Skip to main content

2017: a year in review [part one]

In recent years, the out-of-home (OOH) industry has made a name for itself as an engaging and dynamic technology that’s making way for businesses to drive innovation, explore creative opportunities and increase sales. And 2017 was no different. From lobby signs to digital menus, kiosks to billboards, the use of digital signage continued to grow and change the way consumers interact with businesses.
Let’s take a step back and glance at some of the past year’s biggest trends.

Touchscreen take over

As the line between digital signage and self-service continue to blur, we saw an increase in interactive kiosks, including a rise in public touchscreen kiosks that provide free Wi-fi, charging stations and other public information. By mimicking smartphones, these kiosks provide direct access to information and a more customized experience for consumers.

McDonald’s created a campaign in Italy that featured touchscreen kiosks, letting customers “choose their own taste” through customizable orders.

Interactive screens and kiosks are used in restaurants and retail stores allowing consumers to create and enhance their own experience. In fact, more than 60% of consumers say they prefer self-service tools like digital kiosks.

Surf Life Australia created an interactive panel that made a big splash at Bondi Beach. Users were able to donate to Surf Life Saving Foundation while playing a game on the screen.

Interactive screens are becoming the main feature in malls, airports, retail stores and other public spaces.

JCDecaux Australia launched its ‘Good Fortune’ campaign in Sydney to celebrate Lunar New Year, using interactive screens that feature fun games and prizes.

Impactful multi-channel campaigns  

2017 was a busy year for DOOH to collaborate with other channels. Combining these channels gave brands and advertisers the opportunity to connect with people in a mix of online and offline mediums. By using hashtags and promo codes, or connecting through Bluetooth and apps, businesses reached audiences in enticing ways.

JCDecaux and Telia brought music to the streets of Lithuania with their interactive campaign using mobile integration.  


Twitter relaunched its dynamic DOOH campaign that displays trending topics in real time during the UK general election.

There are many different ways in which brands can combine mobile, social media, online, DOOH and more to create an impactful campaign. By merging these channels, brands connected with consumers in more creative ways and at a more personal level.


Spotify used consumer data and cleverly transformed them into witty headlines.

A main benefit of these campaigns is that it puts the power of advertising into the customer’s hands. By highlighting user-generated content on digital displays, participation is encouraged, which in turn encourages new purchases and increases sales.

A grand programmatic debut

If there’s one trend that dominated last year, it was programmatic ad buying. Programmatic had been creating a buzz in the OOH industry for the past few years but screens are now officially available for purchase on leading DSPs.

Last year, we saw more DOOH software providers offering programmatic solutions, creating stronger digital signage networks that target audiences in the right place at the right time. But this is only the beginning, digital out-of-home advertising is expected to grow to about $19 billion in annual advertising spend by 2019.

2017 was actually a big programmatic year for us, as we officially launched our SSP, Broadsign Reach, which enables programmatic and digital media buyers to purchase DOOH inventory from within popular digital ad platforms.

China is a growing hub for digital signage

With OOH on the rise, China experienced major growth in the digital signage industry. In fact, the Chinese DOOH market is set to reach $4.07 billion by 2020. With growing urbanization and more people spending time outside their homes, OOH has become a more prominent medium to use. Actually, OOH is the third biggest medium in China, after TV and internet. Not to mention, China has the second largest programmatic market in the world.

We’re particularly excited about the developments in China, as we opened up our Shanghai office just last year. This office will be our way into the Chinese DOOH market by being right in the heart of it all.

DOOH market

With so many companies and organizations adopting digital signage, there’s bound to be more changes in the future. Be sure to check back in on Friday for part two of our mini-series to see what trends we expect 2018 will bring us.