Kylie Jenner’s face—seductive, glowing and larger than life—is the centerpiece of her latest ad campaign, but, behind the scenes, programmatic technology is doing a heavy lift.
The campaign, which took hold of 5,800 screens in more than 1,000 cities on Wednesday, is for the 21-year-old influencer’s new DTC skincare line, Kylie Skin. Conceived with the help of the digital out-of-home ad-tech company Adomni—and 22 publishers in the OOH space, including Lightbox, Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar—the campaign came to life across billboards in shopping malls, along roadsides and anchored in metropolitan meccas like Times Square.
Jonathan Gudai, Adomni’s CEO, described the ad campaign as “possibly the largest of its kind” and “kind of a whirlwind” that came together over the course of five days.
“Programmatic out-of-home is still fairly new, but when we talked to Kylie’s camp about how they could have access to these large-format billboards, shopping mall screens—all through an online buying platform—their minds were blown,” he explained. “And, literally, the idea hatched on a Friday afternoon, and just under a week later you had her message blanketing the country.”
This “Kylie-real-world-takeover,” as Gudai dubbed it, shows the “magic” of buying out-of-home programmatically: Campaigns on screens from Tulsa to Tacoma can be bought in minutes via online buying platforms—similar to what is used by marketers like those in the Jenner camp, who might be more used to buying for Facebook and Instagram.
“Nobody ever thinks of billboards or out-of-home as being available that way,” he said. “In the past, trying to launch a billboard campaign of this scale would have taken two or three months and hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars.”
But because programmatic screens are bought for only the time that a brand needs them, “it’s a completely different game—and cheaper than ever,” said Gudai.
With that hurdle out of the way, out-of-home is available to more media buyers than ever before. Recent analysis by MagnaGlobal, for example, found that DOOH sales have been growing by 16% over the past five years, reaching nearly $6 billion dollars in 2018 alone. Meanwhile, the number of digital ad units bought out by marketers has almost doubled—from 160,000 to 300,000—over the past four years.
“What we did today was groundbreaking—to run that many ads on that many boards, with that minimal effort,” he said. “We’re just trying to educate digital buyers that this is the next great medium.”