Roques, General Manager Broadsign APAC.

In out-of-home (OOH) advertising, how can media buyers be sure that their advertising campaigns were delivered as planned? The answer is proof of performance (POP) reporting, sometimes also called proof of posting or proof of play.

In OOH media, POP is the evidence that media owners produce to prove that they executed their client's advertising campaign as per the contractual engagement. POPs have traditionally included photos of the campaign creatives as displayed on the outdoor formats, reports showing delivery statistics, and, more recently, the size of the audience
exposed to the campaign.

In static outdoor advertising, POPs are simple. The media owner takes photos of the advertiser's creative as soon as it is installed on the media panel and matches this to the list of panels included in the client's campaign  When it comes to digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, POPs get a lot more sophisticated, as the media owner must report on the number of plays for each design across several different digital screens.

Agencies often compare DOOH to online display advertising, and it's easy to see why. Digital display is a well-established advertising format, and advertisers have become used to the types of reporting and measurements that come with online campaigns. The great thing about adding digital technology to traditional outdoor formats is that it brings the same accountability and transparency as digital display.
However, it is not accurate to say that POP is the same in DOOH as it is in online advertising. Here, we will look at how POPs work in digital OOH and compare it with digital display.

With DOOH advertising, a poster becomes a slot in a loop of several different advertisers. Each advertiser now has a "share-of-voice" and is entitled to a fraction of the time loop. As it is challenging to track share-of-voice without access to the media owners' systems, some advertisers find it hard to trust the reports generated by DOOH publishers.

This problem can become even more complicated when it comes to programmatic DOOH campaigns because the advertisers cannot be sure where and when their content will be displayed.

It helps to understand that DOOH is actually very different to online advertising. Firstly, digital outdoor media runs on large-scale, OOH formats, not in a browser or web page. It means that the advertising content is always in sight and in its own version of "full screen" - it doesn't get lost in the site context, like in online advertising. With DOOH, the "viewability" is always 100%. 

You might have heard DOOH media referred to as "un-skippable." This is because there are no ads or pop-up blockers in outdoor media, and advertisers cannot click "skip" when they don't want to see the ad. It's right there in front of them, and it can't be deleted.

Further, outdoor media owners have created OOH digital players as a software application specifically designed to display advertising only. Compare this to a webpage in a browser, which prioritises providing informative or entertaining content to the audience, and advertising is only featured occasionally on a part of the screen.

In online advertising, there is no end to the number of websites, webpages, and online environments in which advertising plays. This also increases the risk of advertising fraud, where advertisers end up paying for digital display advertising they never really received. For clients using DOOH media, the list of screens their creative will appear on is defined and limited,
allowing for much greater control of transparency, accountability, and verification and dramatically decreases the risk of fraudulent activities.

Advanced DOOH digital players have metrics to guarantee that they deliver competitive separation for advertisers across the digital network. Broadsign's digital player, Broadsign Control, automatically builds competitive separation of advertising into the display loop and automatically generates complete POP reporting.

When designing its OOH digital player, Broadsign made sure that it was built fit-for-purpose for Out Of Home media only. We understand that accuracy of POP reporting is of utmost importance, so our POP reports are never inferred nor estimated. Broadsign POPs record the number of times an image or video has actually played. Our software and controls around our Proof-Of-Performance has been audited and verified by a third-party consultancy firm, BDO.

The Broadsign OOH players track and record every advertising content that plays, including the time of play. The players keep this information indefinitely until we can guarantee that the POP records have been securely transferred and stored on the Broadsign servers. Every OOH media publisher who partners with Broadsign can ensure to their advertisers that no single ad play is ever lost and that all Proof of Play records will be available for auditing at any given time.

Broadsign Control also supports connections with third-party POP servers. Again, Broadsign ensures that no data sent to these servers are ever lost.

Of course, there are some things that we can't control, such as if a digital screen is damaged by vandalism or wild weather, or whether growing trees obstruct the viewability of the screens. By keeping to a diligent maintenance schedule, media owners make sure that they keep on top of these factors, to keep premium digital networks looking the way they should.

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