09/24/2013 03:45 pm ET Updated Nov 24, 2013

Out-of-Home Media Augments Consumer Experience, Amplifies Brand Engagement

Earlier this year, a Clear Channel Outdoor billboard in Peru produced drinking water from moisture in the atmosphere. In Times Square recently, a major adult beverage brand engaged consumers in an integrated social, mobile and out-of-home activation that increased the brand's Facebook likes 6,000 percent. And in an immediate response to the Boston Marathon bombing in April, Clear Channel Outdoor's digital billboards were used by federal and local law enforcement and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to alert citizens with real-time public safety messages.

One thing is certain; the times and technology have changed and these are no longer your father's Burma Shave billboards. The evolution of out-of-home media and its intersection with 21st century digital technologies is proving to be a transformational period for savvy marketers and advertisers, many of whom are convening in New York this week during the 10th Anniversary of Advertising Week. In fact, it's nothing short of a renaissance for the industry, and ultimately, the consumer stands to reap the rewards if marketers employ strategies that harness the integration of social, mobile, out-of-home and data-sharing technologies in a comprehensive approach to selling products and services.

This methodology, and use of emerging technologies, converts out-of-home media into a powerful and un-skippable broadcast medium with an expansive reach that delivers on the promise of immediacy by allowing advertisers to target the right consumer with a salient message and at the most pivotal time. This, for example, includes the ability for advertisers to instantly change messages as the temperature or pollen count rises or to react to changes in the competitive marketplace.

National and local brands, and their agencies, can also create sharable experiences among technologically empowered and social media-connected audiences by leveraging the immediacy of digital OOH displays to promote social interaction and social commentary. In fact, Advertising Week attendees can leverage their social swagger in an activation that uses social, mobile and digital out-of-home to measure one's influence simply by posting all tweets through with #AWX. And anyone wanting to see their face on a billboard in Times Square, need only snap and tweet their image attaching #everywhereUR.

While these activations represent samples of the here and now, the industry's evolution will continue on a fast track. On the horizon we're looking to experiment with facial recognition technology, and ultimately give consumers the freedom to purchase directly from a billboard with the same ease and convenience at which they purchase from Amazon or Zappos. The integration of digital out-of-home and social and mobile technologies is augmenting the customer experience and amplifying brand engagement. It's also and enabling us to tell a bigger story together.