The out-of-home sector presents the toughest challenge in audience research. Those exposed to the medium are constantly moving. The advertising frames can be anywhere and everywhere. Advertising displays vary from traditional “paper and paste” to high-definition panels. Some frames show static posters while some are dynamic.
There is no guarantee that someone passing in proximity to an advertising frame will see it. Are they travelling toward the frame? Is the frame facing the right way? Is the view obstructed? If it is dark, is the frame illuminated? Traditional research methods cannot provide the answer. For example, there is no readily recognisable editorial hook on which to base a study of recall. A single study will not do.
The answer is to combine a number of studies, each of which is tailored to answer specific challenges of measuring the audience for out-of-home advertising. The travel survey tells us how people move around as they live day-to-day. This also provides the source of detailed demographic and other information about the respondents. Traffic flow data determines absolute population numbers and their travel flow. This too gives the framework that maps the entire city.
Pioneering eye-tracking studies gauge the likelihood to see the various types of display. The research accounts for scale, orientation and distance. It also calibrates properties such as movement and illumination.
Audience measurement is the result of combining the files through the application of a sophisticated reach & frequency algorithm. The output of the study is an estimate of the audience to out-of-home advertising campaigns. Outdoor Impact quantifies how many people see a campaign and how often they do so. The audience can be broken down into target groups and the whole process is supervised by the Technical Committee.