What Is Programmatic DOOH Advertising?

Programmatic DOOH is the automated buying, selling, delivery, and targeting of Digital Out-of-Home advertising. 

Programmatic advertising was first trialled in the early 90s and became more widespread in the early 2000s, with Google Adsense launching in 2003. 

Programmatic digital transformation has arrived in the Out-of-Home advertising sector, and it is making big waves and becoming the choice of many DOOH advertisers.

In a recent industry survey on advertisers’ views on the effectiveness of programmatic advertising technology, 83% of respondents said programmatic DOOH offers the most innovative opportunities, and 61% said it offered unique advantages for targeting the right people at the right time. 

Carry on reading as we at Drovo further discuss programmatic DOOH and what it brings to the table for advertisers in 2024.

How Is Programmatic DOOH Purchased? 

The buying of programmatic DOOH advertisements takes place on a DSP (demand side platform). 

The efficiency of being able to buy different types of DOOH media from multiple networks on one singular platform is the main benefit of purchasing programmatic DOOH.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

A large number of DOOH ads are bought programmatically on Real-time Bidding auctions. In Real-time Bidding, thousands of DOOH ads to be bought and sold in seconds. 


Media owners can decide to sell more exclusive DOOH ad inventory to advertisers on invite-only Private Marketplace auctions. 

Programmatic Guaranteed 

There is also the option of direct publisher-advertiser programmatic guaranteed deals whereby the two parties agree on a pre-fixed CPM price for a set number of impressions on an ad inventory. 

In guaranteed programmatic DOOH deals, the advertiser only has to pay the pre-agreed price, unlike in real-time bidding where the highest bidder wins the ad inventory. 

Programmatic DOOH Advertising Formats 

DOOH campaigns aim to make the maximum impact on audiences, increase brand awareness, and ultimately get more people talking about your products or services and their benefits.

Now let’s take a look at different examples of useful formats for programmatic DOOH ads. 

DOOH Transit Media

Are you aiming to turn heads and attract the attention of outdoor audiences in Oxford Street and Picadilly Circus with your transit media campaigns? 

When you buy DOOH ads programmatically to be displayed on Drovo’s high-definition on-vehicle screens, it is a matter of minutes before your campaign is on the road. This short lead time is a clear advantage of buying DOOH transit media programmatically. 

“Drovo on-vehicle screen campaign in London

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Digital Billboards

Digital billboard advertising in the UK has been prevalent in cities since 2010, and you can buy high-impact digital billboard advertising space programmatically. 

Digital billboards come in all shapes and sizes, and they are usually placed in high-traffic areas such as:

  • Shopping centres.
  • Train stations.
  • On the roadside next to motorways and busy main roads.
  • Near sporting arenas. 

Digital Street Furniture 

Digital street furniture advertising leverages everyday items of the urban landscape to connect with audiences at eye level. Digital street furniture can also be bought programmatically. 

Examples of impactful street furniture include bus stop advertising and pavement digital displays, such as D6 sheet billboards. 

What Are the Benefits of Programmatic DOOH Advertising?

Simple Ad Buying Process

One of the major benefits of programmatic DOOH advertising is that it simplifies the whole ad buying process.

Programmatic DOOH ad inventory prices are based on the number of impressions. The DSP finds the ad inventory with the most relevant impressions for your audience using automated technology.

Precise Targeting Capabilities 

Programmatic DOOH provides better precision for advertisers by leveraging data to understand target audiences more effectively, including their on-street location and behaviours (app usage, what they search for online, and their consumer preferences). 

Are you an advertiser looking to deliver a bespoke DOOH campaign to make an impact on an audience segment at a specific geotargeted location(s) or point of interest? 

Programmatic DOOH advertising is able to use data from anonymised device IDs to help advertisers’ campaigns reach specific audiences with accuracy and precision.

Buying DOOH ads on programmatic platforms helps advertisers put the right ads in front of the right people by drawing on audience data. 

For example, for a product aimed at student audiences, an on-vehicle screen bought programmatically will show the ad in areas of London in close proximity to universities.

Response to Real-World Triggers

New technologies are making DOOH even more impactful and assisting advertisers in cutting through the noise to impact and influence their target audience(s). 

A great example of ways technologies are making campaigns more efficient and targeted is the ability of programmatic DOOH to respond to real-world triggers. 

Examples of programmatic DOOH campaigns being adaptable and reacting to real-world triggers include:

  • Dayparting to show ads at different times of the day, e.g. a coffee chain showing their espressos and breakfast food as commuters travel to work at 7-10 am.
  • Changes in weather conditions, e.g. Showing creatives for waterproof winter clothing brands whenever it starts raining heavily. 
  • Live events and local footfall traffic fluctuations, e.g. Sports brands showing their ads to sports fans on the day of a live sporting event, e.g. in the area surrounding the stadium.

In responding to real-world triggers, programmatic DOOH campaigns ensure advertisers show audiences the most contextually relevant ads. 

And, serving audiences with contextually relevant ads certainly comes with its benefits –  those who viewed contextually aligned ads in a UK consumer study were 32% more likely to act as a result of seeing the ad.

Measurable Campaigns

Another benefit of Programmatic DOOH campaigns is that you will have measurable data analytics afterwards to show insights into what struck a chord with audiences, and what didn’t. 

This DOOH campaign data will include:

  • Live impressions split by city areas, e.g. boroughs of London
  • Impressions’ CPM (Cost per one thousand impressions)
  • Ad frequency with outdoor audience demographic groups
  • Click-Through Rates of any complimentary digital ads
On-vehicle screen campaign

Want to run a DOOH campaign with Drovo?

Since you’ve reached the end of the blog, let’s have a chat about programmatic on-vehicle screen campaigns

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