New technology is transforming OOH advertising

MediaWorks not only owns the country’s leading commercial radio network, it also has more than 5,500 outdoor touchpoints and an expansive digital OOH portfolio. Liz Fraser, Commercial Director at MediaWorks NZ, responds to questions about the success of the company in this important sector.

How is MediaWorks offering true omnichannel solutions for its customers?

MediaWorks provides advertisers with a seamless experience when executing unforgettable campaigns across our key platforms – audio, digital and outdoor. With the addition of our inhouse design studio, Passonfruit, advertisers can work with us from concept to campaign. We reach consumers from the moment they tune into the radio, glance at their phones, and outside their homes. We are the only media company in Aotearoa with the ability to capture eyes and ears with this diverse mix of channels – making it easy and fun for our customers to work with us and achieve unforgettable results.

What has customer uptake been like for your range of outdoor activation zones?

With Covid-19 restrictions lifting, we have seen a huge uptake in advertisers wanting to connect directly with consumers via activations – from taking over a full station, handing out samples, engaging with competitions and other surprise and delight moments. 

MediaWorks is the only outdoor provider with the Urban Network, a collection of 83 small format digital screens spanning the breadth of the Auckland Transport Network. Located at key entrances and exits at major stations across ferry, bus and rail, this premium network captures a valuable and engaged audience. It offers advertisers full dynamic capabilities, allowing creative flexibility in an uncluttered environment. Nielsen research shows that full motion is 250 percent more powerful at triggering emotional intensity and recall than a static image making the Urban Network ideal for driving memorability.

Is it your intention to dominate bus advertising in Aotearoa, and if so, how much success are you seeing?

MediaWorks are the largest provider of bus advertising in New Zealand with key partnerships with Auckland Transport, Environment Canterbury and other bus operators giving coverage of 90 percent of Aotearoa’s bus network. We have been the key contact for bus advertising since 2009 with a long track record of providing advertisers with engaging, powerful, and vibrant moving canvases.

As a shareholder in audience measurement platform Calibre, how is this impacting OOH media planning?

The move cements Calibre as an industry leader, with the OOH measurement platform offering agencies a single AMS which covers 85 percent of all outdoor assets in New Zealand. 

Since the initial launch of various forms of measurement tools for OOH in New Zealand, agencies have been telling us they want one source of audience, and consistency across all OOH channels. Unification under Calibre not only sets the standard for audience measurement but supports the evolution to combine a location sell with an audience sell, further enhancing the value we offer to advertisers.

Programmatic DOOH has allowed the matching of device-collected data with audience insights from third-party attribution vendors to provide more precise targeting. What high-performance omnichannel campaigns with DOOH in the mix are you running?

OOH excels as a big reach broadcast medium for brand building and product launches. Since the advent of our Datalab we have been able to target audiences for specific sectors and categories to deliver ROI. The advent of pDOOH has introduced a new strength to allow brands to add even more precise targeting, and also uplift reporting to demonstrate campaign effectiveness. 

It is still early days for the industry in New Zealand, but we have seen promising executions in a number of different categories. Advertisers using pDOOH are typically adding it to a broader OOH campaign plan to ‘test the waters’, and some larger brands have used a full omnichannel approach including radio, digital, outdoor and pDOOH. 

It is said that MediaWorks either has or will have, the most diverse portfolio of OOH assets in Aotearoa. How true is this today, and how do you see it a year from now?

MediaWorks Outdoor’s multiple touch points ensure we engage and connect with consumers on every part of their journey outside the home – with more formats than any other outdoor provider in Aotearoa. This breadth and depth of choice for advertisers is a key strength that will be maintained. A year from now we absolutely expect to have added to that portfolio to ensure that we are still the number one choice for advertisers choosing outdoor. 

Can MediaWorks claim to be a one stop shop for OOH?

Yes we can! MediaWorks is a one stop shop for outdoor advertising – with the largest bus coverage in New Zealand, a digital portfolio of 86 sites across Aotearoa and growing, a small format digital Urban Network in stations across ferry, rail and bus in Auckland offering full animation, the bustling Wellington Airport with both domestic and international travellers, over 330 static sites and activations, and experiential opportunities across the Auckland Transport Network. With over 5,500 touchpoints we truly capture audiences across Aotearoa when they are out and about.

What are your plans for static and digital OOH in 2023?

Digital will continue to be a key focus for outdoor expansion in 2023, and beyond. This year we invested into rapid digital expansion, boosting our presence in Wellington and extending reach deep into the regions to align with our audio channels. It has been a huge year for outdoor with 20 new sites in the ground including Greymouth, Blenheim and Gisborne. The focus for 2023 will be on the main cities and to ensure advertisers have more flexibility and options when targeting CBDs and growing suburbs. 

Prime Video showcased the launch of ‘Rings of Power’ with a true multiformat outdoor campaign. Utilising all of the powerful assets MediaWorks has on offer from static (including a special build), digital, airport, commuter, Urban Network and bus.

Lift banners in Britomart Train Station.
Use of the MediaWorks digital Urban Network.
Special build billboard at Wellington Airport.

For more on the MediaWorks’ extensive OOH network, visit

This article was first published in the 22/23 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine.

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