Blogs/  How Live Feeds can help bring your DOOH campaign to life

How Live Feeds can help bring your DOOH campaign to life

 - Phoebe Rawson, Marketing & Insight Executive

The OOH landscape in Ireland has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, with digital OOH in particular experiencing exponential growth. It now accounts for approximately 15 percent of total OOH spend and this figure is only expected to rise over the coming years. On a global scale, it is expected that by 2020, digital out of home (DOOH) will be worth $18.5 billion; a rise from $10 billion in 2015 (source:, 2017). Without doubt, growth in OOH is being driven by digital.

Furthermore, traditional, static OOH has always been viewed as an inflexible medium, but the introduction of digital OOH has provided advertisers with the gift of flexibility! It is now possible to present contextually relevant ads to consumers while on the go, whether they are commuting, socialising, or maybe most importantly, on the path to purchase! One of the most straight-forward, and (in most cases) cost-effective ways of doing this, is through a live feed.

Live feeds take many forms, and you will see from some of the examples mentioned below, that they can vary greatly in complexity. However, the two main forms of live feeds, used in OOH, are live video feeds, and live data feeds. A live video feed speaks for itself – the streaming/display of video and/or audio media in real time. And, while not always the most cost-effective method of live feed, with the added cost of setting up cameras/microphones in, usually, faraway locations, it is a straight-forward method and can be extremely effective when done right, particularly for Tourism brands. A perfect example being the Tunisian Tourist Board, who displayed live video streams of picturesque Tunisian locations on digital transit panels across five European cities – London, Brussels, Milan, Paris and Berlin. All of which weren’t experiencing the most pleasurable of weather conditions!

Moreover, interactive live video feeds have the added benefit of allowing instant audience participation, and help create a more immersive brand experience. A nice example of this was from Compassion in World Farming in the UK, who “campaign for pigs to enjoy the freedom they deserve”. When the horse meat scandal hit Europe in 2013, the organisation wanted to show why free-range farming was best. So, they linked a large format interactive digital billboard to a free-range country farm. Passers-by could use their smartphone app to connect to a feed machine, located at the farm, and were able to “throw” apples to feed the pigs, and watch it on the DOOH screen in real time – the world’s first “Really Live Feed” (Get it?). Participants were thanked for their involvement via the digital screen, no doubt encouraging them to share their moment in the spotlight on social media.

On the other hand, live data feeds can include anything from live traffic data, live weather information and live sports scores (Euro 2020 anyone?), to moderated social media posts. Whatever method or content you choose, be it entertaining or informative, using live feeds allows brands to create a connection with their audience. By displaying content that is relevant to the environment, time or even sentiment of the audience, brands can show that they understand their audience’s needs.

The use of live data feeds in DOOH campaigns can also help to reduce the issue of ad waste. An excellent example of this is a recent DOOH campaign by Bord na Móna, who used a live temperature feed and only pushed its message when temperatures dropped below seven degrees, encouraging passers-by to enjoy #warmermoments in a relevant and hyper-contextual way.

In a recent campaign by McDonald’s in the UK, it used digital billboards and live traffic data to encourage passers-by to visit their nearest McDonald’s restaurant. When the live traffic data feed indicated that traffic flow was normal, the digital billboards displayed images of McDonald’s food items. But, when traffic slowed, the copy would change and instead of displaying images of food, the iconic golden arches would be displayed with a tagline, such as “Stuck in a jam? There’s light at the end of the tunnel”, cleverly commiserating with commuters and encouraging them to treat themselves and indulge in a McDonald’s.

In 2013, British Airways used live data feeds in a truly ingenious way, with the execution of its “Magic of flying” campaign. The award-winning campaign aimed to bring people back to a time when flying was a truly magical experience – when we were kids of course! What appeared to passers-by as magic, was actually a clever combination of live flight data and live weather information. The billboards were outfitted with a special ADSB antenna which read every aircraft’s transponder data within 200km. The ads displayed real flight data: the flight number and where the plane was flying from. Dynamic retail messaging was matched to each route too.  A live weather feed was used to monitor cloud height to ensure the plane was visible before showing the advert (source:, 2014). See video below:

Whatever your budget, or intent, using a live feed will help bring your DOOH campaign to life and allow you to contextually connect with your audience on the move.