June 3, 2023

HTML5 and DCO for Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

Audience intelligence, automated trading, and dynamic content when combined together are the holy trinity that will truly push DOOH to the next level of digitalization.

Let’s address the first of the major challenges in this transformation – The optimization of creatives dynamically for specific screens, audiences, and triggers.

This Optimization is called DCO – Dynamic Creative Optimization

Why Advertisers Prefer HTML5  and DCO?

HTML5 is the web standard for displaying content. It gives advertisers, ability to target, via demographics, location, and adapt the creatives to the environment.

An advertiser buying programmatically has many more options on creatives than an advertiser buying offline.

HTML5 provides designers with the flexibility to decide on impactful creatives that drive few key points:

  • When to display an ad?
  • Where to display an ad?
  • What ad to display?
  • Who do we display the ad to?
  • What is the displayed ad size?

The use of HTML5 should be encouraged as this offers many creative options for advertisers to win consumer attention.

In the programmatic DOOH world, the winning creative needs to be served in real-time, it should not wait to be downloaded and rendered. 

With the increasing value of audience intelligence during planning, DCO offers an opportunity to act on that plan.

What Happens in the Digital Programmatic World?

In the digital world, the activity of adapting the Ad creative to the audience and their devices referred to as DCO is achieved via HTML5 packaging of content.

It offers technical interoperability between advertisers’ systems and the publisher’s system and works seamlessly in the digital world.

At the same time, it enables publishers to maximise revenues by addressing the context of the audience.

What Happens in the Digital OOH World?

In the DOOH world, there are a variety of screen formats and file formats to be supported.

The download speeds, bandwidth cost, connectivity, and distribution of content are a challenge.

Since DOOH is a broadcast medium,  content approval is mandatory in DOOH and it carries a significant impact. 

Many large networks have stayed away from DCO and HTML5 based creatives due to hardware, infrastructure and technical limitations. 

How to Prepare your Network for DCO?

DOOH media owners need to prepare themselves for an HTML5 first world.

Today most media owners have varying sizes and resolutions of screens and deal with creatives that need adaptations.

Added to that, is the fact that programmatic moves at a much faster pace throughout the business cycle than the traditional buys.

So How Do You Start?

  • Start at the CMS: Your CMS and Media player should be capable of managing and displaying HTML5 content packages. Look for a CMS that natively plays HTML5 widget containing the creatives. 
  • Connectivity plays a critical role: Determine the bandwidth required. This will help in determining the caching, and local storage requirements on your media players. 

Based on the CMS capabilities, you can decide what creative types are you ready to offer. For example, offering dynamic content like RSS feeds, polls, social media, or API based content are of great value. 

Once you have deployed these capabilities, talk to your buyer about using responsive creatives.

The Brands agencies and DSPs will keep you on the top of the list when you support the same environments and capabilities that they expect. 

Has Anyone Done It? 

There are many examples of DCO in the DOOH world executed across the world. In fact, one of the first few campaigns were executed more than a decade back. 

  • The first Dynamic campaign in the UK was delivered in 2009. This was for Nokia N97 phones and pulled live feeds from Facebook. This won them the DOOH X-Factor Award in 2010. 
  • In 2009 again, Castrol used camera’s and Digital screens to deliver their “Right Oil Right Car” Message
  • In 2018 we ran a campaign for Shell VPower with personalized DOOH calling out to drivers.
  •  Recently OOH stakeholders came together to deliver the informative campaign delivering COVID recovery statistics, spreading positivity by tapping into API provided by John Hopkins University, WHO and CDC. The creatives were dynamic based on real-time data thereby ensuring relevance and period of the message. Read more about this campaign here: APAC media owners join forces to DEFEAT the pandemic 
  • Another one of our recent campaigns serves creatives in 27 different sizes, across more than 100 locations in Malaysia. 

The Future is HTML5

DOOH Media owners should prepare themselves for HTML5 first world.

In fact, they should default to HTML5 content capabilities and adapt their technology stack, and operational processes accordingly.

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