En­hanc­ing Out-of-Home Ad­ver­tis­ing Strate­gies

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Finance -

Out-of-home (OOH) ad­ver­tis­ing or out­door ad­ver­tis­ing is one of the oldest forms of ad­ver­tis­ing, yet it re­mains a vi­tal mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool. Its im­pact has not di­min­ished de­spite the dis­rup­tive ef­fects of tech­nol­ogy and the ex­is­tence of other forms of ad­ver­tis­ing. Out­door ad­ver­tis­ing is a medium for reach­ing con­sumers through­out the day as they commute to work, shop or em­bark on other ac­tiv­i­ties that take them out of their places of res­i­dence. How­ever, it is in­cum­bent on me­dia plan­ners and ad­ver­tis­ers to im­ple­ment strate­gies for en­hanc­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of out-of-home ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns.

In the De­cem­ber 2016 edi­tion of this pub­li­ca­tion, I dis­cussed the growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in OOH ad­ver­tis­ing in Nige­ria. I high­lighted dig­i­tal OOH plat­forms that are help­ing brands to be more com­pet­i­tive and in­crease call-to-ac­tion. Other growth op­por­tu­ni­ties, as men­tioned in the ar­ti­cle, are shar­ing econ­omy – which is stim­u­lat­ing growth in the in­dus­try through co-own­er­ship of sites; con­sol­i­da­tions are also gain­ing ground as a means to max­imise cor­po­rate growth; emerg­ing reg­u­la­tory trends are also help­ing to pro­mote best prac­tice.

The ob­jec­tive of this ar­ti­cle is to briefly high­light some of the ways by which com­pa­nies can drive in­creased sales and boost brand aware­ness through OOH ad­ver­tis­ing. The pro­lif­er­a­tion of var­i­ous forms of out­door ad­ver­tis­ing is in­dica­tive of the fact that this chan­nel of mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­liv­ers high re­turn on in­vest­ment for ad­ver­tis­ers.

As an above-the-line mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool, out-of-home ad­ver­tis­ing fo­cuses on the mass au­di­ence for the pur­pose of cre­at­ing brand aware­ness and brand re­call. An ef­fec­tive OOH of­fer­ing min­i­mizes the de­cay rate as­so­ci­ated with ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns. De­cay rate is the time it takes for a per­son to for­get an ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign mes­sage. But as var­i­ous stud­ies have shown, OOH is a ve­hi­cle of re­call for brands. In other words, it in­creases the level of re­ten­tion of ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign mes­sages on the minds of con­sumers.

The at­ten­tion span of out­door ad­ver­tis­ing con­sumers is lim­ited be­cause they are of­ten ex­posed to the cam­paign mes­sages while they are in tran­sit. There­fore, OOH mes­sages must have clar­ity and take a strong visual sto­ry­telling ap­proach to draw at­ten­tion of con­sumers and elicit im­me­di­ate re­sponse. All the var­i­ous forms of out­door ad­ver­tis­ing – such street fur­ni­ture ad­ver­tis­ing, on-ve­hi­cle or tran­sit ad­ver­tis­ing, in-store ad­ver­tis­ing – have the po­ten­tial to in­flu­ence a con­sumer's buy­ing de­ci­sion at the time they are on their way to pur­chase a prod­uct.

Some OOH ve­hi­cles cater to cap­tive au­di­ences. For in­stance, dis­play­ing a dig­i­tal bill­board at the air­port, train station, bus shel­ter or in the lobby of a ho­tel or cinema can reach the cap­tive au­di­ences while they are wait­ing at those lo­ca­tions. How­ever, the ef­fec­tive­ness of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel can be achieved through high aes­thetic qual­ity, clar­ity, hu­mour, and some­times the choice of brand am­bas­sador.

Re­search has found that for an OOH to get the at­ten­tion of the con­sumer, the cam­paign needs to reach the con­sumer on the fol­low­ing three cog­ni­tive lev­els: ra­tio­nal, emo­tional and cul­tural. The con­sumer needs to ra­tio­nally in­ter­pret the cam­paign mes­sage, the mes­sage must elicit an in­stinc­tive emo­tional re­ac­tion and the con­sumer needs to de­ter­mine whether or not the mes­sage is rel­e­vant to him or her in or­der to make the choice of ei­ther re­ject­ing or ac­cept­ing it.

Due to the lim­ited win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to com­mu­ni­cate to the cus­tomer who is on the go, sim­plic­ity of the cam­paign is a key fac­tor. The tex­tual el­e­ments in­cor­po­rated in the cam­paign must be min­i­mal. It is ad­vised that the mes­sage should pivot on a sin­gle idea or con­cept to al­low for easy in­ter­pre­ta­tion by the con­sumer. As be­nign as type­faces may seem, they help dis­tin­guish be­tween read­able and non­read­able OOH cam­paign mes­sages. Large fonts en­hance leg­i­bil­ity from long dis­tances. Also, ap­pro­pri­ate spac­ing be­tween letters, words, and num­bers will en­hance vis­i­bil­ity of cam­paign ma­te­ri­als.

With the ubiq­uity of tech­nol­ogy nowa­days, com­bin­ing in­ter­ac­tive mo­bile tech­nol­ogy with out-of-home ad­ver­tis­ing can fos­ter a two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the brand and con­sumers. Some brands have achieved high cus­tomer en­gage­ment by pro­vid­ing short codes to prompt im­me­di­ate re­sponse from prospec­tive cus­tomers.

Colour is also a crit­i­cal and es­sen­tial el­e­ment when think­ing about OOH de­signs and ex­e­cut­ing the cam­paign. An out­door ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign ex­e­cuted with bril­liant colour con­trast evokes an emo­tional re­sponse that arouses the con­sumer in­ter­est along with pos­i­tive im­pres­sions about the brand. Con­trast­ing colours are highly rec­om­mended in out-ofhome ad­ver­tis­ing be­cause the colours make view­ing the cam­paign mes­sages from far dis­tances pos­si­ble. Stud­ies have shown that high colour con­trasts can fa­cil­i­tate OOH cam­paign re­call by 30-80 per cent.

Im­agery en­hances the cre­ativ­ity of a de­sign. As such, the im­agery of out­door cam­paigns must be bold, clear, and easy to un­der­stand. A strong im­age against sim­ple back­grounds can en­hance the visual ef­fects. With ad­vances in pho­tog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy, the scope for pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity im­agery in out­door ad­ver­tis­ing de­signs has ex­panded.

Cor­po­rate or brand am­bas­sadors also con­sti­tute huge mar­ket­ing re­sources for or­gan­i­sa­tions rolling out OOH cam­paigns. Loyal cus­tomers of a brand are of­ten its brand am­bas­sadors, pro­vid­ing ad­vo­cacy, etc. How­ever, for many large or­gan­i­sa­tions, celebrity en­dorse­ment is an in­te­gral fea­ture of their ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign strat­egy to pro­mote their prod­ucts and gen­er­ate more sales.

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