Monday, June 6, 2011

Why Should Agencies Push 'Outdoor Advertising' More?

Outdoor advertising builds brands by providing the 'fame' which is essential for strong brand development, sustains the strongest brands and builds young brands. This was taken from a recent WPP study on brand equity and media activity. 

In addition, this study goes on to say that outdoor media creates a presence which allows for brand building and drives online search activity. This study is sweet music to the ears of many OOH professionals. The value in effective OOH is certainly known to many who handle the media, however for those not familiar with it there still seems to be a barrier of sorts for certain advertisers and agencies to fully enter this realm. 

One such challenge has been the lack of reliable studies such as this one. Additionally, metrics are viewed as haphazard at times and of course ROI  has been deemed questionable on certain types of media. That being said however, what this study shows is that there is true value if brands and agencies choose wisely and cater specific goals to leveraging the best of what OOH has to offer.   

Speaking of results, it comes as no surprise that OOH can drive brand development. That is fairly obvious and has been one of its strong suits for quite some time. What has been a pleasant discovery is how OOH is noted along with TV as being one of the two most significant drivers of online search activity. To take this even further, outdoor was shown to be more cost effective in this realm than TV. This basically challenges a lot of assumptions and conventions on what outdoor is good for. 

Being able to amplify and enhance digital ad spend would certainly be a whole new way to view outdoor and in essence start delivering and covering up some of OOH's inherent weaknesses--namely accountability and solid metrics. A recent outdoor campaign by McDonalds illustrates the power of these points as per sustaining brand development and also linking to digital for reliable measurement.  By all accounts this digital interactive campaign seemed to work for McDonalds and truly illustrates a lot of what OOH can do. 

What does this mean for you as an advertiser or agency? Here are some tips on effective OOH use:

1. Since OOH opens up a whole new realm for certain brands, the creative options to woo new or existing clients are huge and should be taken advantage of

2. You should NOT simply take existing media and creative design solutions from other media and plug them into OOH. The best and most successful OOH pushes are like anything else and require careful thought and consideration for the specific goals you have.

3. Explore the possibilities! Outdoor no longer means simply billboards. The media solutions available are wide and varied. 

4.  Take a look at existing digital plays and have a think as to how they could really be amplified using OOH

5. Have fun! Remember the goal of OOH is not to simply blast your message in someone's face but rather pull them in. Take lessons from the brands that are doing it right like McDonalds and others.

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