As technology continues to impact the way we consume almost everything (including media), we as marketers need to find new and engaging ways to get the message across. The days of relying solely on free-to-air television are gone. Television isn’t dead, but the way we engage with it has changed.
New concepts like ‘catch-up TV’, content on your mobile and ‘create your own content’ has shifted the way advertisers buy media.
One of the interesting things we have had success with over the last few years is using outdoor advertising to help supplement stuff like TV advertising.
Outdoor advertising (sometimes called out of home or ambient) isn’t new and includes almost anything you can think of. From those smart cars that scoot around town towing billboards, planes pulling banner messages up and down the beach over summer, sampling teams at concerts and ad mirror stickers that get posted in bar toilets, it’s everywhere.
Spending a bit of time at the W.A.C.A recently for the Ashes Test, I was amazed that there was time for any cricket to be played at all with the amount of effort and money many companies had spent getting people to trial their wears. I could go from having my picture taken with a fast food company to holding a blow up toy with another within a matter of minutes
Ambient allows the marketer to take the message to the consumer by asking where do they spend their time? It allows us to put our messages in an appropriate space and also helps to engage those who often are hard to capture via traditional stuff like TV or newspapers.
We have used ambient quite a bit over the last few years including giving people free rides down city streets in pedapods, taking over Town Hall in Sydney and Flinders St Station in Melbourne and have even had a choir singing on street corners and bus shelters that talked to you.
I think it’s a fair to say that outdoor often works best when it is part of a wider marketing strategy (see the TV, then get a similar message when you leave the house) but I have seen some really great stand alone campaigns also. For me it comes down to being relevant and unique.
Some of our best outdoor has been stuff that has helped deliver new news, but done in a way that reflects who we are – different, challenging and just a bit tongue in cheek. People still tell me how much they loved the ‘Hello target audience, buy this” bus side.