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How to take advantage of interactive digital screens in your next campaign



Hannah Lyder

As online media becomes oversaturated with ads, marketers are constantly looking to earn more than impressions - they want to fully engage their audience. Enter, interactive ads. Using interactive technology such as motion and touch gives marketers the opportunity to break out from a cluttered media landscape and differentiate their brand from its competitors.

What are interactive ads?

An interactive ad is any piece of paid media with the intention to get consumers to participate. It gives the audience the ability to engage directly with what they see and have an experience with a brand. When done digitally, an interactive ad is another way to create two-way communication between your brand and your potential customers. While traditional out-of-home (OOH) is limited to static messaging, programmatic technology makes interactivity possible with digital out-of-home (DOOH).


Why marketers should take advantage of interactive digital signage

Combining the proven benefits of DOOH with interactive screens takes a brand’s messaging to the next level.

  1. Build top of mind awareness: The more a brand can interact with their audience, the better the brand health and recognition. In a world where social media polls and online video display ads are a given, taking an interactive approach in real life moments garners more attention.

  2. Collect data in real-time (and the real world): With the ability to have two-way communication through your DOOH advertising, you can gain further insights on your audience. Not only are you collecting information on when and where an ad is appearing and being engaged with, but Vistar’s powerful location technology enables the ads to be measurable and attributable across both upper and lower funnel KPIs, giving you a massive amount of data to measure your efforts.

  3. Go beyond high-impact creatives: DOOH already offers marketers unmatchable, high-impact formats. By combining a high-impact creative with interactive screens, the ad is intertwined with a consumer’s experience, increasing their intent to buy or otherwise engage with your products.

  4. Create a buzz on social media: Out-of-home (OOH) has been used for decades to create media buzz. Consumers see high-impact billboards and interactive displays as something worthy of sharing with their own peers. For this reason, combining DOOH with interactivity gives an advertisement the potential to go viral as consumers share their experience online.


How to use interactive digital screens to engage your customers

While DOOH is traditionally a 1:many medium, interactive digital screens marry the mass medium with the 1:1 world of digital advertising. Specific network screens capture consumers' attention while in the physical world by using tactics like motion and touch sensors.

Types of interactive digital screens

  • Motion: Unlike online or TV, where your ad may play even if someone isn’t actively in front of the screen, this subset of DOOH inventory has a sensor or camera on the device that detects when someone is present. Now the ad only plays when someone is directly in front of the screen. Motion triggered screens are commonly found at the checkout aisle in grocery stores and supermarkets.

  • Touch: Touch-activated DOOH screens only play an ad when someone engages with it. This allows you to easily extend your digital and mobile strategy into the real world where a user must touch, swipe or scroll in order to view your ad. Now you have the advantage of getting in front of consumers who are already engaged.

Other ways to personalize DOOH ads

  • Use dynamic ads to customize creatives based on when and where the ad is being shown. From sports scores, weather and traffic to promotional offers, directions to a store and localized imagery, dynamic creative unlocks personalization at scale for marketers.
  • Combine programmatic DOOH with mobile advertising to deliver sequential messaging, making it a part of an omnichannel approach.
  • Build persona-based audiences based on the locations people visit. By using anonymized GPS location data, marketers can understand consumer behaviors patterns and target them in a privacy-safe way.


Every year the marketing landscape continues to evolve, and out-of-home is no exception. With digital signage taking over the industry, the channel has evolved to co-exist with other modern digital advertising channels while maintaining its benefits through new and innovative ways - including interactive advertising. To learn more about how you can begin running DOOH campaigns, contact us today to speak with one of Vistar’s programmatic experts.

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