Out of Home Series, Part 2: The “New” OOH and a 3-Part Model

November 16, 2010


Let's dive right in, and let me try to explain what I've tried to graphically illustrate.

Any OOH solution should include three component parts:

1. Equipment, which refers to “how” the message is delivered. It's as easy as identifying the hardware and software components that will run the solution.  There are other elements at play here with equipment, but in the end, there must be a piece of hardware and there must be a piece of software.

2. Place, as you may have guessed, is the actual location of the solution. This is most likely either paid media, as in you have to pay for a placement, or “owned” media, which is a property you own. Again, pretty easy stuff.

3. Content is where it gets challenging. It's the “what” piece of the solution, which naturally includes lots of different pieces like planning and strategy. All of this is critical to storytelling because it provides the proper context in which to tell the story – not necessarily what story needs to be told, but who you want to tell the story to and how you want to do it.

Wrapped around all of this is execution. Obviously there will likely be multiple players involved in executing the solution – hopefully my model helps identify what kind of players those are as you create your own OOH solution.

The intersection of components
Now what's most interesting (hat tip to Matt Dickman)  is the intersection of these components and the combined results.  For example, the result of Equipment + Place = “Environmental Design.” What's the installation going to be in the place where it's going to be seen? What opportunities do you have based on where it's going to be seen? How much does that dictate what exact equipment is used?

The result of Place + Content is the “Consumer Engagement.”  This is how the consumer is actually going to engage with the solution in that particular location.  My engagement is different if I'm going to be interacting with content in Times Square than it is if I'm interacting with content in a tradeshow booth.  As much as it can, the content should be tailored to the actual location in which  it will be experienced.

And the result of Content + Equipment is the type of “Technology Experience” through which the consumer interacts with the solution.  This is where enabling technologies come most into play.  What equipment is used for me to consume and engage with the story in the most optimal way?  Is it a mobile phone?  Is it a touch screen?  The temptation is for the technology to drive the solution, particularly with the introduction of so many new, bright, shiny technologies, but I think ultimately, content wins here.  It's not just about the technology, it's about which technology will enable the best experience with this type of content.

These results are the deeper components of the solution that I feel need to be thought about if you really want to maximize your OOH solution, as they define the power and potential of the “new” OOH.

At least, that's what I think. Do you agree?