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How Brands Can Harness the Advertising Power of The Sphere Every Day

The thousands of marketers who attended CES this year experienced an added bonus — an up close and personal look at one of the most talked about venues, the MSG Sphere. Opened in September at The Venetian, The Sphere is the newest addition to the Las Vegas skyline, and offers a digital experience that is as visually breathtaking on the outside as it is on the inside. Brands like Xbox, Shopify, and Heineken have already utilized The Sphere’s impressive exterior to market their products to the approximately 3.5 million tourists who visited Las Vegas each month of 2023 and the millions more who viewed these viral campaigns online.

As marketing executives return to their offices to officially kick-off another year, many are left with a lasting impression of The Sphere. And while activating this massive digital billboard may eventually become part of these leaders’ annual plans, there is another possible way to bring the eye-catching power of The Sphere into their everyday media strategies — it’s called digital out-of-home (DOOH). Advertisers, if you’re new to DOOH, or just need a refresher on best practices after a week in Las Vegas, here are some tips on how your brand can engage high-value consumers with outdoor digital screens every day of the year.

Tip 1: Identify & Incorporate the Right Screens

Part of The Sphere’s appeal is its prominent Las Vegas location — a city where a 366-foot tall digital billboard feels right at home amongst the glitz and glam. As marketers strategize their own DOOH campaigns for 2024, the physical locations of the screens they select are paramount to a campaign’s success.

DOOH inventory can be found at a variety of locations — at retail stores, in movie theaters, along city sidewalks, and more — and each can support a different advertising objective. If, for example, you're raising awareness of a new video game, a billboard along the highway near the exit for the mall may serve the purpose. If you want to sell a CPG product, place-based screens located at a grocery store can be the winning strategy. For example, Dole’s recent campaign was displayed on Volta’s digital screens on EV chargers located steps from the front entrances of grocery stores. For its wise targeting, Dole was awarded with an 8% sales lift, as measured by Catalina. Similarly, if you want to sell cars and related products, digital screens embedded into EV chargers can also be a good fit, as it’s likely that much of the audience these screens reach will arrive at that parking lot in their cars.

Success in DOOH advertising starts by embracing the same golden rule as real estate — location, location, location. Selecting high-quality inventory that reaches audiences at the right point in their path-to-purchase for your campaign’s goals can help your ad creative command attention.

Tip 2: Target The Right Audiences With Data

Many DOOH placements, like screens located outside of a grocery store, inherently offer high contextual relevance for brands sold at those retail locations. But targeting on DOOH extends beyond contextual relevance – data-driven targeting is also possible. Just as the leading online media platforms support audience targeting with first- and third-party data, so, too, does DOOH. Integrating customer data and prioritized audience segments into your next DOOH campaign can further refine your media plan, both in terms of the number of screens and the times your ads are displayed, helping ensure you’re allocating spend on targeted impressions and reaching the right audiences.

Data-driven targeting can also help advertisers to integrate DOOH into omnichannel campaigns that guide consumers along the path-to-purchase. I spoke with one Chief Marketing Officer recently who described how her brand “begins the conversation on the couch” with general messaging on connected television (CTV). Then, her team uses place-based DOOH media to target these exact same audiences with product-specific creative and promotional details. In this way, the brand is priming their audiences via CTV and then guiding them along the path-to-purchase with DOOH.

Tip 3: Measure the Metrics That Matter

Out-of-home inventory is far-reaching – The Sphere, bus shelters, taxi toppers, TVs in golf carts, and billboards along highways. Much to the surprise of many marketers, the range of possible metrics is almost as great – in-store sales, driving more website traffic, creating awareness of a newly launched product and more. Advertisers, as you plan your 2024 DOOH campaigns, it’s important that you find a DOOH media provider who has the right inventory and targeting capabilities, and who can deliver the metrics that are significant to your campaign.

Every DOOH environment carries with it a different contextual relevance and predictable consumer behavior, creating distinct opportunities. Say your campaign is running inside a commuter train car; naturally, your audience probably will be on their phones. The ability for your vendor to measure attributable mobile website visits should be a requirement.

The stimulation from another CES in Las Vegas is wearing off and marketers are finalizing their 2024 media plans. Those impressed by The Sphere will be pleased to know DOOH could support similarly captivating digital campaigns every day of the year  Success with the DOOH medium starts by focusing on the consumers you need to reach and then tailoring your inventory, targeting, and measurement strategies accordingly.