Healthcare Advertising: Digital Outdoor Advertising Is Not Your Father’s Outdoor

newborn baby, only a couple of hours old

Digital outdoor boards provides instant messaging.

Digital has revitalized outdoor advertising. It has greater impact than traditional static outdoor and it allows multiple messages to rotate on the same unit. In addition, it provides immediacy – perhaps the most powerful benefit.

E! Entertainment recently purchased from Clear Channel Outdoor, 125 digital billboards in 20 markets to plug its weeknight ”E! News”, displaying breaking news alerts as it happens. Instead of a static message, E! is digitally posting breaking news on outdoor referring the viewer to the network’s nightly news show for more details. The message can be changed almost instantly as news breaks. The Los Angeles Times was perhaps the first to try such an effort as early as 2008.

So instead of one or two or three static messages, hospitals can use digital boards to deliver instant messages. True, a hospital doesn’t have continuous news to post on a digital board, but the capability certainly deserves some creativity.

Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Alabama uses digital outdoor to post the picture of each new baby born in the hospital.

The board shows the picture of the newborn and its first name. Of course, parental approval is required and last names are not provided. But the result is not only proud parents and grandparents but also the branding impact the hospital gives its OB services.

It’s refreshing, as you drive down the road, to see the photo of a beautiful newborn baby. Not only does that give you that “feel good” moment, it also subtly communicates that Jackson Hospital is in the baby birthing business while positively branding their service.

This is just one way to use the immediacy of digital outdoor. There must be many others. Even public service announcements, like updates on the swine flu epidemic, could be effectively communicated using digital outdoor. Pardon the pun, but the sky really is the limit for digital outdoor boards.

Digital outdoor is not your Father’s outdoor, but as Jackson Hospital can attest, it sure can make a father proud.

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