Programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising – also known as programmatic DOOH, or just pDOOH – is changing the marketing landscape. Offering unique opportunities for advertisers to use digital capabilities – such as audience targeting, automation and real-time analytics – to reach consumers in the real world, programmatic DOOH is one of the fastest-growing advertising channels for businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

With a growing DOOH network of digital screens, digital billboards and retail and place-based digital signage at malls, hotels, gas stations, universities, entertainment venues and practically everywhere else you can think of, it’s no wonder advertisers are increasingly turning to digital OOH advertising to reach audiences on the move. 

Combined with programmatic innovations – such as weather triggers and location based demographic targeting – it’s never been easier for SMBs to reach and engage target audiences with outdoor advertising.

In this blog post, we’re going to be focusing on a category of DOOH media known as place-based DOOH and how SMBs can use programmatic DOOH platforms to realize place-based outdoor advertising success. 

Firstly, however, let’s consider digital Out of Home in a wider context so we can understand why digital outdoor advertising is so effective right now.

What Does DOOH Mean?

DOOH stands for Digital Out of Home advertising. 

It refers to any type of digital ad that displays in locations outside of the home in public spaces. DOOH advertising utilizes a huge, global network of digital displays and digital screens to broadcast advertising messages to consumers on the move. 

Today, consumers are spending more and more of their time away from traditional advertising channels, such as the TV – and are becoming tired of being bombarded by digital ads online and on mobile devices. 

In fact, according to a recent survey by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), 75% of consumers agree that they “tune out” of digital ads on computer, mobile and TV screens.

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Infographic chart showing consumers seeking outdoor activities as an escape from technologies and programmatic DOOH

(Image source:

By contrast, the same report finds that consumers have increased appetites for outdoor and shared experiences, which is leading them to notice DOOH displays and outdoor advertising more. 

In fact, they’re not just noticing out of home advertising more – OOH ads are leading consumers to discover new businesses and brands and are influencing their path to purchase. 

Infographic chart showing the power programmatic DOOH has on consumers discovering new brands

 (Image source:

As Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA, puts it: “We have a powerful opportunity in the coming months to capture the heart and imagination of people who are looking at their surroundings and out of home marketing with more awareness and appreciation. 

“The bottom line is that OOH advertising will have a growing role to play in consumers’ lives, when it comes to learning about products, services, public safety and more.”

Indeed, the great thing about Digital Out of Home is that if your target audience is in the vicinity of a DOOH display, they are going to see it. They can’t switch to another TV channel to escape your ad – and they can’t use ad blockers like they can (and many people do) online and on mobile.

And when it comes to programmatic DOOH, outdoor advertising becomes even more powerful. 

Programmatic DOOH platforms use real-time data to allow advertisers to set specific conditions that will trigger the automatic purchase of a DOOH ad slot on a digital screen in a specific location. 

For example, you can display different creatives based on the time of day. Or you can use live weather data, or the ongoing results of a sporting event, to determine which ads you run. You can even use live audience information to determine which content you display at a given location at any given time – ensuring your ads stay contextually relevant and reach the right people in the right place at the right time. 

With programmatic DOOH, fantastic opportunities are opened up to create truly memorable outdoor ad campaigns that capture the attention of your target audience in the real world. 

Read More: Why Programmatic DOOH Is More Effective than DOOH for Buyers

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What Is Place-Based Media?

While most people will typically think of 50-feet tall digital billboards by the roadside when you mention Out of Home advertising, the truth is that most DOOH media is actually place-based. 

Digital place-based media is defined by contextually relevant environments, designed to reach consumers where they seek to be and where they spend much of their time outside of their homes – for work, higher education, entertainment, shopping, personal errands, etc. 

Digital place-based advertising media includes the digital signage and displays you find in retail locations, including:

  • Malls
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Gas stations
  • Dispensaries
  • Pharmacies
  • Parking garages 

Retail environments provide outstanding opportunities to engage audiences at their most receptive on their path to purchase. Retail DOOH screens are perfectly placed to captivate high-intent shoppers in high-dwell time environments – allowing advertisers to increase brand and product visibility right at the point of purchase. 

Aside from retail locations, place-based media also includes the digital inventory you find in other out of home environments, such as:

  • Gyms
  • Salons
  • Spas
  • Points of Care (Doctor’s and Veterinary Offices)
  • Schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Office Buildings
  • Recreational Locations
  • Movie Theatres
  • Sports Entertainment Venues
  • Bars
  • Casual Dining Venues
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Venues
  • Hotels
  • Military Bases
  • Banks
  • Apartment Buildings

In essence, place-based DOOH media is that which is found in places consumers visit regularly and where they are highly engaged with their environments for extended periods of time. Place-based advertising is typically customized, usually location-specific, with advertising campaigns targeting specific consumer audiences – at the right time and in the right place. 

Place based media is ideal for reaching a captive audience who are often looking for a distraction or are more receptive to DOOH ads.

In fact, according to recent figures from Statista, 84% of consumers pay attention to place-based DOOH advertising in the US – with 29% noticing it most of the time and 21% all of the time.

Attention paid to dooh ads

(Level of attention paid to digital out-of-home place-based advertising according to residents in the US. Image source:

The contextually relevant nature of place-based DOOH screens allows outdoor advertisers to reach consumers as they move throughout the day living their fast-paced lifestyles. These consumers can then be targeted with creative messaging that is matched to the location. 

For example, if an advertiser wanted to target a new protein shake at consumers pursuing a healthy lifestyle, they can use place-based media located at or near gyms, as well as other places where gym-goers visit, like sports venues, nearby of specialty grocery stores and other locations. 

Using powerful programmatic DOOH platforms, advertisers can hand select a wide variety of DOOH locations to display their ads with just a few clicks. pDOOH platforms can also be used to find appropriate screens by utilizing location-based data, such as city, country, zip code, venue type, publisher, screen size and more.

Looking for a Programmatic DOOH Partner to Supercharge Your Place-Based Advertising?

Digital place-based advertising is hugely effective for businesses, especially SMBs as it is both time and cost effective when bought programmatically. 

To realize this potential and to begin to realize those time and cost savings, you need a programmatic DOOH platform that connects you seamlessly to the inventory you need. 

At The Neuron, we connect SMBs directly with sellers on a powerful and simple-to-use platform that offers automated bidding and removes all the middlemen from the DOOH buying process. 

You can upload and optimize your creative messages in just a few simple clicks and target audiences precisely where they are, amplifying the impact of your campaigns for the highest possible ROI. 

Try The Neuron today.