HITTING THE STREETS
2017 was another record year for advertising spend, and of all the channels, out of home marketing saw the largest growth inexpenditure – up 18 percent.
Out of home is an adaptive channel covering anything from billboards to bus wraps to kiosks, intercepting people on their daily journeys and catching them no matter their media consumption habits. And with the help of technology, billboards like Tui’s 'Yeah Right' campaign of yesteryear have been brought into the future.
The basics haven’t changed – an eye-catching presence in a location-driven public space, but now Ip-enabled digital screens mean interactive campaigns can be run on highways or city streets, malls or transit stations, 24 hours a day. The increasing digitisation and innovation in content means marketers are able to take their messages further, and some are doing just that through utility content like transit updates, weather, sport and news information, and fun facts or seasonal and holiday updates.
We no longer have to travel to New York's Times Square when a bus stop or mall is around the corner.
And why would we want to leave when we have eye-catching campaigns like Jockey’s work with the All Blacks, which saw toned torsos in tight underwear beamed through malls across the country.
For Jockey, it’s all about visual dominance, marketing manager Will Radford says.
“We have a high impact message with some of the most high profile athletes in New Zealand looking great in their Jockeys.”
The out of home medium provides the dominance and generates ‘chat’ as well, he says.
“When our billboards go up people talk positively about them.”
Out of home pulls constituent parts of campaigns together and is also important on path to purchase campaigns, Radford says.
“For example, last year we live broadcast our NZ Fashion Week catwalk event onto digital panels in malls across New Zealand, as well as broadcasting live on Facebook with the ZM radio guys.
“Later this year we intend to utilise the technology and develop creative that consumers can engage with to create a two-way interaction.”
Radford says that although New Zealand lags behind other countries with issues of audience measurement, he expects digital out of home campaigns will continue to grow as a medium and AI will be integrated to tailor campaigns and target key consumers.
OMD group trading director Hamish Roderick agrees addressing audience measurement issues has to be the priority for out of home in order to support automated campaign delivery and ensure the sector is future-focused.
He says the five years of consecutive growth in the channel’s expenditure has coincided with the inception of digital outdoor infrastructure development in New Zealand, which has seen 500 digital assets installed.
Elaine Gibbons, Adshel’s head of marketing and partnerships NZ, also puts growth in the industry down to advances
in technology and the growing digital footprint of out of home vendors.
She says digital now accounts for 50 percent of all out of home revenue and she expects that growth to continue.
As audiences have fragmented and declined across traditional media channels, out of home has benefited as a constant and unavoidable presence. Adshel, which was awarded the media sales team of the year at the 2018 Beacon Awards, is performing ahead of market and has experienced increasing demand for street furniture and other products, Gibbons says.
Last year the agency turned a bus shelter seat into a giant, squishy loaf of bread for Nature’s Fresh and brought live scoring of a Black Caps campaign to the streets through the Adshel Live network for Ford. Constantly innovating and being involved in media planning are the keys to successful campaigns, Gibbon says, along with advertisers having a clear role for Adshel in their campaigns that leverage the best results.
“Many advertisers are now using the creative flexibility that out of home has to offer, with specific messages to time of day, weather, occasions or events.”
Chair of the Outdoor Media Association New Zealand and general manager of Adshel New Zealand Nick Vile says there have always been standout advertisers that focus on the attributes of the medium and prioritise them in the creative process, ensuring campaigns are deeply engaging in the out of home environment.
“A good example that we all know and remember fondly is the Tui Billboards, a simple execution but with a commitment to ensure the out of home creative was effective long term.”
They developed a deep understanding of what does and doesn’t work, versus the alternative approach which is to take a magazine ad, stick it on a billboard and hope it works, Vile says.
“It’s a simple philosophy but one that is even more relevant now with the onset of digital out of home.”
He says clients who focus on what is good execution in the digital out of home environment and use flexibility attributes, create relevance with their target audience. Research by Adshel shows campaigns that use ‘creative relevance’ are 19 percent more effective.
The diversity of the channel means different mediums can cater to different communication solutions required to meet advertiser’s business objectives, and that is resulting in out of home becoming a lead medium, he says. Even sectors that haven’t traditionally used out of home, such as retail, are being lured over, Vile says.
“It can cover proximity targeting, pathto-purchase objectives, audience targeting and mass broadcast reach.
“This is the reason that out of homers are so evangelistic about the medium. We see the potential in every campaign brief – no campaign is the same, which means new and different challenges every day.”
Vile says, like most things, New Zealand always seems to punch above its weight in terms of creative conceptualisation in out of home, however he does see us lagging in audience measurement and effectiveness.
He says there have been recent case studies out of North America and Europe in relation to audience attribution that show the sophistication in how mobile and out of home are being used in conjunction with each other.
Specifically, the use of geolocation data and audience profiling. He says a static audience is matched to a mobile ad ID, creating an opportunity for advertisers to focus their campaign on locations that over index to their target audience. They can then assess consumer behaviour after exposure to the specific ad.
“It’s a common concept in the digital world, but one that mobile is now enabling in the out of home environment.”
With increasing focus on addressing audience measurement and the proliferation of digital assets across the country, it’s hard to argue against 2018 being the year of out of home marketing.