The Future of Outdoor Advertising

The Future of Outdoor Advertising

In 1967, Elektra Records took a leap of faith and bought a huge hand-painted billboard on West Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.The billboard was to announce The Doors’ new album. At that time, The Doors was an up-and-coming local band playing the nearby nightclub, Whiskey a Go Go, a nearby nightclub. It marked the start of a golden era of advertising on the 1.5-mile stretch known as Sunset Strip, and the world has followed suit.

All ads and marketing activity, regardless of how it is deployed, has one goal: to capture the attention of an onlooker and evoke a desired action.

Out of Home (OOH) Advertising

Typically, OOH does not take the biggest piece of the marketing budget pie, however Ad Age predicts that it will remain a constant complementary channel to support advertising initiatives. With the overwhelming benefits of digital marketing, such as reporting, track ability, customer behaviour insights, and ROI, OOH is challenged to evolve if it hopes to remain relevant.

Innovation in Outdoor Advertising

One of the primary complaints marketing managers have with outdoor advertising compared with digital is its inability to track efficacy. Recent innovations in outdoor media seek to solve some of these challenges.

Radar - Smart boards

Clear Channel introduced "RADAR," a data and analytics tool that delivers measurable information from OOH campaigns to advertisers with their smart boards. Equipped with beacons or AI-powered cameras, these boards gather non-personally-identifiable data from nearby mobile devices.

 This data can then be used to group viewers into pre-identified customer categories, such as "interested in home improvements," "moms," "fashionistas,""interested in soccer," etc. This allows them to either present the most relevant advert to passersby, or let the public to engage and interact with a billboard.

An example of smart boards in action.

The Coughing Man - Sweden

A Swedish ad agency, Akestam Holst, partnered with Apotek- a pharmaceutical chain - to create a responsive outdoor advertising campaign that helps smokers stop smoking.

With the aid of smoke detectors installed in the system, a video of a man coughing would be triggered every time a smoker walks past the screen.

The Coughing Man - Sweden

After the attention-grabbing cough, an anti-smoking message with nicotine addiction-breaking products is shown.  

Focused on the individual, this is a great way to reach a target audience with a personalised message.

Hyper-localised moving billboards: Delivery Bikes

Another innovation in the outdoor advertising space is the advent of delivery bikes as a new mode of advertising.  

Known as “moving billboards” these delivery bikes are as targeted - if not more so - than smart boards, as they directly reach the homes of consumers who order food and luxuries online. 

Additional to gorgeous helmet and top-box branding, the companies who advertise on these bikes also include brochure drops with QR codes, or even deploy sample drops with these food deliveries, for a complete, tactile, integrated brand experience. 

Hyper-localised moving billboards: Delivery Bikes

Not only do these delivery bikes spread the word while they are on the road, consumers associate these brands with the comfort and convenience they experience when receiving takeaways and food at home.

Watch this space - this new channel is making waves in the industry.

The Trend for Omni and Multichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is where all departments in an organisation - be it face-to-face interactions in store, digital and social channels, and sales and customer managers - work together to create a seamless customer experience.

Fundamentally, an omnichannel strategy rises and falls to two critical factors:

  1. Does it make it easier for the customer?
  2. Is there a unified message across all customer interactions?

When it comes to multichannel marketing, being present on numerous channels is essential as consumers do not interact with a brand on just one channel. In fact, according to Megastore, 73 percent of buyers shop across multiple channels.

In summary, multichannel strategies ensure the brand can easily be found on all the channels they frequent, and omnichannel marketing integrates the customer journey throughout each of these channels.

Final thoughts

For brands to remain relevant and top-of-mind, they need to be visible, innovative, and deploy guerilla-style marketing tactics. Ad blockers and banner-blindness cause much advertising budget to goto waste or be ineffective.

A multichannel and omnichannel strategy that includes digital, face-to-face, as well as outdoor advertising channels is the way forward. Opt for hyper-targeted, trackable outdoor advertising with delivery bikes in your target audiences’ neighbourhood.