The next time you are in your doctor’s office, at the mall or at the local sports arena, the ad that you see on a plasma TV display or a digital kiosk could have been purchased and placed there using the same type of system advertisers are using today to buy and place online display ads.

Minority ReportAnyone who has seen Minority Report is familiar with this scenario, except thanks to mobile phones an eye scanner might not even be necessary (although it’s still a possibility). At some point it might be possible for Walgreens to know when a user who has their loyalty application on their phone walks by a kiosk in a mall and Walgreens’ ad server could bid to serve a customized ad to that user based their loyalty data — all very similar to what advertisers can do in the online world.

Imagine a local restaurant owner who realizes he has a lot of open tables on a given evening. He pulls up his computer and places an ad on the plasma screens at the theater venue down the street offering a special to the theater patrons hoping to drive traffic into his restaurant. It’s been difficult to get local businesses excited about serving ads based on a CPM on various websites, but I don’t think it will be tough to sell them on getting their ad up in venues like theaters, gyms, mall or even billboards.

The other exciting element is that out-of-home does not suffer from one of the biggest problems that the online display space has; the supply problem. Publishers keep producing more and more ad inventory, which causes CPMs to decrease because the demand just isn’t there. While there will be more digital out-of-home ad units installed over the next couple of years it will be easy to control the supply more so than anyone can in the online display space. When was the last time all of the online ads for a given DMA were sold out? How about billboards in a given DMA? Supply control allows for pricing control.

Read more of Matt's blog post at Streetfight

Matt (Sokoloff) Broffman  
Residential fellow


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