Doing it for the ‘gram

[23rd April] Creating viral content or a brand which becomes synonymous with an item (e.g. Jacuzzi/hot tub or Boojum/burrito) is the holy grail for many marketers. Innovative Out of Home campaigns work for similar reasons; investment in a campaign at one location can reach many more people than just those who walk past it. Recent campaigns for Marmite are testament to this, shared across social media platforms to a far bigger audience than those who saw the billboard itself.

Social media has changed how we live our lives, probably even more in the last year. It’s how we connect and communicate, entertain ourselves, buy items and share our lives with others. For brands, social media platforms allow investment in sponsored content to reach a wider audience however over-saturation of ads can be a problem. Influencer marketing can help to boost organic coverage, however this has pitfalls too, and the ASA frequently highlights problematic content. Out of Home could be the solution for brands who want to reach large audiences with genuine content.

Create instagrammable billboards

Brands who want to engage with audiences, shocking them creatively and building organic content should certainly be considering their Outdoor advertising as a huge canvas. A growing trend, and a cost effective one, creating instagrammable content allows the ad itself to become an art installation, encouraging engagement and interaction. Drawing audiences in to stop, look and share the content they’re experiencing.

Research in the US by Nielsen showed that one in four adults had posted a photo on Instagram after seeing an Outdoor advertisement. In Northern Ireland, one in ten adults have engaged with a brand on social media as a direct result of seeing an OOH campaign (TGI NI 2020).

Out of Home is influential for brands because of the frequent touch points, unique targeting capabilities and the huge choice of formats, but it’s also well received by audiences because of the passive nature of consumption. It’s unintrusive and sometimes seen as a welcome distraction. Where brands step away from more classic formats to create unique content, audiences can be enticed to share more freely. Murals, special builds and Digital OOH screens can create the unique campaign elements which draw audiences in and encourage social sharing.

 No single point of focus

In our hyper connected lives, it’s no wonder audiences don’t consume media in a linear pattern. Instead we focus across several media platforms all the time, allowing brands to create ads that cross into different environments and mediums. Out of Home is becoming a channel to engage consumers as well as passively display content to audiences. Take Dynamic Digital OOH for example, using information relevant to audiences in the campaign has been proven to elicit a stronger brain response than generic content (The Moments of Truth, Posterscope et al 2020). This kind of active engagement with audiences helps to build long lasting positive associations, as well as creating content which is more sharable and unique.