Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Ensure the OOH Prophecy is Realized

"Brands need to engage people in everyday life."

"With outdoor you have the freedom to connect everything together."

"The Outdoor category at the Cannes Festival of Creativity awards reflects the future direction of the industry."

"The very best campaigns are able to bridge the gap between the traditional categories and can push the boundaries further."

"Outdoor's endless opportunities will persuade clients to shift more of their focus and advertising spend to the medium."

These quotes are certainly powerful. The fact they come from a leading creative director--Ed Morris--and juror from the outdoor Cannes festival awards, gives them even more clout. 
These are the types of quotes and beliefs needed to further educate and inform brands and agencies that outdoor is a powerful and underused tool within an advertising arsenal. 

The fact remains that outdoor often accounts for smaller portions of budgets. At times this can require an intensive pitch to brands, of which I would venture to say a majority still think that outdoor is strictly represented by billboards. This of course couldn't be more untrue, as many of us within the world of outdoor understand. 

Despite these challenges, their is a true abundance of media options and solutions available to outdoor. The ability to really make a significant impact is real and will undoubtedly continue to build. It seems that Ed Morris' prophecy of an advertising age in which outdoor plays a major if not central role could be on its way. But to ensure all of this, 'the now' should represent an intensive period of education. 

Educating brands, agencies and properties in as far as how they all stand to benefit is the key for deepening the penetration of outdoor. Additionally, noting creative and unique ways to accomplish objectives outside the realm of traditional is also very much something which needs to be further refined. Lastly, and perhaps the most important I feel, is enlightening involved parties that outdoor truly is a bridge to a brands online play and investments. Outdoor can be the missing link for a genuine 360 degree campaign which aims to penetrate both the digital and physical realms. Presence in simply one sphere of a human's consciousness will not be enough to achieve that top of mind awareness that advertisers really crave. 

It does help that large brands are starting to get it. More and more successful case studies and even award winning campaigns are being developed. It also helps that digital giants such as Google and Microsoft lead this wave. To some, it may be ironic that firms which are defined by a digital existence should lead the charge. However, they seem to truly understand that one sphere of existence is NOT enough. A lesson which needs to be taught and re-taught to ensure that our bright  'outdoor' prophecy is realized. 

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