Adrian Cotterill of DailyDOOH raised the issue of content creation for DOOH campaigns. He told the audience of the recent Digital Signage Investor Conference that “…the cost to create content for digital signage is 4 to 5 times higher that it actually should be and sometimes it can be 6 to 10 times higher than it should be. Although, Mr. Cotterill points out the main reason for this problem by saying ‘two words’. Agencies. Culprits.”
A agree, and I would like to elaborate on that. Agencies will never be interested in creating low-cost, effective content for DOOH. They want to sell big ticket items. The creative geniuses’ ambition lies not so much in helping the client sell more products, but rather in producing something that could win an award for the “brilliance” of an idea and the “cleverness” of execution. But how many award-winning ads actually sold products? Digital signage/DOOH is meant to be a pragmatic, straightforward medium covering the last 10 feet to the consumer purchase decision. Networks and advertisers should look for content producers who understand that, look for shops that can deliver DOOH-specific content at low cost and in big volumes (multiple versions for different day parts and target location types. etc). DOOH content should move products off the shelves. It is not realistic to expect that kind of creative from traditional agencies.
Agencies were built for selling TV, radio and print and most of them are still structured for that purpose, despite all the “re-engineering” noise in the late 90s. For the same reason, when it comes to assimilating DOOH into the media mix, agencies act more like inhibitors rather than catalysts of innovation. “Nobody ever got fired for buying TV” is the wisdom. Agencies today got used to the idea of buying online advertising, but it took them a long time to adjust. When they felt the pressure from numerous small digital shops, agencies eventually started acquiring them in bulk. The future of DOOH advertising is in specialized DOOH-media-selling companies and creative shops that may or may not become part of big agencies.