Lamar Celebrates 20 Years of Large DOOH Displays

Lamar Advertising, a large OOH advertising company, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the industry’s first large format digital billboard, according to a company press release.

The brainchild of former Lamar VP of Operations Bobby Switzer, the first digital billboard debuted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2001. In 20 years, digital has transformed the OOH industry, giving advertisers new and innovative ways to deliver relevant and time-sensitive messages to target audiences.

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“The creation of that first digital billboard changed the entire ballgame for the Out of Home industry,” Sean Reilly, CEO of Lamar Advertising Company, said in the release. “It began the process of transforming Out of Home into the advanced, data-powered, technology-enabled, and measurable channel that it has become. Digital has changed the way Out of Home inventory is bought and sold and presents new dynamic creative opportunities for advertisers.”

Seven years following the debut of the first digital billboard, Lamar grew its digital network to 1,000 displays. As of 2021, Lamar operated about 3,800 displays across the U.S. Since 2001, the company achieved several DOOH milestones, including:

  • 2006: Created the Network Operating Center to monitor and support digital billboards nationwide.
  • 2011: Displayed live March Madness college basketball scores in real-time for the first time.
  • 2012: Launched first user-generated DOOH campaign.
  • 2015: Made digital inventory available for programmatic buying.
  • 2016: Incorporated vehicle recognition technology into a campaign for Chevy Malibu.

Lamar digital billboard campaigns can be bought and activated programmatically. Law enforcement authorities, government agencies, and public health officials also utilize the real-time messaging capabilities of Lamar’s network to display warnings and share important information.

The 2021 eMarketer Out of Home Report predicts more than two-fifths of all OOH ad spending will go toward DOOH by 2025, with revenue generated by DOOH expected to be $3.17 billion.

“Lamar has always been at the forefront of innovation in Out of Home. We are constantly working to enhance our digital capabilities to provide advertisers with opportunities to deliver contextually relevant messages at the right time, in the right place, to the right audience,” said Reilly in the release.

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