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Unlocking the OOH Attention Formula

New research carried out by PML Group and Ipsos B&A shows that out of home advertising is a powerful tool in the advertising armoury when it comes to grabbing consumer attention.

In 2024, the battle for consumer attention is more intense than ever. The world is increasingly dominated by a constant stream of messaging at every touchpoint. Amid this backdrop, PML Group published IMPACT Attention, a comprehensive study delving into the unique position of OOH as a leader in the attention economy.

By examining the consumer perception of various pillars relative to OOH attention, we provide actionable insights for marketers looking to maximise their impact and win the attention battleground with OOH as their not-so secret weapon.

The research involved a quantitative study conducted by Ipsos B&A, comprising eight waves of 300 respondents across Dublin, aged 16 to 54 years. Each highlighted a unique facet that showcases why Attention and OOH advertising are inseparable. In the coming weeks we will publish detail on these individual elements. In the meantime, summary findings are outlined below.

OOH advertising excels in attracting and retaining consumer attention through its scale and power. The study reinforces this, finding 83% of respondents noticed OOH including billboards, posters, digital screens, and bus ads in the past year. This attention was highest among 16-24-year-olds at 87%. The sheer scale and presence of OOH ads in high-traffic areas make them hard to ignore, providing continuous exposure and reinforcing brand messages.

Implications: The high attention metrics among younger demographics. By strategically placing OOH ads in locations with high visibility, brands can create multiple touchpoints throughout the day, enhancing brand recall and engagement.

The study shows that OOH plays a significant role in brand discovery, with 67% of consumers noting as having discovered new brands through OOH ads. This effectiveness is particularly pronounced among 16-24-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds, with 75% and 73% respectively encountering new brands via OOH.

Implications: For new product launches and brand awareness campaigns, OOH is crucial. Strategic placement in high-footfall areas can introduce brands to potential customers effectively, especially valuable for emerging brands seeking market presence.


OOH ads amplify messaging by synergizing with other media such as TV, radio, and online ads. The study found that 73% of respondents reported that OOH ads reminded them of TV ads, and 72% noted a similar effect with online ads. This synergy enhances cross-media recall, making OOH a critical component of integrated marketing strategies.

Implications: Brands should adopt a multi-channel approach, using OOH to complement and reinforce messages seen on TV and online. This strategy enhances brand recall and increases overall campaign effectiveness.

The study found that OOH advertising significantly impacts consumer buying behavior, with 61% of respondents indicating that the medium has influenced their purchase decisions. This influence is particularly strong among younger demographics, with 79% of those aged 16-24 reporting an impact on their purchasing behavior.

Implications: OOH’s ability to drive purchase decisions underscores its importance in marketing strategies. Brands should focus on compelling ad content and strategic placement near retail locations to provide the final nudge for consumers to make a purchase.

Innovative OOH formats including, but not limited to, projections, lenticular posters, and sound-enabled transit tunnels, are an extremely effective means of capturing attention, with 85% noting this as being the case.

The study also found that 84% of respondents consider brands who make use of these innovative formats as being innovative themselves, setting great expectations for those who decide to go beyond the billboard.

Implications: Investing in digital OOH formats that offer replayability and dynamic content can significantly enhance viewer engagement and message retention. These formats allow for creative and impactful advertising, capturing attention in high-traffic areas.

OOH is effective in disseminating public information, with 88% of respondents acknowledging its efficacy in informing about new services and initiatives. The medium’s wide reach and high frequency make it ideal for public awareness campaigns.

Implications: Public bodies and advertisers should leverage OOH for campaigns aimed at driving awareness and engagement across diverse demographics. The medium’s ability to reach a broad audience ensures messages are seen and resonate effectively.

OOH is well-suited for communicating sustainability messages, with 84% of respondents finding it effective. Brands promoting sustainability through OOH are perceived more positively by 78% of consumers.

Implications: Integrating sustainability messages into OOH campaigns can attract attention and build trust among environmentally conscious consumers. This strategy enhances brand perception and appeals to those prioritizing sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

Localized OOH ads capture attention more effectively, with 65% of respondents noting better attention capture for contextual messages. These ads also make consumers more likely to notice future advertisements from the brand. The study found that 60% of respondents were more likely to notice future ads from brands using contextual messaging.

Implications: Incorporating contextual and localized elements into OOH planning enhances attention capture, memorability, and positive brand perception. This approach fosters stronger community connections and increases the likelihood of consumer support and attention to future advertisements.

Keep an eye on our Out \ Look news series over the coming weeks as we dive deeper into these pillars of attention. For more information contact info@pmlgroup.ie

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