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The FOOH Advertising Phenomenon: Shaping the Future of Marketing

If you're anything like me and love discovering new and innovative trends in the digital content landscape, then you've probably caught wind of the latest buzz in the marketing sphere—FOOH advertising. I’ll admit it’s an intriguing world with the right blend of quirky and futuristic that marketing mavens and curious minds dream of.


So, what exactly is FOOH advertising? Well, imagine traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising, like billboards and posters, but with a twist—it's all virtual. FOOH (Fake/Faux Out-of-Home) advertising leverages digital technology to create hyper-realistic virtual ads in physical spaces, blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds. FOOH advertising’s most significant impact on audiences lies in one main question, is it real?


Take this viral Maybelline Sky High mascara FOOH ad video, for instance. It showcases giant Maybelline mascara wands and eyelashes attached to London transportation, with the eyelashes being elegantly curled as the train or bus passes various stops.

Now, you might be wondering, why the sudden surge in FOOH advertising. Well, in today's digital age, consumers are bombarded with ads everywhere they turn, from social media feeds to search engine results. Traditional advertising channels are becoming increasingly saturated, making it harder for brands to cut through the noise and capture consumers' attention.


Enter FOOH advertising. FOOH experienced a massive rise in 2023. With its eye-catching computer-generated visuals, interactive elements, and ability to target specific audiences based on location and demographics, FOOH advertising offers a fresh and innovative approach to reaching consumers. It transforms ordinary urban landscapes into immersive brand experiences, sparking curiosity and engagement like never before. According to The Fifth Agency, the Maybelline mascara video generated 451% higher engagement compared to their previous 30 posts combined. The positive sentiment surrounding the ad was largely due to viewers appreciating the clever and deceptive concept.


FOOH advertising isn't just about grabbing attention, it's also about delivering authentic, personalized, and relatable content to consumers. Using data analytics and machine learning algorithms, brands can tailor FOOH ads in real time based on factors like weather, time of day, and even the viewer's mood, creating a truly customized experience.


Other brands that have jumped in include Jacquemus, Emirates, L’Oreal, and Rains.


So, what does the rise of FOOH advertising mean for the future of marketing? For starters, it signals a shift towards more dynamic and experiential advertising formats with greater scalability and reach. FOOH is more cost-effective compared to traditional out-of-home advertising, as it eliminates expenses related to physical locations, production management, building permits, and set materials. Brands that embrace FOOH advertising have the opportunity to stand out in a crowded marketplace, drive brand awareness, and foster deeper connections with consumers.


But like any emerging trend, FOOH advertising comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. From privacy concerns to technical limitations, brands need to tread carefully and ensure that their FOOH campaigns align with their overall marketing objectives and values. The ethics around FOOH remain unclear, and there is a demand in the industry for laws and regulations that guide the use of artificial assets, especially those that mimic real ones.


Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality hold exciting potential for the future of marketing and content creation. FOOH advertising represents the next frontier in marketing innovation, offering brands new ways to engage and connect with their target audience. As technology evolves and consumer expectations change, brands must adapt and embrace new approaches to stay ahead of the game.


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