Since we now live in a digital era, you may have expected OOH (Out-Of-Home) advertising to be showing a drastic cut in revenue but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this year has seen a massive growth in the UK due to, not only the introduction of new technologies, but also due to the smart use of this advertising channel through new media.
The OOH in numbers
OOH, or Out-Of-Home, advertising is big business. It always has been – posters on rail sidings, bus shelters, bus sides and underground escalators, amongst others, have always had an impact and therefore have always been in great demand by marketing companies and their clients. Recently though we have seen a change coming to the way this advertising is dealt with and how companies are now able to geo-target campaigns for maximum effect.
Route, a research and measurement body for outdoor media and advertising in the UK, interviewed 28,000 people and then fitted them with GPS to track them around the country. This generated very useful marketing data: where the largest gathering of people were at any particular time of a certain day of the week, were singles more consistent and regular visitors to shopping malls, who travelled fastest, men or women?
This also showed some interesting facts: the average person travelled approximately 241km per week as a whole, we are fastest between 5 and 6am on a Sunday but slowest between 10 and 11am on a Tuesday; people aged between 45 and 54 move faster than other age groups; men travel faster than women and also travel further; we spend on average 12.2hrs per week travelling and three quarters of that travelling is done during the week, not at weekends.
Gone are the days when you rent a site and hope for the best – technology has gone far enough to let advertisers have more control over who sees their campaign and that is simply the start of some amazing leaps forward which a couple of years ago would have been looked on as pure science fiction.
The buying automation technology
It isn’t simply the content on these new digital outdoor frames but the technology installed with them that is the key. Virgin Trains campaign, launched by Ocean Outdoor’s Media Eyes in September 2015, has three LED screens with cameras that actually recognise the gender and age of passers-by. This is then sent to the system which selects the most appropriate advert for the audience captured at that specific moment in time. Also, it also beams free WiFi for the consumer in exchange for personal data which further refines what is most apt to be sent to the commuter’s mobile devices.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home also used an exceptionally effective technique in outdoor advertising this year where a (virtual) dog followed shoppers around Westfield Stratford shopping mall asking people to adopt him. Leaflets had been handed to shoppers, these contained RFID tags which reacted with the screens, allowing the dog to follow the same shopper from screen to screen.
Click to watch a video about this campaign.
Real-time campaign: a glimpse of the future
Real-time ads have mostly been the domain of online advertising – until now. With this new technology, OOH campaigns can take on an almost surreal aspect. For instance, it is possible to change the ad copy depending on weather, time of day and location and that gives the advertiser an extra level to reach their target audience. In fact, there really appears to be no limits as to the extent new technology can take on this form of advertising in the future.
Three months before the latest 20th Century Fox blockbuster based on Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero Deadpool arrives on our screens, a standee is being sent out to thousands of cinemas around the globe. What is so special about this standee? Well, it actually allows cinema goers to sit on the main character’s lap and have their photo taken with them. And, of course, the character is complete with a Santa hat – ideal for making up your own Christmas cards or sending as a novelty picture to all your friends on social media – and that, of course, translates into mega-millions of adverts flying around prior to the film’s release.
A clever and low-budget campaign that requires one simple piece of kit that almost everyone has in their pocket: a mobile phone with a camera.
Peppa Pig's Big Splash
We produced a similar type of standee for the national tour of Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. It consisted of a large version of the poster with the faces of Peppa Pig and George Pig cut out, allowing the children to put their faces through the cut outs and have their photos taken. A great souvenir and one that was sent from family to family throughout the social media – giving Peppa Pig a lot of very welcomed attention.
This gives an idea of how a good campaign works, no matter the technologies used or the budget allocated. Plus, outdoor media installations are powerful brand awareness channels that fix in our minds a logo and the correlated feelings and values relating to the product. For example, see what the attendee of Vienna Festival thought of our posters.
OOH in a brand refresh challenge
We were approached by St Paul’s School & Colet Court to rebrand but, at the same time, to retain their identity and heritage. The reason: they wanted to stand out from similar establishments. This is the type of challenge we relish and they were delighted with the results. However, in being able to attain this, you have to bear in mind that all aspects of the rebranding have to work in tandem. Everything from signage, standees and pop-ups help to push the identity of the new branding.