AR meets billboards: 2023 trends in OOH advertising - SmartBrief

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AR meets billboards: 2023 trends in OOH advertising

From augmented reality to neuroscience, KEVANI founder Kevin Bartanian breaks down 2023 OOH trends in advertising.

4 min read


Jongdae Park / Unsplash

According to a study conducted by the OAAA, out-of-home advertising has boomed in the last year and is only expected to grow in the new year. With more consumers traveling and enjoying in-person activities, brands need to meet their target audience where they are. But it’s not just about impressions, 2023 OOH trends will see advertisers use more data, sophisticated technology and embrace a marriage between physical and digital mediums to best reach their market. 

Knowledge is power and it’s no surprise data will continue to be king in 2023. Having scientifically backed insight into what makes consumers tick is invaluable, we will see many more brands and agencies use sophisticated research methodologies to make informed buying decisions.

In 2022, my company conducted a neuroscience study that found that the sites and advertising formats play a key role in the OOH campaign’s success, from grabbing viewers’ attention to ad perception. Findings showed that OOH advertising sites with low cognitive load boosted positive responses, and garnered a stronger recall rate — key components that contribute to driving real-world sales. 

Expect more science-backed studies and the use of tools such as artificial intelligence to identify audiences, optimize creatives and improve performance in real time. The goal of AI is to deliver personalized ads that help people make decisions about what products or services to consume. I anticipate this transferring to out-of-home advertising in substantial ways in 2023. 

Additionally, augmented reality is also set to become bigger and better – we are seeing this already in play with the integration of QR codes into billboards to launch AR experiences. In 2023 we can expect this to get more sophisticated and sleek to connect the digital world with brands’ physical presence in out-of-home advertising.

In 2023 brands will create multi-sensory campaigns for the digitally tired consumer who craves real-world, tangible experiences. Advertisers don’t want to be one of many, and they will be looking for one-of-a-kind opportunities to stand out from the pack. Unexpected experiences resonate with consumers, attract more attention and result in better retention, so it’s no surprise that iconic out-of-home locations will continue to be portals to digital brand experiences and purchases, thanks largely to handheld devices. 

It’s an exciting time to be in advertising, with the market expected to grow from 3% to 6%, based on studies from Dentsu, GroupM, Magna and Zenith, and OOH advertising to grow 8% in 2023. Despite whispers of a recession, connecting with customers and building brand fame continue to be high priorities for most businesses, and out-of-home advertising is a powerful way to accomplish this. 

2023 will be the year of the community canvas, a time when advertisers will need to maintain their brand fame in a cluttered market and drive sales and metrics through the brand funnel, creating real value through the power of out-of-home. 

I like to think of the city as a community theater and out-of-home media canvases as the headliners. The mass reach medium is a spectacle that is trusted, not intrusive, and gives back to the community. The best-performing content will be thoughtfully localized — it should be performance that moves and inspires.

In order to create truly captivating campaigns in the new year, advertisers need to think outside of the box. Next year is not only about impressions. It’s about making those impressions matter. Magic happens when quality locations, quality equipment, robust service and well-thought-out creative all come together harmoniously.


Kevin Bartanian is the founder and CEO of KEVANI, an out-of-home (OOH) media sales organization specializing in urban-scale, iconic media assets.


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