The revival of OOH within paid, owned and earned campaigns

There is still the common misconception that amplification of content is only achieved through various forms of paid social and digital spend.

However, as marketers start to understand the full potential of integrated ad campaigns, and therefore consider different ways to achieve critical mass through paid media, the use of traditional channels like OOH have been revived. When executed correctly, OOH is a great way of driving cost effective mass reach, and driving organic sharing and word of mouth for a TTL campaign.

SNFC – the French Rail network, understands that push messaging alone may remind consumers it is there, but simply getting your brand name in front of as many eyeballs as possible is no longer the way to speak to consumers. In addition it realizes to compete in a world of clutter, and keep its brand front of mind, in a favourable way to its audience, their ad campaigns need to inspire, positively disrupt and delight.

The above example is a great use of OOH to create content and brand conversation that in turn has a wide reaching earned impact, without the need to spend too much additional budget on other paid channels to achieve reach and scale.


Branded Vans and Food Trucks are Trending Offline….

Nike Branded Truck

Let’s face it – we all like something free in life. I know for one thing, if I’m at an event and a promotional girl or guy walks past handing out free products or I see a parked car handing out goodies I unashamedly rush up to see what I can get my hands on. Only once I’ve pushed through the wild mob and have ripped out the bits and pieces from my goodie bag – unlike the average consumer, I then evaluate what value these giveaways have created for the brands they are promoting.

If the point is to associate your brand with an event, a mere product giveaway can suffice. Red Bull are perhaps leaders in this field with their Red Bull cars and promo girls donning futuristic Red Bull backpacks handing out free energy drinks. Do this at enough extreme sporting or music festivals and the connection is made – Red Bull is synonymous with ‘cool’ events, full of vibrancy and alcohol (oh wait was that second link supposed to be subliminal??).

However, beyond merely making a few people happy and selling a few extra products at an event or over the course of a year – brands have now realised there is an opportunity to make these giveaways more ‘social’ and increase Global brand advocacy in the process. By Global – I mean that once your brand is talked about Online – there’s no limit to whom it could potentially influence. Obviously certain brands or products may not be sold in your country – but if you’re ever travelling around and recall something mentioned or seen Online, don’t underestimate the power a few Tweets or PR ripples can make to a brand’s definitive reach.

Anyway, the point of this post is really just to share what Nike is now doing – I don’t think I need to explain in detail the concept if you watch the video. A Nike branded truck and giveways; with the only new innovation to these new promotional creations being that they can travel far and wide – beyond the walls of festivals and capital cities. I’ll be interested to see how Nike really amplify the conversation Online beyond the physical location – hopefully they’re handing out vouchers with codes or challenging their audience to somehow connect and interact in a social medium. Just for reference I’ve also inserted the van Coke took around Brasil last year – as I thought the ‘vending machine’ trick was conversational and quite cute.

McDonalds uses OOH to Drive Conversation around its $1 Summer Drinks Menu

It’s nice to see McDonalds getting creative with advertising beyond the controlled environment of a YouTube video or a sterile burger Ad filmed and Photoshopped to perfection. With that off my chest, I can now praise the simple, yet clever execution which no doubt generated location specific conversation around McDonalds in Canada and effectively conveyed their brand message: Summer drinks at McDonalds cost $1.

What I particularly liked is the level of involvement and the ‘Offline’ consumer journey. First and foremost, the branding was spot on, not over the top – but by using the famous ‘Golden Arches’ it clearly stamped McDonalds name to the spectacle, in a creative yet environmentally friendly way (and let’s face it, this is one company that needs to prove itself in this area). Next the idea of the ice, in my opinion was entirely appropriate for a Summer day, which of course induced hours of interactive fun and deep brand engagement. Finally the $1 coins themselves, of course delivered the direct advertising message. I do believe after seeing this installation, hearing about it and especially after prying your own $1 coin free, the fact that drinks are $1 all Summer long at McDonalds in Canada will remain in consumers’ latent thoughts for at least 3 months to come.

While I do also believe a simple idea is often all that is needed to effectively promote an Advertising message, I have one criticism of the campaign. It is something that I see all too often these days– the failure of a flawless, innovate Offline execution to then shift conversation to an Online hub, where word of mouth could be further amplified. I am aware that the message here was country specific (ie $1 drinks may not be on offer at other McDonalds worldwide), but there are several ways to manipulate Online conversation to ensure it retains a local focus. My suggestion would have been to replace the $1 coins with $1 tokens that could be used within McDonalds stores, and thus increased in-store traffic (which in turn could have raised overall sales of more than just drinks). Whether changing the $1 coins to $1 tokens for McDonalds would have reduced an individual’s desire to ‘pick away’ at the ice is debatable – but at present I can’t see a direct relation between a potential consumer getting a $1 coin and then having this convert in to a direct sale. Overall though…I’m Lovin’ It..(sorry!)

Animals in Amsterdam – Artis get creative with OOH

No, I’m not talking about the average tourist visiting this quaint city, but rather a guerilla (or maybe even Gorilla in this case..) campaign that coloured the streets of Amsterdam to spread the news of a recent ‘baby boom’ at the city’s Zoo. Below is the latest innovation for OOH (Out Of Home) Advertising – designed to create mass offline awareness and get people talking about a proximate event. While the average billboard will always be an effective way of getting yourself noticed, it’s very hard to cross the line from visual stimulation to interaction – something that really helps the brand transfer process. I’m certainly a fan of what Artis did here.

Artis babyboom from Dawn Amsterdam on Vimeo.

No doubt the actual effects were short lived (and whether the idea of placing stickers haphazardly around a city, removable or not, equates to vandalism is a point aside) but for a brief moment it touched the lives of those passing by and was probably something they mentioned to friends or family in a conversation that evening. It’s still always hard to tell the full effect these OOH campaigns have on increasing human traffic to offline spaces, a brand’s website or how they impact overall sales figures, but I think a good OOH campaign is relatively inoffensive and makes you smile. And with NCF technology, AR and the increasing use of Mobile technology and campaigns the possibilities of making a OOH campaign truly experiential and interactive will be limitless.