Ocean launches Primers to give billboards peak-time TV-style ratings

DOOH Primers 2

Premium out of home media owner Ocean Outdoor has launched a new methodology called Primers, which it said reframes the DOOH (digital out of home) proposition to equate it with peak TV.

Ocean’s DOOH Primers

The Primers is based on a rigorously tested strategy developed over the past six months, Ocean said. It is evidenced by the latest release of Route (Version 36 2020) and four Neuroscience studies, together with in-depth analysis of the UK’s entire DOOH footprint.

Using data and common denominators, Ocean has identified 280 DOOH Primers (frames) which share the same properties as “must-have’“ peak TV spots.

The methodology used has been developed in conjunction with Ocean’s Insight team, two major out of home Specialists and Ocean Outdoor joint managing director Phil Hall, who spent 18 years buy-side at MediaCom before joining Ocean in 2019.

Ocean said the introduction of The Primers reflects significant change in the DOOH market over the past five years and marks the evolution of DOOH as a well-established, high impact broadcast digital channel.

DOOH growth

DOOH now accounts for more than 50% of total OOH revenue and can deliver 82% coverage of the UK population within a month. 

With a growing audience, unique amongst the major broadcast channels, all the indications are that DOOH will be the lead branding channel post-Covid-19.

“For the purposes of planning it’s apparent that DOOH is more akin to primetime TV, however the two are often planned very differently”, Hall said. 

“An effective TV campaign usually relies on primetime peak spots, delivering large audiences in a quality environment. Securing a strong peak allocation with these key spots is second nature to a good TV buyer.

DOOH Primers Two Towers Bham
Primer time: Ocean brings peak-time TV methodology to billboards.

“The same logic doesn’t always apply in OOH. That same quality threshold isn’t automatically applied at the start of the planning process and that hasn’t changed since the age of classic paper and paste static posters. 

“The majority of plans still start from the basis of building broadcast coverage with traditional standard 6 or 48 sheets first, with large format DOOH inventory often at the end, as a ‘nice to have’. This approach is the exact opposite of the TV planning model.

“DOOH Primers have the same star qualities as prime, must have TV ad spots and do exactly the same job. 

As good as a Bake-Off ad break

“For every Champions League or Bake Off centre-break, there is a DOOH equivalent. Ocean’s development strategy has always been to focus on these key sites and we are the market leader in this area.

“What we can now prove is that an OOH plan without the Ocean Primers is like a TV plan without Peak. Prime DOOH IS the quality threshold and should be the starting point for any OOH plan. 

“It’s time to overhaul the process by making the buying of big DOOH Primers the starting point for any OOH campaign.”

Ian Stevens, chief investment officer at Wavemaker UK, said: “The progress the DOOH market has made in the last few years has been rapid and the coverage achievable shows it is a major broadcast channel in its own right. 

“I see this is a positive step as we are constantly searching for the most efficient way to drive mass, quality reach for our clients. The increased footprint, flexibility and data and tech capabilities of DOOH make it a key medium for many of our clients.’’