How can digital outdoor communication be used to develop wisdom?

Digital outdoor communication for public wisdom development is very profitable for society


Our society will undergo a gigantic transformation in the coming decades due to the UN's 17 sustainability goals and the fourth industrial revolution. Neither politicians nor citizens today have the insights and knowledge needed to predict, understand and be able to act sufficiently wise in this mega transformation. Therefore, an accelerated public wisdom development process is of decisive importance. Wisdom4future focuses on different methods and tools for augmenting wisdom. Digital outdoor communication for public wisdom development is one of these methods.

The main actors in outdoor advertising is Clear Channels, JCDecaux, Wallstreet Media, Jernhusen Media, Visual Art, AdCityMedia, Atracta, Swedavia, GM Group, Vertiseit. The Swede spends an average of 7.5 hours on media every day, of which the outdoor time is about 3 hours. Digital outdoor communication (DOC) has special qualities because it:

  • is clearly visible
  • addresses all citizens
  • can change messages quickly
  • can use moving image
  • can be used in several places at the same time
  • does not require disposable paper or plastic
  • can be tailored depending on the focus group and geographical location
  • is cost effective

The disadvantage is that dialogue does not fit into the concept. On the other hand, it is likely that dialogue and reflection follow from DOC. Thus, the purpose of DOC is to achieve wisdom development where the medium has its advantages in the form of questions, facts, statements, wise slogans, positive images, role models, environmentally friendly initiatives, etcetera. The intention is not to indoctrinate, because it is contra productive to wisdom development, but to stimulate inner reflection and dialogues. A combination of rented/state owned digital screens would probably be a suitable solution. It may be advantageous to design a mobile app that collaborates with the DOC for public wisdom development, in a way that feels acceptable to the citizens. In this way, the sender can receive feedback on DOC and the receiver can be offered further information if desired. Citizens can give suggestions of future messages on screens and the transmitter can measure response. 

What happens when we are exposed to these DOC messages every day is that they go into our subconscious where they are processed and also become topics of conversations. In combination with, for example, adult development in workplaces, according to Wisdom4future´s proposal, wisdom development becomes even more efficient. In addition, the contrast between DOC for public wisdom development and other ordinary digital outdoor advertising can be thought-provoking in a positive way. There are also opportunities to develop concepts that connect DOC for public wisdom development and the mobile app, with the residential area and its administration, so that "local challenges" can be turned into reduced wear, reduced destruction, reduced energy costs and so on. These capital gains can be reinvested in residential areas in the form of cozier housing environments, housing parties or other wishes that citizens have, and in this way make feelings of responsibility, self-esteem and collective dignity grow, even in the most vulnerable districts.

We believe that the state should be able to create its own digital money to finance the gigantic transformation required to achieve a long-term sustainable society. From a national economic perspective, we believe that DOC for public wisdom development is self-financing in the long run, as the positive effects in the form of reduced costs for societal problems will exceed the wisdom development costs, by a large margin.

Additional information


DOOH: Digital out of home advertising. International name for digital outdoor media.

Eurosize: One of the more common formats of an outdoor billboard

OOH: Out of home advertising. International name for outdoor media.

OTS, Opportunity To See: Indicates how many possible contacts there are in a period.

Point of sale: Targeted advertising that intends to activate a behavior in the vicinity of the advertising space.

Outdoor advertising: refers to marketing through billboards, billboards, digital signs, and the like outdoors.

VAC, Visibility Adjusted Contact: Industry-approved measure for delivered media contacts measured using the Outdoor Impact measurement tool.

VAC, reach percentage: Percentage of people in a target group who have the opportunity to see promotion at least once during the promotion period.

VAC contacts: The total number of contacts in the target group that have the opportunity to see the campaign during the selected period.

VAC frequency: Indicates how many times a person in the target group has the opportunity to see a campaign for a certain period.1

Secondary material

Selected sources consist predominantly of books, articles and reports from well-known Swedish and international institutes, universities and newspapers. NOTE! Paragraphs in the "Background" chapter have in many cases been copied directly from sources without quoting, footnote only. 


What is outdoor advertising?

Outdoor media can be divided into the following areas:

  • Traditional outdoor media - Eurosize, billboards and pillars
  • Traffic advertising - Buses, stations, metro, other means of transport
  • Airport Advertising - Advertising at the airport
  • Large format - Vepor
  • Event - Event space in shopping centers, at central stations and more
  • Close to shopping - Advertising in store, outside store
  • Digital outdoor - All digital outdoor channels
  • Special ducts - Temporary surfaces, installations, foils and more 2

Digital outdoor advertising is available in the following environments:

  • Central stations and airports
  • Stockholm Metro
  • Shopping centers
  • Digital outdoor boards

Advertisers use the outdoor medium to:

  • Drive sales
  • Create awareness of products and services
  • Build brand and image
  • Creating and driving opinion 3

Outdoor advertising is an old phenomenon, that in 2005 was developed with digital outdoor advertising, which quickly gained market share.4 5

The cost-effectiveness of outdoor advertising

Few other media can deliver messages at such a low cost per exposure occasion.6

Actors in outdoor advertising

Clear Channels
Clear Channel's business concept is to provide cities or private companies with utilities in exchange for selling advertising in the outdoor environment. Clear Channel builds and maintains weather protection, park benches and trash cans, public toilets, loan bicycle systems, information signs, shopping cart garages and bicycle pumps - which in turn is financed by advertising sales. Clear Channel has so far built about 4,500 weather protection throughout Sweden. Clear Channel has built and operates Sweden's largest loan bicycle system - City Bikes - in Stockholm with over 100 stations in the city of Stockholm. In 2012, a bicycle system was also established in the city of Lidingö and in Solna, and since 2013, City Bikes is also available in Sundbyberg and Uppsala. In 2016, a loan bicycle system - Malmö by bike - was established in Malmö.7 Clear Channel is Sweden's largest supplier of outdoor advertising. The company is located in 220 municipalities.8 Clear Channels also supports non-profit initiatives. Between October 23 and November 11, 2019, several hundred digital billboards were used in Stockholm's public transport for a unique guide to live music. The Stockholm Underground initiative showed real-time information about gigs that take place on the city's smaller music stages. Henriette Zeuchner, CEO of Clear Channel Scandinavia stated "We are a natural part of the urban space and have both a will and a responsibility to contribute to urban dynamics. Since we alone in the subway reach one million people every day, we have a unique opportunity to use our technology and infrastructure to find new ways to interact with Stockholmers - in this case by helping them find their new favorite artist. Both music and advertising are best experienced outside the home! "9

JCDecaux is a multinational company active in outdoor advertising, founded in 1964 by Jean-Claude Decaux (1937-2016). In 2011, the company became a world leader in outdoor advertising.10 JCDecaux also offers community advertising on digital outdoor advertising, bicycle pumps next to billboards, park benches, trash cans, rental bicycles, self-cleaning toilets and weather protection.11 In Sweden, JCDecaux has approximately 130 employees, of which 85 people work exclusively with operation, care, maintenance and installation of its street furniture. Offices and technical service operations with warehouses are located in Stockholm, Järfälla, Malmö and Gothenburg.12

Wallstreet Media
Wallstreet Media started in 2002 with a focus on environmentally friendly communication in public transport in Gothenburg. The company has been continuously launched in new Swedish cities and today Wallstreet works with advertising in public transport in cities from Malmö to Luleå. In total, there are approximately 18,000 advertising spaces on the outside and inside of vehicles. In 2005, the company launched advertising in parking facilities. The facilities are located in city locations, shopping centers, major workplaces and some airports. In 2012, Wallstreet signed a collaboration with ICA regarding the sale of in-store TV advertising in the checkout lines at Kvantum and Supermarket. The digitization of ICA continues, which means that the channel is growing continuously. Digital outdoor advertising is a completely new business area for Wallstreet Media. In 2012, Wallstreet acquired screens and today has large-format screens in and around Gothenburg city.13

Jernhusen Media
Jernhusen Media started in 2011 and is part of Jernhusen AB, which owns, develops and manages train stations in Sweden. The central stations' main strength as an arena for advertising and events lies in the large flows of people who visit the stations. This involves more than half a million visits a day to stations throughout the country. Jernhusen Media strives for advertising to be part of a positive experience of the trip or visit. Various measurements show that stations have a receptive audience that appreciates when things happen. Advertising areas are established at train stations from north to south and Jernhusen Media offers areas for events, sampling, foils, banners, digital premium areas (large screens), customized solutions and digital nationwide volume areas (partner Visual Art) and analogue nationwide volume areas / adshel.14

Visual Art
Visual Art was founded in 1997 and is an innovative digital holistic agency with a passion for strategy, creativity and technology. Visual Art offers a nationwide DOOH network with screens around Sweden through, among other things:

  • Sweden's central stations (Jernhusen)
  • Shopping center
  • Instore 15

AdCityMedia offers fast reach with impact and quality. Fast - as the company offers digital screens in over 250 cities that are controlled in real time from Frihamnen in Stockholm. Impact - as the company offers digital large screens (5-144sqm / pc) and banners (50-350sqm / pc) .16

Atracta offers digital large screens on Stureplan.17

Swedavia is a state group that owns, operates and develops airports throughout Sweden. As of January 2013, Arlanda and Bromma are also included in the network. Offers various analog and digital solutions in the form of eurosize, banners, light boxes, digital screens, floor foils and innovative creations.

GM Group
GM Gruppen provides digital large screens in the following cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Helsingborg, Karlstad, Borås and Varberg.18

Vertiseit introduced a system for user-controlled digital outdoor advertising.19

People's consumption of media

The Swede spends an average of 7.5 hours on media every day, of which the outdoor time is about 3 hours (36 percent). The second most time is spent on TV (28 percent) followed by the use of the internet (16 percent). Although the accuracy of target group-adapted solutions is high, advertising avoidance is increasing at an increasing rate, but outdoor advertising is the media that most people do not think disturbs to the same extent.20

Rules and perceptions regarding outdoor advertising

The municipalities try to limit outdoor advertising in the city centers so that the street space is not disturbed too much by the advertisements. There are also protests against the granting of permits for large posters for large companies, while it is not allowed for private individuals to put posters on electrical cabinets, etc. Since outdoor advertising is difficult to avoid, it can cause a great deal of debate. One example is the clothing company Hennes & Mauritz, whose lingerie campaigns at Christmas are often discussed intensively because some see them as degrading to women. Therefore, vandalism of these posters is also common. We are exposed to about 3000 involuntary advertisements a day.21 22 23

There is an observed advertising fatigue among many consumers. Conventional advertising-financed television viewing is gradually being replaced by Netflix, SVT Play and YouTube. Reading advertising-financed news press is gradually being replaced by social media activity. Given the increasingly advertising-avoiding media audience and the sharing conditions of the social media sphere, advertising agencies are increasingly working with a PR-like approach; to be mentioned editorially both qualitatively and quantitatively, regardless of whether the sender of the planned message is a commercial company or a more non-profit organization.24

Theories about the influence of advertising / communication

There are many theories that deal with the impact of advertising and communication on humans. Some follow below:

  • Social psychological theories, such as Public Relations (PR) by Edward Bernays who wrote the book Propaganda. Barney was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. The theories are mainly based on the possibility of influencing and have become a basic concept in marketing and sales.25 26 27
  • In the 1950s, Karl Lashley developed theories of how the subconscious is affected by different sensory impressions (priming) .28
  • Leadership consultant Paul Roberts believes that there is an inner reflection of external stimuli. Inner reflection is a necessity for developing knowledge and insight. Reflection reminds people of the knowledge they already have. Reflection creates meaning and new conclusions, develops thinking and reveals old assumptions.29
  • Organizational psychologist Isabel Rimanoczy describes a circular internal cycle of change with feedback loops due to external stimuli.30

Opinion-forming advertising

Opinion-forming advertising can be defined as a form of communication that intends to influence society in different directions. Something that is typical of marketing communication in organizations such as the Red Cross, Greenpeace and Amnesty International. But even for-profit companies adopt this type of marketing communication as part of their social responsibility.31 Advertising is also called purpose-driven or value-driven advertising. In the past, the benefit of advertising has been characterized by economic growth, but with purpose-/value-driven advertising is meant to create, for example, a sustainable societal development.32

In the autumn of 2016, Åhléns presented their campaign "the dress code" with the aim of questioning gender norms. "A man who dresses more feminine undresses his power and a woman who dresses more masculine dresses it, is it not time to break the dress code?" Among other things, the campaign involved four well-known Swedish profiles (football player, artist, author) breaking the "dress code" by posing in feminine coded and masculine coded garments. This campaign aroused great debate and was mentioned in the major newspapers. The response was both positive and negative.33

In early 2017, Monki presented the "Good Vibes Only" campaign where models pose in lingerie without retouched bodies. "There are two campaigns that should not be seen as controversial but which are far from the norm - especially when swimwear and underwear are in focus" 34

When companies engage in non-stereotypical advertising, which can also be described as breaking the norm, they receive criticism when many are provoked. But as with all types of change, friction is inevitable.35 36

Digital outdoor communication for wisdom development purposes

Purpose and design of DOC in wisdom development

The purpose of DOC is to achieve public wisdom development where the medium has its advantages. It involves finding communication activities that increase wisdom. The inner skills to be developed could be: 37

Holistic view

In each situation, see the whole, for example of our/others' actions, societal problems and global challenges, systems, technologies, etcetera. It involves training in:

  • integrate fragmented knowledge into a larger whole
  • understand how I, others, groups, society, nature and systems interact
  • understand how changes in fragments can change the whole
  • understand subjectivity
  • understand context
  • understand history

Values, human needs, emotions

Understand how values, virtues, emotions and human needs affect our decisions, thoughts, words and actions. It involves training in:

  • understand the importance of different social values, virtues and human needs
  • understand the long-term consequences of different social values, virtues and human needs
  • understand social values, virtues and human needs in different contexts
  • understand how social values, virtues and human needs work in practice
  • practice a conscious use of social values, virtues and human needs


Lead themselves and others. It involves training in:

  • understand oneself, others, organizations and society
  • understand human motivation
  • understand different ways to decide
  • understand body, soul and mind
  • create internal and external stability
  • understand and implement different types of coaching
  • understand the effects of uncertainty

Critical analytical ability

Be able to critically analyze everything we hear and see, and be able to see things from different perspectives. It involves training in:

  • recognize problems
  • understand the meaning of facts
  • gather and organize relevant information
  • acknowledge misunderstood assumptions and values
  • understand and use language with accuracy, clarity and discernment
  • interpret data, evaluate evidence and evaluate arguments
  • acknowledge the existence of logical relations between proposals
  • draw sufficiently reasoned conclusions and make relevant generalizations
  • test the conclusions and generalizations that arise
  • reconstruct their belief patterns on the basis of new broader experience / knowledge
  • make correct assessments about specific things and characteristics in everyday life

Creativity and problem-solving ability

Be more creative and be able to solve problems. It involves training in:

  • find hidden patterns
  • connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena
  • generate new ideas
  • find relevant facts
  • use intuition and emotion
  • be non-judgmental
  • understand logical barriers
  • question


Become empathetic, that is, get to know what it is like to be in other people's situation. It involves training in:

  • know the feelings of other people and animals
  • understand how other people's feelings affect their behavior
  • understand how my behavior affects other people
  • understand how other people's behaviors affect other people

Theoretical knowledge

Understand everything related to a sustainable society and much more. It involves training in:

  • understand relevant theoretical knowledge
  • understand theoretical knowledge in practical terms
  • understand how to develop theoretical knowledge
  • understand the history behind theoretical knowledge
  • understand the consequences of theoretical knowledge

Practical skills

Become more practical, for example in cultivation, nature conservation, crafts, technology, etc. This means training in:

  • understand practical skills
  • practice relevant practical skills
  • understand the implications of practical skills
  • understand how to develop practical skills

Conflict resolution

Increase the ability to resolve conflicts. It involves training in:

  • understand the causes of the conflict
  • listen actively
  • understand how the other sees the conflict based on their beliefs, perspectives and attitudes
  • understand the other person's feelings
  • understand how the other person experiences my behavior
  • understand and use different conflict resolution techniques

Visualizing the above points in DOC , in the form of questions, facts, statements, wise slogans, positive images, role models, environmentally friendly initiatives, etcetera, is not particularly difficult.

We point out, in order to avoid misunderstandings, that DOC is not about indoctrination or even education. Wisdom development is the opposite of indoctrination/education, where the goal of a) indoctrination is to affect behavior b) education is to transfer knowledge, while c) wisdom development aims to transform the whole person, its inner capacity, insights, moral and ethical perception, also known as personality development.38 

Placement and ownership of DOC in public wisdom development

Whether space on digital screens should be rented by industry or whether the state should invest in new ditto is perhaps not entirely clear. However, since there is an almost endless need to accelerate public wisdom development for many years, and this volume of DOC would cost considerable sums if purchased by industry companies, it is probably reasonable to assume that own digital screens would save huge sums. It is also not inconceivable that a combination of rent/own digital screens would be a suitable solution.

The digital screens should reasonably be placed close to where the industry have their own digital or analog screens, as they probably know where these have the greatest impact. 

Financing of DOC for public wisdom development

We believe that the state should be able to create its own digital money to finance the gigantic transformation required to achieve a long-term sustainable society. From a national economic perspective, we believe that DOC for public wisdom development is self-financing in the long run, as the positive effects in the form of reduced costs for societal problems will by a large margin exceed the costs.


1 See example


3 Ibid.










13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.












30 Ibid.

31 Dahlén, Micael & Lange, Fredrik. Optimal Marketing Communication. Malmö. Liber AB. 2009

32 Look, Johanna. This is how purpose-driven marketing creates societal benefits. Resume 2016

33 Björk Daniel, Åhléns campaign is a failed BON 16 / 10-16

34 Wigen, Malin. Swedish clothing brand launches campaign - Without retouched bodies Aftonbladet 27 / 01-17

35 TT Racist hate storm against Åhléns luciabarn expressen 04 / 12-16

36 Färlin, Martin .. That's why we see a backlash with purpose-driven advertising. Resume. 23 / 11-16

37 Retrieved from


© 2022 Wisdom4future. All texts can be copied, used and distributed.
Skapad med Webnode
Skapa din hemsida gratis!