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ABX measures ads across all media types in the U.S. and internationally reaching geographical areas representing 90% of global media spend. This post is a part of our systematic review of good and bad ads for 2022 by Media Type. Today’s post focuses specifically on Outdoor Billboard Ads while future posts will cover the full spectrum such as building banners; digital ads of various shapes; ads at bus shelters and on taxi cabs; in-store signage and shelf talkers, and more. 

Is Out-Of-Home (OOH) the Overlooked ROAS Treasure?

According to Steve Nicklin, SVP Marketing and Analytics for the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, “OOH was the fastest growing ad channel of 2022 – we even outpaced digital media! We’re back to our record levels of spend from 2019, and MAGNA,(the leading global media investment and intelligence company), projects we will grow at almost twice the rate of total media in 2023.”

From a creative perspective, ABX has found that comparing “average” OOH ads with those of other media types is about as effective as Print and Digital Display, but trails TV, OLV and Radio. The average ABX Index norm for OOH is 95/100. The ABX Index is a measure comprised of the KPIs that most correlate to business outcomes and enhances predictive analytics in marketing mix modeling.

However, the true power of OOH creative shows up when comparing only “effective creative” with an ABX Index of 106+ across all media channels. Good creative makes all the difference. For 2022, ABX tested almost 2,000 OOH ads globally with 969 being in the US. As you can see, OOH competes well across the board, but especially in the ABX Index, Clear Brand and the holy grail, Any Action.

Out-of-home Ad Effectiveness Scores

Top Three US Outdoor Billboards of 2022

#1. Burger King – ABX Index 123

Fast food always dominates billboards and 2022 was no exception. Part of this dominance is that Outdoor Billboards are like in-store advertising for fast food. Often a buyer does not have to leave his/her car to make a purchase. This billboard for Burger King ranked #1 overall by being a super simple presentation of Brand (Burger King/Whopper®), Benefit (appetite appeal), and Value. It is easy to read. The high ABX Index is driven by superior Reputation score 159 and an Action score 144. The ad also has very low dislike scores, a 42 score. Apparently, a whopper of a deal on Jr. Whoppers® has broad appeal.

#2. Panera – ABX Index of 122.

Panera came in at #2, likely appealing to a slightly more upscale audience. This ad was seven points lower than Burger King in Messaging, possibly because the beautiful food shots were distracting or because “perfect pairing” took a little more thought than “2 for $5.” Interestingly, though, Panera was able to deliver value without specifying price. Like Burger King, Panera used a similar formula to Burger King, with a strong and prominent presentation of Brand (Panera Bread®), Benefit (appetite appeal), and Value. The consumer was ready to take Action on “Pick 2” with an ABX Index 144 and felt better about Panera after seeing the ad than before, with a strong Reputation score of 159.

Panera – Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

#3. Kroger – ABX Index 121

Kroger’s Outdoor Billboard ad for apples at 77 cents is very clear with a Messaging score of 111, a Reputation

score of 153 and Action score of 150, which was higher than either Burger King’s or Panera’s. The board graphics are clean and colorful, and the use of a “Krojis” animated spokesperson made it more unique. Once again, we see a strong presentation of Brand (Kroger’s updated logo), Benefit (big selection of apples), and Value (77 cents per lb.).

Kroger – Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

Bottom Three US Billboards in 2022

Since this article is focused solely on Outdoor Billboards, it does not include the very-lowest scoring ads in bus shelters and transit. So, working from the bottom up, the lowest scoring billboard ad in the U.S. comes in at #954 out of 969.

#954. Mini Cooper – ABX Index of 55

In all fairness, this regrettable board was regional and for a special event, Motor Tober, that would have been recognizable to Mini Cooper followers. However, the message, “What are you GOING AS” with a miniscule “Mini” logo, and some kind of stick propped up by a car graphic, could have been in Greek with a Message score of 55, (50% lower than the average ABX score). The scorecard below paints a dismal picture with a 23 for Reputation. The Brand (Mini Cooper) was lost, the Benefit (some kind of event), and Value (None presented).

Mini Cooper – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad

Take a closer look at the expanded KPI scorecard below. The ad did best in the South (ABX = 80) and with men (ABX = 64), but the five key KPI’s illustrate how hostile respondents were to this ad. The little “C” marks on each bar show the Category norms, and the “M” marks show the Media norms.

Mini-Cooper-Ad-Report

#948 – Publix – ABX Index of 59

Overall, Publix boards are usually pretty good, but this one tanked. Why? The scores below show that few respondents recognized the simple “p” logo (Brand Awareness score of 53), and the message and artwork didn’t make sense (Message score of 62.)  So, the three most important elements in any ad including Brand (“p” for Publix), Benefit (making Holiday meals easier), and Value (none presented) were lost.

Publix – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad

#941 Netflix – ABX Score of 52

Now here is a great-looking billboard that shows the main characters of “Manifest,” the show’s name, an airplane and “A Netflix Series” brand identification that is very hard to read. If you did not already know about the show, which ran for three years on NBC prior to moving to Netflix, you would not have known what this series was about.

Also, since this ad featured people, the ABX Gender Equality Index presents a richer picture. Unfortunately, respondents did not believe the Females were Presented Well (ABX 77), Respectfully (ABX 80), or as Role Models (79). The Males didn’t score much better. As you can see below, it was hard to see the characters in the background, and most of the woman were standing sideways, including the lead female character. The ABX GEI increases Reputation and Action scores substantially, so low scores GEI decrease it. So, Brand (invisible), Benefit (maybe a good show), and Value (none presented) were lost.

Netflix – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad

TOP AND BOTTOM INTERNATIONAL BILLBOARDS OF 2022

ABX is unique in the breadth of media it tests globally through both syndication and custom pre-testing. Not surprisingly, the same principles and practices that make for effective Outdoor billboard advertising in the United States are the same creative elements that are effective around the world. For 2022, the countries covered for OOH were Australia, Brazil, Rusia, Spain, UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Mexico.

#1. Best International Outdoor Billboard – McDonalds – ABX Index of 129 in the UK

I must confess my disappointment in seeing another fast-food board scoring as the top ad among international audiences. I had hoped for something more dramatic and creative. However, “New Crispy McFillet – 100% chicken breast fillet” and a delicious food shot is compelling and easy to read while driving by.  The scores below show the KPIs aren’t much different from the top US boards, but most notable about the Action score (156) were the very high CTA options (shown below). Brand (McDonald’s) and Benefit (delicious and relatively healthy food) were strong, though Value (not shown). Since Reputation (169) was high, it appears good value is already an expected attribute of the McDonald’s brand.

McDonalds – International Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

Three of the CTA’s, Look For (ABX 233), Purchase (198) and Recommend (187) are among the best outcomes advertisers shoot for.

#1194 Worst International Outdoor Billboard – CMC Markets CMC Markets – ABX Index of 40 in Australia

Out of 1197 tested ads, the worst international billboard was for “CIIIC Invest” for financial services. The Message makes no sense (ABX 36), Brand Awareness is 46, and Reputation has an ABX score of ZERO. “Zero. Zilch. Nada.” What an appropriate headline for this ad since there was Zero Brand, Zilch Benefit and Nada Value. We are treating our readers to a look at the full KPI Breakouts part of the standard report to get the full impact. The Dislike Score of 259 is pretty much as bad as it gets.

 

CIIIC Invest– Worse International 2022 Outdoor Ad
CIIIC ABX scores

Be on the lookout for more breakout Out-Of-Home comparisons in upcoming ABX blog posts.

Written by:

  • Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management, ABX
  • Marc Rappin, Advertising Consultant & Contributing Writer, former CMO of ARF

If you are interested in creative testing or learning more about Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising, contact us here.

Jeff Schamel

Vice President, Operations

Jeff Schamel Directs Operations for ABX with Experience from IPSOS and P&G

Jeff has more than 25 years of market research experience including project management, client service, operations, production and sales.

Before joining the ABX Senior Management team, Jeff was a Senior Account Manager at Ipsos, working with Procter & Gamble and other client assignments. Prior to that, he was Senior Project Manager for Opinion One, where he was responsible for guiding the company’s online, mall and other initiatives for eight years.

Jeff began his market research career with Cooper Research while participating in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduating with his BS in Marketing and Management, Jeff led a team of data analysts as Group Manager at Matrixx Marketing Research (now Concentrix).

Jeff’s broad in-depth marketing research experiences enable him to bring a unique perspective to directing operations that creates effective and efficient environments to support a wide range of client activities.  Having come up in the industry alongside the advent and progression of online interviewing, he has a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of conducting quality research resulting in meaningful results.

Jeff considers himself an amateur music historian and sports enthusiast, as well as a family man, who takes advantage of the many outdoor activities in his community including biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming.

Dr. Peter Moomaw

Co-Founder, Vice President, Development

Peter is the primary developer of operations technology and data analysis. As a chief visionary on the Research and Development team, Peter works to generate innovative ideas for the continued development of processes and protocols.

Peter brings 17+ years’ experience in software development in the market research industry. He was previously at Opinion One, where he was integral in the development of research software systems covering a number of areas.

Peter has a BA in Mathematics, a BS in Physics, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University Cincinnati.

Martin Geraghty
Martin Geraghty

Vice President, Client Services

Geraghty Brings Experience from Roper Starch, GfK, MRI and IPSOS to ABX

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the market research space including business development, methodology, product design, operations, client service, analysis and sales. He is a member the ABX Management Group with both client-service and operational responsibilities. Before joining ABX, Martin held senior management positions at Roper Starch Worldwide, GfK, MRI (Mediamark Research) and Ipsos. At Ipsos, he managed client service covering all aspects of the research process including research design. He managed the development and implementation of several brand and advertising measurement programs across a broad range of business sectors, helping clients maximize marketing objectives and return on investment. Prior to joining Ipsos, Martin was Vice President at MRI and was involved in business development, day-to-day management and long-term planning and growth for syndicated and custom programs. He also developed and updated the organization’s operational infrastructure to bring new and improved measurements to the marketplace. Before joining MRI, Martin was a Vice President of Operations at GfK. He managed researchers developing programs to monitor and improve methodologies. He played a key role in overseeing profit responsibility of client programs. Prior to his role at GfK, he was Vice President of Research and Operations at Roper Starch Worldwide.
Michael Alf

Co-Founder Ocucom and ABX, Vice President, Software Development

Michael Alf Brings 12 Years’ Software Engineering in the Market Research Industry

Michael is one Founders of Ocucom, of which ABX is a division, and has over 12 years’ of software engineering experience in the market research industry. As a Lead Software Engineer with Ocucom, he brings a unique blend of a technological background along with hands-on market research experience. Michael specializes in providing custom software solutions utilizing Ocucom’s dynamic software platform to address unique client needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Prior to starting with Ocucom, Michael was a senior software engineer at Opinion One in Cincinnati, where he was one of the principal architects of the OASIS 2 Survey Software Package. He also played a key role in developing a licensable solution to bring to the market place as well as handling the logistics of on-site training and support of end-client users.

Michael obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Greg Tunstill

Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer

Greg Tunstill Leads the Creation of ABX Communications Tools

Greg Tunstill, a founder of ABX, is the Chief Information Officer responsible for ABX’s technical infrastructure and maintenance. He also leads the design and development of ABX’s communications tools, a critical component of its technology services.

Prior to joining ABX, Greg was Director of Network Operations of Opinion One since its inception in 1992. He designed and developed the communications systems that were the core of its data collection networks and was responsible for continuing development and implementation of information technologies. Prior to his position at Opinion One, he designed inventory control and expert systems for BellSouth field offices and worked as a consultant and independent contractor. In 1991 he joined Americom Research as a systems engineer where he advanced to Director of Network Operations and met members of the team that formed Opinion One.

Greg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Julian Brown

Chief Technology Officer

Julian Brown is an ABX Founder and Chief Visionary for Strategic Planning

Julian brings 20+ years of software engineering and market research experience to ABX. As one of the Founders and in his position as Chief Technology Officer, Julian is the chief visionary responsible for strategic planning and development.

His primary day to day roles include management of software development, oversight of survey production, and lead architect for custom software development projects. As the principal technology architect, Julian adapts emerging technologies for use in market research. He is responsible for maintaining the “continuous development” philosophy.

Before becoming one of the Founders, Julian was Vice President, Software Engineering at Opinion One. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design and development of Opinion One’s core technology and licensing products.

Prior to Opinion One, Julian worked for Americom Research, starting as a Software Engineer and progressing to Director, Software Development. While at Americom Research, Julian pioneered the design and creation of one of the market research industry’s first fully interactive computer-aided interviewing suites.

Julian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

Gary Getto

President

A Pioneer in Measuring Across all Media Types

Gary has an extensive background in product development, strategic planning, and sales/marketing. He is a frequent speaker to the advertising, marketing, and public relations communities.

Gary is a pioneer in efforts to measure and analyze the combined impact of news coverage, social media, and advertising communications on key business metrics, such as sales or product preferences, with ground-breaking work linking communications activity to business outcomes. He was also one of the first to apply artificial intelligence to better understand how communications impacts consumer behavior.

As part of these pioneering integrated measurements, the need to benchmark every ad and build a comprehensive database of advertising performance metrics for evaluating all advertising creative became clear. Gary has been part of the ABX management group that developed the methodology, technology, and criteria for measuring advertising performance globally, and at scale, in an affordable manner. 

Now Gary and all ABX partners work with communications leaders across a diverse set of industries to expand that understanding by incorporating the first-ever Gender Equality Index™, creative measurement solutions for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out-of-country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit™, Gaming, Audio and more.

Gary holds a B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.

J. J. Klein​

Chairman & CEO

Developing Valid and Reliable Information through Syndicated and Custom Research

JJ Klein has devoted his entire career to developing more valid and reliable information through syndicated and custom longitudinal research programs for Fortune 500 companies. This extensive knowledge base enabled him to create and develop ABX, which now offers the most accurate normative database for advertising effectiveness measurement in the marketplace.

JJ brings more than 35 years of marketing, research, consulting, and technology experience in designing and developing methodologies and programs for long-term growth. He has exceptional strength in domestic and international new business development, strategic planning, and identifying and tracking consumer, retail, and industry trends.

Leadership in Top Global Research Firms

Early in his career, after attending City University in New York as a math and science major, JJ joined Simmons Market Research Bureau as a Project Director. Over time, he rose to Associate Executive Vice President. Among his accomplishments, JJ created the first online interactive data analysis and delivery system for agencies, media, institutions, client, and service companies.  

JJ and Bill Simmons then founded a new venture …Three Sigma Research Center. It was here that JJ, Chief Operating Officer, created the first major syndicated rating system for Newspapers in the U.S., which later became the Scarborough Report. Three Sigma Research was eventually sold back to Simmons; Simmons sold it to Scarborough; and then Scarborough was acquired by Nielsen.

Following the sale of Three Sigma, JJ joined Audits & Surveys Worldwide as a principal leading the sales tracking and market share audits for a broad range of retail and service establishments both domestically and internationally. Following the acquisition of Audits & Surveys by GfK, JJ joined Roper Starch as Executive Director, reporting directly to the Chairman.

Creation and Development of Ocucom™ and ABX™

In 2004, as he continued his industry visionary travels, all of JJ’s experience came together as he tackled new solutions for market research in the Internet age. He and four partners founded Ocucom™ and invented a research-proven, respondent-oriented Ocular™ approach to internet sampling and multi-modal interviewing methodology. For the first time, respondents could answer text-based questions within a visual communication world where the computer screen was the interviewer/communicator. Inventions continued such as Ocucom’s PreCast™, the first long-form video viewing solution in the industry.

Also, during this time, JJ’s early leadership in internet research methodology caught the eye of top-tier global research competitors. He ended up designing methodologies for their online survey capabilities.

Then, in early 2012, he formed ABX™ as an outgrowth of Ocucom. JJ had conceived the idea for ABX some 15 years prior but had to wait for internet maturation and online panel/sampling companies to evolve. ABX partners focused on JJ’s ABX concept and methodology by building an infrastructure and a 5-year formative database before opening to the market in 2018. The new company offered the first high-quality Ocular research system for all ads in all media types with detailed, never-before analytics; the first syndicated, all-media type ad effectiveness platform; results in 24-to-48 hours on dashboard, and significantly lower costs. At ABX, as at Ocucom, inventions have continued such as the expansion of the ABX syndicated program into the first-ever global solution, and the first Gender Equality Index™. Solutions have expanded to include creative measurement for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out of country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit, Gaming, Audio, and more.

A Career Devoted to Validity and Reliability in Market Research

JJ’s background brings together an extremely unique blend of extensive experience in designing and developing global and regional longitudinal research programs. His accomplishments include the design and initiation of programs and methods that produce more valid and reliable information. They also include contributions to the market research profession through association membership, speaking, writing, and presenting.

Like Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for Radio, and MRI for Magazine, JJ’s original design for the newspaper program continues as the Scarborough Report ratings standard for Newspaper.  Today, JJ leads ABX as a syndicated and custom research service for ad effectiveness and gender equality, which have quickly become the gold standards of their own.

Angela Jeffrey, APR

Vice President, Brand Management

National Award-Winning Veteran of Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Angela is an internationally known speaker and national award-winning veteran of public relations, advertising and marketing.  She has been a teacher and leader in the use of metrics to measure communications impact for over 20 years, especially at the intersection of PR and Advertising.

Angela is primarily responsible for all ABX marketing efforts, and for projects that involve PR or social media measurement. She is the primary driver of our collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Public Relations as we develop methods to measure the impact of PR and social media on advertising effectiveness.

Prior to joining ABX, Angela was Strategy Director at Salience Insight, (now CARMA), a global provider of PR effectiveness measurement. Previously, she was a Vice President at Surveillance Data, Inc., an international analytics powerhouse that specializes in predictive modeling. Angela continued as a key leader upon the sale of her division to VMS and helped develop Vantage, with Gary Getto, the first platform to measure the combined impact of PR and Advertising.

Angela graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and BBA in Marketing.

 

 

Diane Light Waight

Vice President, Business Development

Diane Light Waight handles Sales, Business Development, and Marketing for ABX

Diane has 20+ years of experience helping Marketing, Advertising, and PR decision-makers at global brands, media companies, and agencies increase their ROI by connecting and authentically engaging their target customers through Sales, Business Development. MarTech, AdTech, Big Data, Market Research, SaaS, eCommerce, and Integrated Marketing.

She is passionate about her family, entertainment, health & wellness, empowering women, and environmental sustainability.