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How to make the most of your OOH campaign

Here’s what brands and agencies should consider so they can make the most of their OOH campaigns.

How to make the most of your OOH campaign
[As Good As Possible / Adobe Stock]

While we submerge ourselves within the digital era, the metaverse, and the depths of social media to amplify the influence of online marketing, brands and agencies know it is a mistake to rely solely on the internet to reach the buying public. In fact, out-of-home (OOH) advertising remains popular and effective because it promotes products and services to the people who need them, when they need them, while they are going about their daily tasks. OOH’s ubiquity and ability to engage consumers makes it a powerful component of any marketing campaign—not to mention it’s the only traditional media format that continues on an upward trend of ad spends within the advertising industry.

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Here’s what brands and agencies should consider so they can make the most of their OOH campaigns.

BILLBOARDS AND SO MUCH MORE

Mention “out-of-home advertising” and most people envision a massive superboard emblazoned with a simple message: “Eat at Joe’s” or “See Rock City.” Those iconic message media still comprise a viable component of an outdoor marketing campaign;  however, OOH includes a variety of platforms. When choosing the OOH marketing mix, brands should consider the product, target audience, and each format’s characteristics to ensure the campaign’s mission matches its context.

For instance, it would be reckless to invite commuters on a busy street to scan the QR code featured on your car topper ad, but that same come-on would be perfectly acceptable in a metro station, grocery store, gym, or another street level or place-based platform.

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The best OOH campaign may incorporate static billboards, digital displays, mobile signs, and street furniture (benches, kiosks, bus shelters, etc.) so potential customers can encounter them throughout their daily journey. The variety of sizes and formats encourages the use of different calls to action, designs, and messaging united by a common theme and purpose.

FORM FOLLOWS FOCUS

With all the different formats, locations, and sizes available in OOH, there may be a tendency to incorporate them all. Originality in design is an asset, but cluttering an OOH advertisement with multiple fonts, a scattering of images, and clashing colors deprives the viewer of a focal point.

Keep it simple!

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And remember that ad design is not the boss—it must be subordinate to the message. The ad should draw the eye to its most important element, and that cannot happen unless you know what that element is: an overarching action that you want the viewer to take right away. That may be to visit a website, scan a QR code, or take the next highway exit—something that McDonald’s executed epically well in a recent OOH campaign that garnered global recognition. Whatever the call to action, the other elements on the OOH creative should work to make it happen—not get in the way or distract from the main purpose. Take your creativity one step further and make it an experience. Many brands and marketers leverage large format billboards to create impactful and unexpected messaging, drawing immediate attention.

DATA IS YOUR FRIEND

Customizing the messaging and calls to action, as noted above, brings the added benefit of targeting the effectiveness and efficiencies of each OOH location, providing another data point for refining the campaign. Drive value to your consumers by leveraging external data feeds to adjust your creative content based on worldly factors such as weather, live sports scores, or social media feeds—or you could live stream a major event to a street-level activation. Target your specific audience by leveraging programmatic DOOH, which delivers advertisements when data indicates there is a high concentration of your target audience. For example, suppose you’re a beauty brand that caters to Gen Zs and Boomers with different products. Why not let the data do the work for you and deliver a DOOH advertisement to your specific target when they’re most likely to be within viewing range? This level of contextual relevance provides great value in emotional reactions from consumers and often leads to greater recall of ad content.

Ad agencies, media buyers, and other service providers offer even more sophisticated measures, such as attribution and lift, to minutely segment target audiences, refine messaging, and determine which campaign components drive the desired outcomes.

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OOH continues to evolve and adapt to market dynamics. Digital displays, place-based audio (AOOH), programmatic deliveries, location insights for traditional and digital media, omnichannel support, and a dozen other technologies promise to secure OOH’s space in progressive marketers’ optimal media mix for decades to come.


An entrepreneurial disrupter, leveraging technology and innovation to drive change. Currently the President of COMMB

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