I have made the case a few times over and provided stats which illustrate the rising power of OOH (out of home media) and what brands will do to gain attention. What we are starting to witness through more and more concrete examples is this phenomena. The cases of iconic brands stepping out of their ordinary comfort zones to interact, engage and 'pull' in new and effective ways seems to be on the up and up. I am sure this would make an interesting study unto itself and I would love to hear some definitive stats on this.
In fact this noted trend was the point of one my recent tweets involving arguably the highest of high end auto brands Bentley and how it has stepped into OOH for the first time ever within the UK. They did a relatively safe OOH play with a billboard, however the significance is great. Before this they had been known as staunch supporters and purchasers of traditional media period.
To further add support for this argument, I can present the case in which the company I own--BRANDPOINT Advertising--worked with the global fashion brand VOGUE for an OOH push last fall. They were looking to get help and exposure for their Tokyo version of their ultra popular 'Fashions Night Out' global event. What we did for them was outfit escalator handrails in high end shopping centers with media (Escalator Handrail Media) along with the hijacking of a basement parking garage of one of the most ritzy shopping centers in all of Japan with 'Parking Stripe Media' (PSM) (a media which is placed on existing painted parking lines). The PSM media was certainly out there for them and I feel pretty confident that such a move would have been off limits five to ten years back for a brand of that caliber.
What both examples show however, are the risks brands are willing to take to once again interact, engage and 'pull'. I am supremely confident that there are other countless examples to add support to the ideas raised in this post. I would be curious to hear others insight and thoughts on this topic.