To effectively use digital out-of-home advertising, in particular digital signage, advertisers need to employ a range of methods and tactics. Some of these design principles and best practices have been derived from traditional out-of-home, but some are unique due to the digital nature. To have the most effective digital signage content it’s best to look at some prominent examples and break down the tools that have been used.

We will cover 4 key aspects that helped these campaigns garner their success. This isn’t to say that there aren’t more tools and practices that are used in digital signage, these

are just the most prevalent in successful campaigns.


Doohly digital signage with people walking past

Adaptability

One of the things that make digital signage so different is its ability to use multiple pieces of technology to dictate what content is shown and when. Using different technologies in this way


makes it easy to have content that can easily adapt to the environment. What this means is that digital signage can take outside information that is relevant to determine what content to play.

There’s a range of technologies that can be linked with digital signage, such as cameras (to detect age, engagement, gender, dwell time), temperature gauges, weather monitors and more. The most memorable digital signage campaigns make use of its adaptability and incorporate viewers into the story of the campaign as you’ll see in the below examples.


Minimal Text In Motion

A design principle that all forms of digital marketing should take into consideration is the amount of motion that text is given. This is a “less is more scenario”, text doesn’t have to be completely static, but shouldn’t have too much motion. Finding the perfect middle ground will take some testing, but in general, the text should float, or move slowly, to allow viewers to read the copy. Try to avoid having text that moves around the screen or appears at irregular angles.


Short Copy

Keeping copy as short as possible is a design principle that has been carried over from traditional out-of-home advertising. Short and snappy copy allows viewers to easily understand the message that you are trying to convey. Viewers are also more likely to read short, large text as opposed to long explanatory paragraphs.


Contextually Relevant Creative

One of the most impressive and exciting features of digital out-of-home advertising is the ability for the creative to be contextually relevant. In this setting, creative that is contextually relevant means using the physical environment/location as part of the advertising campaign. Whilst this can be done with traditional out-of-home advertising, digital takes it to the next level. Digital signage can make advertising campaigns more interactive, enabling a richer viewer experience by making the creative change or react to its environment, making it more contextual.

These principles are guides and generalisations only, sometimes leaving an impact by going against the norm can work incredibly well. Again, these aren’t the only design principles involved in digital signage but are some of the most prevalent and give a greater chance of leaving a lasting impression.


Prime Digital Signage Examples

There have been 100’s of effective digital signage campaigns, especially in recent years so it would be impossible to list them all. What we’ve done is pick a handful of interesting campaigns that have made international headlines and listed which principles they made use of.


Netflix France - GIFs

The first campaign we are going to look at is Netflix France’s GIF campaign. Branded as the “First digital outdoor campaign made entirely with GIF”, this campaign took advantage of the rise of the GIF and turned it into something truly unique.

Adaptable: ✅

Minimal Text Motion: ✅

Short Copy: ✅

Contextual Creative: ❌


Netflix France’s GIF campaign doesn’t take into account the physical location of the signage. This is somewhat common when the campaign is deployed in multiple locations, and with over 100 signs deployed it’s understandable why. It would be a fairly expensive campaign if every unique location was taken into consideration and had specific content created.


Apolosophy - Shampoo

Our second chosen campaign is from Apolosophy, in Stockholm who wanted to advertise their shampoo (and other hair products) in a unique and interesting way. The digital screens located in the subway were fitted with ultrasonic sensors. When activated these would change the creative shown to a woman’s hair being swept away in the wind.

Adaptable: ✅

Minimal Text Motion: ✅

Short Copy: ✅

Contextual Creative: ✅


(For this campaign, it is important to note that the only input for adaptability that the screen was fitted with was the ultrasonic sensors. It could be argued that because of this it’s only contextually creative. Regardless, the advertisement is unique and achieved its job of catching subway passengers attention.)


Pepsi Max - Unbelievable Bus Shelter

Pepsi Max really took notice of digital signage and implemented it in a truly creative way. By making the digital signage almost interactive, it gave bus passengers in London something new. The screen used a camera and acted as a window taking advantage of the environment to show “unbelievable” events on the street.

Adaptable: ✅

Minimal Text Motion: ✅

Short Copy: ✅

Contextual Creative: ✅


Timberland - Augmented Reality Campaign

Timberland took the approach of making the viewer more than just someone watching, they’ve made them part of the advertising. They developed a live service that physically shows the viewer what they would look like in particular clothing. By using a camera and screen Timberland were able to stop people in their tracks and encourage them to try on new clothes, without having to enter the store.

Adaptable: ✅

Minimal Text Motion: ✅

Short Copy: ✅

Contextual Creative: ✅


Hjärtat - The Coughing Billboard

This campaign from Hjärtat has proven to be a controversial one at the very least (Some would argue all publicity is good publicity). By combining digital signage with smoke detectors, Hjärtat was able to advertise anti-smoking products directly to smokers in Sweden. When the smoke detector picked up that someone was smoking nearby, it would trigger the digital sign to show someone coughing. Hjärtat picked a location that was actually well known as a spot people would smoke before catching the bus, to really nail being contextual.

Adaptable: ✅

Minimal Text Motion: ✅

Short Copy: ✅

Contextual Creative: ✅


All of the above campaigns took advantage of new technology, technology that is still changing and updating today. You no longer have to be a multi-million dollar company to create these campaigns. Once you understand the design principles associated with digital signage, and how to fully maximise the impact you can have, all you need is the software. This is where Doohly comes in, we provide an easy to use CMS solution that can use a range of data points to display the most relevant content.


Get started today and contact our sales team!

How To Use DOOH Effectively

20 April 2022, 10:32:43 pm

How To Use DOOH Effectively
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