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From shelves to screens: DOOH tactics for CPG marketers



Andrew Golden

If you’ve set foot into any retail, grocery or convenience store lately, you know firsthand just how jam-packed the consumer packaged goods (CPG) landscape is. From cosmetics to cleaning supplies and sports drinks to snack foods, store shelves are brimming with product options. 

While the abundance of choice in CPG products is great for consumers — providing plenty of options to choose from — if you’re a marketer on the other side of the equation, this means increased competition for consumer attention and a more intense battle for shelf space than ever before. 

Fortunately, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising allows marketers to break through the clutter of a crowded industry and reach consumers with highly impactful ads at multiple touchpoints throughout the path to purchase and at the point of sale.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know as a CPG marketer looking to incorporate DOOH in your next marketing campaign.


Reach CPG shoppers on any screen

With millions of DOOH screens available globally, the possibilities are endless for you to effectively match your audience's movement patterns in the physical world. Here are the three major types of DOOH screens to consider for your next CPG campaign, each serving their own unique purpose:


Large format 

Whether it's the dazzling screens in Times Square, roadside billboards, bus shelters or sidewalk displays, large format screens are the perfect platform to cast a wide net and reach consumers while they’re on the go. 


Place-based DOOH screens appear in contextually relevant venues throughout consumers’ daily lives, such as in malls, office buildings, gyms and salons. Whether your audience is out shopping, working out or just running errands, place-based screens allow you to seamlessly engage with consumers at multiple touchpoints as they move throughout their day.


Point-of-purchase screens exist inside stores where consumers are actively choosing their products and making purchases, such as big box retailers, grocery stores, pharmacies and more. These screens are strategically placed throughout retail environments — at the entrance, in the aisles and even at check out — providing you with an unparalleled opportunity to influence decision-making in the final moments before your shoppers make their purchases.


Reach the right consumers with data-driven audience targeting

Programmatic DOOH technology enables you to create and target custom audiences based on personas, purchase behaviors, demographic traits and even your own first-party data. By leveraging audience data in your DOOH campaigns, you can effectively reach the right consumers with high-impact ads to keep your brand top of mind among your valuable shopper segments. 



With DOOH, you can tap into anonymized passive location data at scale to target consumer personas such as moms, health enthusiasts or big-box retail shoppers based on their lifestyle characteristics, behaviors and visitation patterns.



Whether you’re advertising a hydrating facial moisturizer or children’s multivitamins, it’s no secret that certain groups of consumers tend to purchase specific products more than others. By leveraging the advanced targeting capabilities of DOOH, you can segment and target audiences based on specific demographic traits, namely DMA, age, gender, HHI, ethnicity and more.


CASE STUDY: Nestlé leveraged the targeting capabilities of DOOH to reach an audience of “Millennials and Walmart Shoppers,” based on both age and consumer visitation patterns in the physical world. This campaign landed Nestlé an impressive 13% boost in purchase intent. Check out the full Nestlé case study to learn more about this refreshing campaign!

Screenshot 2023-09-18 at 10.27.00 PM

First-party data

Consumers who have previously purchased from your brand are, on average, 67% more likely to do so again. And what better way to maximize the effectiveness of a campaign than by reaching consumers who have already demonstrated purchasing affinity for your products? 

DOOH allows you to leverage your first-party data to keep your brand top of mind with valuable consumer segments and encourage repeat purchases and promote special offers. By utilizing a data onboarding partner, like LiveRamp, you can build and target audiences of current customers, loyalty members, frequent shoppers and more.

Household shopper data

From allergy sufferers to plant-based dieters, segmenting consumers by their previous purchasing habits provides brands with valuable information about a household's demographics, socioeconomic characteristics and the products they are likely to buy in the future. 

DOOH allows you to leverage trusted data partners like IRI or NCS to reach specific types of CPG shoppers based on their past purchase behaviors. Whether you’re looking to target pet owners, OTC remedy purchasers or men’s self-care buyers, there are audiences available for nearly any market segment!

Build stunning DOOH creative to capture consumer attention

It’s estimated that around 75% of an ad’s effectiveness is determined by its creative, and being such a visually-driven medium DOOH provides the perfect platform to let your creativity shine.

Here are a few ways you can push the boundaries of creative expression to deliver engaging DOOH ads to your audience.


Weather triggers

Using a DOOH demand side platform, you can leverage weather triggers to automatically deploy tailored messaging when and where it is most likely to influence consumers based on current weather conditions, such as: 

    • Temperature

    • Humidity

    • Air quality and pollen count

    • Precipitation

    • Pest/insect seasons

    • Cold and flu conditions

CASE STUDY: Nature’s Way brilliantly combined weather triggers with the contextual relevance of airport screens to reach consumers experiencing “immune risk” situations and drive in-the-moment purchases during heightened cold and flu conditions. The DOOH campaign activated in 33 DMAs and reached 18M consumers. 

Natures Way Creative-1

Video OOH

Incorporating video or animated elements within your DOOH creative is a highly effective way to grab viewers’ attention, evoke emotions and build associations with your product or brand in consumers’ minds.

Repurposing existing video advertising spots into DOOH assets is a simple yet effective way to quickly turn around a campaign that enthralls viewers, tells a story and saves resources. Alternatively, if you’re looking to make an impact without building out a full video asset, you can incorporate subtle animation into your creative to make your DOOH ads pop against a stationary background. 

Dynamic creative

Adding dynamic creative capabilities to your DOOH ads allows you to pull in data feeds to automatically change specific elements within an individual advertising asset in real time — all with no manual work required. This enables you to create customized elements within your ads, such as: 

    • The distance to the nearest store that sells your products

    • Countdowns to upcoming launches, sales or events

    • Regional promotions

By using dynamic creative in your DOOH ads, you can drive home relevance and create a sense of urgency for your product among shoppers.

Increase the effectiveness of your DOOH campaigns

The robust targeting capabilities and wide variety of DOOH screen inventory available open up an entirely new realm of possibilities for you to efficiently reach consumers at various points throughout their day. 

Here are a few key ways to enhance the effectiveness of your CPG media buys:


POI targeting

Incorporating point of interest (POI) targeting into your DOOH campaign allows you to strategically activate DOOH screens within a set radius of specific POIs, such as grocery chains, pharmacies, competitive locations or retailers that sell your products. By activating DOOH media within close proximity to key destinations, you can hyper-target your messaging and encourage immediate purchases from shoppers. 

CASE STUDY: Dulux used POI targeting to strategically activate DOOH screens within a one-mile radius of retail locations that sell its paints, resulting in a whopping 130% increase in store visits to Dulux paint retailers. 

QMN-D17_Dulux (1)-1

Retail inventory packages

While POI targeting is incredibly effective at reaching consumers within a given area, if you’re looking to take your location targeting to the next level and maximize relevance while consumers are in-store and in a shopping mindset, then Vistar’s retail inventory packages are your answer.

Retail inventory packages allow you to activate a carefully curated collection of high-quality screen inventory inside, outside and adjacent to major retailers at scale – enabling unprecedented campaign precision and reach with minimal effort. 

These packages consist of screens within the real estate footprint of highly sought after retailers — such as Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, CVS and more — allowing you to reach active shoppers precisely where your products are sold and influence real-time purchasing decisions.

You can use retail packages for campaigns such as:

  • Shopper marketing campaigns: Target audiences exclusively at desired retailers to enhance brand visibility and capture consumer attention right at the point of purchase.

  • On-premise marketing: Connect with shoppers by targeting screens in major retailers to support shopper marketing efforts, co-branded campaigns or exclusive product releases.

  • Targeted promotions: Seamlessly deliver offers and promotions to the right audience at the right time.


Audience retargeting

Research has shown that retargeting can increase conversion rates by up to 70% — making it crucial for you to build a consistent brand message and engage consumers at multiple touchpoints both online and offline to rise above the noise of a crowded CPG market. 

The addition of anonymized data-capturing technology in DOOH allows you to identify the device IDs exposed to an ad and safely retarget those viewers with sequential touchpoints across mobile, display, CTV, social, streaming audio and more.

By retargeting audiences that have already seen your ads, you can build compelling campaigns that span the entire customer journey and launch DOOH campaigns that align with, and amplify your other advertising channels.

Go from screens to sales — measuring the impact of DOOH

Whether the goal of your campaign is awareness, consideration, online engagement or in-store sales, DOOH offers a robust variety of measurement solutions to help you understand the real-world impact of your campaigns and measure the return on your investment across a variety of KPIs, including: 

Brand studies

Brand studies analyze the impact of campaign exposure on consumer behavior indicators such as awareness, favorability, consideration, purchase intent, message recall, competitive preference and more.


Online conversion studies

Online conversion studies measure the effectiveness of DOOH campaigns across a variety of online KPIs, including website conversions, in-app activity, sign-ups, etc. — providing you with in-depth insights into how your DOOH campaigns are promoting cross-channel activity and driving engagement with valuable customers online.


Sales lift studies

Sales lift studies measure the impact of DOOH media on CPG consumer purchases by linking exposure to offline sales.

    • Circana Ansa – measures the sales impact across a specific leading U.S. retailer by measuring the difference in sales between test and control stores.

    • Circana matched market – calculates the sales impact of changing or using new media tactics in a test market before employing a large-scale rollout.

    • Circana sales lift – quantifies the impact of DOOH media on consumer purchase behavior by linking exposure to offline sales.

CASE STUDY: In a recent DOOH campaign, Pepsi utilized Circana’s Ansa measurement solution to compare Nitro product sales among test stores and control stores using point-of-sale data from the selected retailers. The campaign resulted in 85% store sales coverage and 103% targeting efficiency.

Pepsi Nitro Programmatic DOOH Campaign-4-1

Unwrapping CPG success with DOOH

As a CPG marketer in an evolving consumer landscape, DOOH empowers you to engage with your target audience at every touchpoint throughout their end-to-end shopping experience. 

When you combine the data-driven targeting and creative capabilities of DOOH with the wide variety of real-world touchpoints and measurement solutions available, you gain an incredible opportunity to grab consumer attention and surround active shoppers with relevant messaging at crucial moments in the buying journey. 

By incorporating DOOH into your marketing mix, you’ll be perfectly positioned to make your brand stand out in a cluttered advertising landscape and influence purchase decisions.

If you’d like to learn more about how Vistar can help you take your CPG campaign to the next level, our team of DOOH experts would be happy to show you how!

Contact us


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