Study shows digital outdoor sites boost ‘memory encoding’

Jan - 2020


Out-of-Home advertising has the power to capture our attention and make us think, feel and engage with brands, but what exactly is its role in driving purchase behaviour? Recent neuroscientific research conducted in the UK may have the answer.

The results make for fascinating reading, revealing that “in order to get results, outdoor advertising needs to capture our attention and then engage our emotions. The benefit of a strong emotional response is that it drives memory encoding which correlates to subsequent purchase behaviour”.

The study found that premium outdoor sites – those that are digital, and deliver on size, scale and length of visibility – generate higher levels of attention, stronger, more positive emotions, and are ultimately more memorable.

Researchers also found that digital sites delivered higher levels of cut-through than static sites. The reason? Our brains are programmed to respond to changes in our environment. The movement (rotating advertisements on panels) grabs people’s attention and drives engagement, meaning there is a higher opportunity for consumers to encode the message.

Interestingly, the findings also show that the most iconic sites have a powerful priming effect on other sites. This means audiences who see a premium, high-impact ad on one site are likely to have a better response to seeing a standard ad for the same brand on another site.

To read the full study, please click here:

There is a growing body of UK based research on the effect of outdoor but few local studies. JCDecaux's eye tracking research in 2019 was one of the first NZ study to embrace emerging technologies. With JCDecaux's on-going commitment to intelligence we look forward to sharing our next research results in early 2020 regarding outdoor's role in engaging emotional responses and brand feeling.