Guaranteed vs. Non-Guaranteed advertising on digital billboards

January 10, 2022 |

If you’re reading this, you’re probably trying to make sense of how to approach advertising on digital billboards – or, more specifically, DOOH (Digital Out of Home).

Among the many options that you’ll have, there’s none more crucial than choosing between guaranteed and non-guaranteed spots. These will have different definitions depending on who you’re talking to. Some may call it programmatic vs traditional. Some may invent their own lingo to make it stand out. The core of it, however, is the same.

What’s a guaranteed spot? 

A guaranteed spot (or campaign) is a campaign that is part of a billboard’s rotation. You could consider it comparable to monthly rent. The advertisers there usually buy in large volumes so it makes sense for them to secure their spots on key screens. These advertisers represent, on average, 50% of the advertising space available on digital out of home. The rest is usually distributed as spots for NGOs, self-advertising for the landlords (or other stakeholders), or public interest messages.

Other advertisers can get in on this space as well. The minimum is usually around 1 day (24 hours) and pricing varies from screen to screen, but you can usually expect budgets between $5,000 and $50,000, maybe even more during key events. If you’re launching something at an important date (Christmas, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, etc.) and need to be 100% sure your space is locked in you should consider a guaranteed spot. The downside is the large cost and high minimum.

If you’re looking to book this kind of campaign, all you need to do is reach out via email or live chat and our team will assist you.

What’s a non-guaranteed spot? 

A non-guaranteed spot (or campaign) is a campaign that is scheduled automatically and is not part of the normal rotation. When you schedule a campaign with TPS Engage, our software automatically syncs it up with each individual screen’s system in order to run at the exact hours and frequency you select. We see availability in real-time, so we’re able to tell you if a screen is sold out or not responding. What our tech does is fill in whatever is not already bought out via guaranteed campaigns in a programmatic approach.

Our proprietary solution makes sure that if there’s space there available programmatically – you’re the one getting it. Pricing can vary from $2 (not a typo) to a few hundreds of dollars per hour (for 10 spots per hour), although some landlords might require certain minimums. We don’t impose any artificial minimums.

In most cases, campaigns run without a hitch. If they don’t, you get refunded 100% of the missed plays. This is the perfect approach if you’re doing small, but recurrent, flights or are still testing out this advertising channel. When used correctly, it’s the best way to purchase digital billboards.

If you’re looking to schedule this type of campaign, all you need to do is hop on the TPS Engage platform and choose your locations and dates. Easy as that.

And that’s it, you now know the key difference between guaranteed and non-guaranteed campaigns. If you have any questions, you can always reach out via email or live chat.

case studies

The works we are proud of

How bfound increased search traffic using hourly digital billboards and CPC optimization

TPS Engage & Carrefour – using contextual DOOH to increase in-store sales

Driving search and PPC performance through digital billboards – Fujifilm Instax case study

The GameStop billboard that broke the internet

How Wokyo Noodle Bar increased sales by 54% using digital billboards