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Case Study: The Digital Out of Home and Mobile Site Deliver Offline Success to REI

At the time when traditional media budgets are declining, the OOH seems to have found a solution. The combination of OOH with digital data and mobile location proves very effective.

REI's #OptOutside campaign is a good example. Anti-Black Friday ads have been on the air for about three years. More recently, the campaign combined OOH / OOH digital (DOOH) and mobile with location data to increase brand awareness by 14% and purchase intention by 7%. More importantly, it caused a 3.6-fold increase in store visits compared to a control group not exposed to the multichannel campaign.

The campaign took place in Washington D.C., Denver and San Francisco and was a collaboration between the outdoor retailer, Vistar Media and LiveRamp. REI used LiveRamp to anonymize its first-party data so that it could be exported to third-party vendors. Vistar took this data and determined the offline 'high propensity zones' where REI customers and prospects (essentially the look-alikes) were likely to be throughout the day in these three cities.

Examples from the #OptOutside out-of-home and digital campaign from REI.

Vistar then ran a multichannel campaign with OOH digital and mobile. Clear Channel has delivered a traditional display.

The advantage of DOOH is that placements and advertising exhibits can move during the day to reach the intended audience, based on location data and historical movement patterns. In other words, if the target audience is at point A in the morning and at point B at the end of the afternoon, DOOH can adapt to these movements and broadcast only advertisements at these locations.

Exhibitions can then be tracked for offline visits and POS / CRM integration sales, although this is not part of this campaign. Similarly, customers visiting stores can be retargeted to mobile devices or OOH / DOOH locations.

Partly because of the campaign's performance, REI is increasing its percentage of media spend allocated to display at around 15% of the overall marketing mix. It's from scratch three years ago.


About the author

Greg Sterling is a contributing editor to Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about the link between digital media and consumer behavior in the real world. He is also vice president of strategy and ideas for the local research association. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google+.

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