What is Digital Display Advertising

Digital display advertising

Digital display advertising has become increasingly relevant in today’s world, where visual content is king.

In this article, we will define digital display advertising, look at where it is used, its brief history, and how it works. We have also identified key pros and cons of digital display advertising and compared it with other advertising types.

At the end of this article you will find some suggestions on where to order this type of advertising and what to consider when ordering it.

You can get to the section of the article you want to read using this table of contents:

Definition of digital display advertising

Digital display advertising is a type of advertising that is displayed on digital screens such as digital signage, billboards, and video walls. These screens can be found in various public locations such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, and outdoor spaces.

Here is also a digital display advertising definition from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a global trade organization for digital advertising:

Digital Display Advertising is the process of using computer-based technology to display digital content, typically advertisements and other marketing messages, in a variety of formats and media types, such as static or animated images, video, and audio, on digital screens and other media devices that can be found in public locations, including out-of-home (OOH) locations, in retail stores, in public transportation, and elsewhere.

Interactive Advertising Bureau

Where digital display advertising is used

Digital display advertising can be seen in various locations. They are most common in the locations listed below.

1. Shopping malls

In shopping malls, digital displays are often placed in high-traffic areas, such as entrances, escalators, and food courts. These displays can range in size from small screens to large video walls.

2. Airports

Airports are a popular location for digital display advertising due to their high foot traffic. These displays can be found in various locations such as check-in areas, baggage claim, and gate areas.

3. Train stations

Like airports, train stations have high foot traffic, making them an ideal location for digital display advertising. Displays can be found in various locations such as ticketing areas, waiting areas, and platforms.

4. Outdoor spaces

Digital displays can also be found in outdoor spaces such as bus stops, on the sides of buildings, and roads.

billboards and video walls

A brief history of digital display advertising

The origins of digital display advertising can be traced back to the early 1990s. Then the first digital billboards were introduced in the United States. These early digital displays were typically single-color or grayscale and used basic LED technology. While they significantly improved over traditional static billboards, they were still limited in terms of their capabilities.

In the early 2000s, digital display technology advanced significantly, allowing for more sophisticated and interactive displays. The first commercial digital signage networks were launched during this time, enabling businesses to display dynamic content on multiple screens in various locations.

Since then, digital display advertising has continued to evolve and expand. High-definition displays, touch screens, and mobile integration have become commonplace. Digital displays are now found in a variety of public locations, including airports, train stations, shopping malls, and outdoor spaces.

One of the most significant developments in digital display advertising has been the ability to deliver targeted and personalized content to specific audiences. This is made possible through the use of data analytics, which can track user behavior and deliver relevant content in real time. This has led to a significant increase in the effectiveness of digital display advertising compared to traditional advertising methods.

In recent years, technological advancements have continued to push the boundaries of digital display advertising. For example, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are being used to create immersive experiences that engage viewers in new and exciting ways.

Overall, digital display advertising has come a long way since its early days. It has transformed how businesses and organizations reach their target audiences and become an essential part of the marketing landscape.

> Back to Content

How digital display advertising works

Digital display advertising involves the use of digital screens to display advertisements and other marketing messages to a target audience. These screens can be found in various public locations, such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, and outdoor spaces.

To display content on digital screens, several technologies and tools are used. Here are the key components of a typical digital display advertising network:

  • Content management system (CMS): A CMS is used to create, manage, and schedule content for display on digital screens. This can include images, videos, and other multimedia content.
  • Media Player: A media player is a device that displays content on a digital screen. It can be a standalone device, a computer, or even a mobile device.
  • Display Screen: A display screen can come in various sizes and types, from small screens used in kiosks and medium size outdoor digital signage to giant video walls.
  • Display Network: A display network is a collection of digital screens connected to a central content management and distribution system. These networks can be private, such as those used by a single business or organization, or public, such as those found in shopping malls or airports.

Digital display advertising networks can also be managed in-house by businesses and organizations, or they can be outsourced to service providers. Service providers offer end-to-end solutions, including hardware, digital signage software, and content management, making it easier for businesses to implement and manage digital display advertising campaigns.

There are several types of digital display advertising hardware, including:

  • LCD screens: These are the most common digital display screens used in various sizes and applications, from small kiosks to large outdoor billboards.
  • LED displays: These screens are typically used for large-scale advertising, such as on the sides of buildings or in sports stadiums.
  • Projection screens: These screens are used to project images or videos onto flat surfaces such as walls or floors.

Overall, digital display advertising networks use hardware, software, and content management systems to display dynamic and engaging content to a target audience.

> Back to Content

Pros and cons of digital display advertising

Pros and cons of digital display advertising

While digital display advertising offers many advantages, it also has some drawbacks. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of digital display advertising in more detail.

Understanding these factors can help businesses and organizations decide whether digital display advertising suits their needs.


  • Highly visible to a large audience
  • Dynamic content can be displayed
  • Can be targeted to specific locations and times of day
  • Interactive content can increase engagement
  • Advertisements can be updated in real-time


  • Can be expensive to produce and display
  • May not be effective if placed in a location with low foot traffic
  • Can be intrusive if displayed too frequently or in inappropriate locations
  • Can be challenging to measure the effectiveness

> Back to Content

Comparison with other advertising types

Digital display advertising has several advantages over other advertising types such as TV advertising, radio advertising, and banner advertising on the internet. Digital display advertising allows for dynamic and interactive content, can be targeted to specific locations and times of day, and can be updated in real-time.

However, digital display advertising can be more expensive to produce and display compared to other advertising types.

Where to order digital display advertising

To order digital display advertising, one can reach out to service providers such as Clear Channel Outdoor or JCDecaux. When choosing a display location, it is important to consider factors such as foot traffic, visibility, and target audience.

Service providers may offer technologies such as content management systems, media players, and analytics to measure effectiveness. It is also essential to consider the cost of production and display when choosing a display location and service provider. Some service providers may offer package deals or discounts for long-term contracts.

Another important consideration is the type of advertising to use. Static images, videos, and interactive content are all options to consider. Choosing the type of advertising that will best resonate with the target audience and achieve the desired goals is essential.

In addition, it is important to comply with local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before displaying advertising content in public locations.


Overall, digital display advertising offers a powerful tool for reaching a large audience with dynamic and engaging content. By carefully considering the target audience, display location, and type of advertising, businesses and organizations can effectively leverage this technology to achieve their marketing and advertising goals.

We recommend you also read the following related articles:

We wish you success in achieving your business goals!

Display & Stands Market team

> Back to Content