In our series DOOH trending, we showcase how brands are embracing innovation through technology and original content creation.

Native advertising is a modern yet age-old concept whereby advertisers — rather than simply promoting their products or services — create campaigns that demonstrate value to their viewers. They promote themselves quietly, indirectly and sometimes not at all by making an association between their product or service and content that serves their audience.

MoMA beautifies NYC subways with digital art installations

In the world of digital out of home (DOOH), advertisers and network providers are catching onto this trend. OUTFRONT Media Inc. positioned themselves as a leader in this space when they announced in November their plans to deliver artwork from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to digital displays across New York City’s public transit system. Instead of looking at a rotation of paid advertisements, subway riders can now take in digital artwork like Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and James Turrell’s Meeting.

As part of this program, MoMA will deliver artwork to digital displays in subway stations, along Metro North and Long Island Railroads and within some transit cars. The portfolio of artwork will be more extensive than just recognizable pieces. Transit customers will get to see paintings, sculpture, animation and video. A new installation will be released every month.

The concept of bringing desirable content that adds value directly to consumers is not a new trend. Weather bugs, news feeds and sports scores have been injected on out of home digital displays for quite some time. Editorial-style content on digital out of home is relatively new, though, and this trend is likely to gain traction as innovation continues.

“Selfie Countdown” brings shareable, user generated content to global tour

ISM Connect embraced the native mentality this fall by delivering a Selfie Countdown experience to fans at the Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour. Swifties were encouraged to snap photos of themselves alongside ISM Connect digital displays featuring a video and still image compilation of Ms. Swift and her tour logo. This promotion proved to be fun for fans, giving them a visual asset that made for a beautiful, shareable selfie. On the brand side, these selfies acted as promotional vehicles for the tour by creating organic buzz on social platforms.

“As part of creating modern digital experiences at both events and sporting events, we try to provide programming on our screens that is both engaging and useful to consumers. As technology integrates more fully into stadium venues and city landscapes, we are working with our customers to create more value in the everyday lives for the consumers of these locations.” – Brian Becker, Head of Marketing for ISM Connect.

By finding the intersection between added value and promotion in the outdoor environment, native digital out of home advertising creates a fluid connection between brands and their consumers. The trend is not meant to be tricky or covert. It is meant to be genuine, and it is meant to build brand affinity in an organic way as consumers digest content outdoors. The campaigns that achieve that balance are accomplishing just that.

Amie Sheridan is a Philadelphia-based writer and content strategist serving sports technology startups. Her work has appeared in Sports Business Journal.

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