Why Out-Of-Home is more Relevant Than Ever in the Digital Age

高一尺,魔高一丈 is a Chinese saying which literally translates to “As virtue rises one foot, vice rises ten feet; The good is strong, but the evil is ten times stronger”. This Chinese saying summarizes many life situations such as cops and thieves and perhaps also how the audience is constantly filtering out advertisers’ efforts to target and engage them. This saying sprang to my mind, as I read about the new Google Priority Inbox.


With the recent launch of the Google Priority Inbox last month, many direct marketers are scrambling to improve their email marketing strategies to overcome this new level of filter on top of the usually efficient spam filter. BrandRepublic’s analysis on Google Priority Inbox is well balanced citing particularly how targeting becomes more important than ever – “…this means segregating your lists, following design and HTML best practice and cutting out irrelevant ‘blanket blasts’ to everyone…”

Digital media is indeed the “star” of our media mix today. It is a refreshing platform whereby its economics, ROI and the audience’s consumption are defined very differently from the other media. Digital media is also the supposed “giant-killer” of other media. It is all sounds very threatening; however, I have been thinking and personally, I believe that Out-of-Home is now more relevant in the media mix than ever.


Without delving into (manipulable) statistics:

  • People have 16-18 waking hours a day to manage, out of which at least 8-10 of these hours are spent, Out of Home, at work for about 5 days a week.
  • Secondly, people are creatures of habit and are by nature social. While administrators try to seed new commercial centers in newly developed regions, people will prefer to take the easier way and revert to old ways if it is not too inconvenient or expensive.
  • Finally, thanks to the congregation of businesses and social activities and the long term nature of lease agreements, commercial and leisure focal points remain relevant to each community for decades and longer.
  • Times Square of New York City, Shibuya of Tokyo City, Orchard Road of Singapore and all the High Street of UK cities will remain bustling day-after-day-after-day, today, last decade and also in the far future.


Thus well-planned Out-of-Home media can not be filtered out and will not be replaced by digital media. What do you think?


How can the audience filter out an Out-Of-Home display? What if it is a large format display that is head-on in front of you, covering the peripheral vision too?


Please share your thoughts.



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