Like most things in life, out of home (OOH) advertising was doing really well before COVID-19 made an appearance. At the beginning of 2020 OOH advertising was going through digital transformation as many brands had begun to pair OOH with mobile devices to create a more immersive experience for consumers. But alas, COVID-19 came along to ruin it all (kind of hard to use out of home advertising when no one is out of their homes). However, now that we are seeing lockdowns begin to lift and consumers getting back outside, OOH advertising is ready to bounce back with mobile by its side.
The Power of OOH Advertising
OOH advertising is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to get shoppers in the door. It is also everywhere, and cannot be ignored. That combined with the proximity to the retail store is what makes this marketing strategy so effective. In 2018, OOH advertising spending increased by 4.5 percent, in 2019, Facebook, Pepsi and Uber doubled their OOH ad spending, and in 2021 OOH ad spending is expected to hit $33 billion. So, it is clear this form of advertising isn’t going anywhere. It has also been found to be the favorite type of ad by millennials and Gen Z, and consumers are 48 percent more likely to click on a mobile ad after seeing a similar OOH ad.
Mobile is Making it Even Stronger
“If you can’t beat them, join them”. This is exactly what mobile marketing is doing with OOH advertising. While both mobile and OOH are effective channels, they are stronger together. In fact, 2.5 times stronger. Businesses are starting to realize how effective these two strategies can be together. JCDecaux, an outdoor advertising agency, and S4M, a mobile marketing agency, are teaming up with the goal of enhancing media efficiency and syncing OOH ads and mobile. This partnership is designed to better engage the on-the-go consumer. With this partnership, more brands will be able to place ads outside, near their stores, while still simultaneously consumers interact with them on mobile devices. With the combination of high mobile engagement rates and proximity of OOH ads, brands will be able to greatly increase conversion rates. This partnership will first be available in France, the US, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Mexico.
Mobile OOH Ads at Work:
Outfront. Outfront Media, a seller of subway ads and other OOH ads, launched a campaign for Valentines Day included the use of digital billboards, QR codes, and augmented reality (AR). Outfront placed digital billboards in subway stations with a heart-shaped QR code placed at pedestrian level. Consumers passing the billboards were encouraged to use their mobile device to scan the QR code which opened up Instagram with an AR Valentines Day filter. This allowed consumers to snap a pic, tag Outfront, post it, and then Outfront reposted the pictures they are tagged in.
Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola has taken OOH advertising to a whole new level with its newest “It’s a Thing” campaign for the Fanta brand. The brand has paired their traditional Fanta flavors with Snapchat’s AR capabilities. Snapchat users can now point their phone at one of Fanta’s billboards and instantly unlock AR filters and exclusive stickers. Coca-Cola also incorporated social media and video into the campaign. There are “finstas” created for each of the Fanta flavors, and four digital videos called “Flavor Stories” associated with flavors that have OOH ads. This campaign by Coca-Cola is the perfect combination of getting consumers out of their house while still engaging them on mobile.
McDonalds: McDonalds is also hoping on the mobile OOH trend with promotion for their new Spicy Chicken McChicken Nuggets. The campaign consisted of ad posters that come to life through Snapchat AR lenses that make the user appear like they are fire breathing chicken nuggets (everyone's dream come true… right?).
It is great to see how two staple forms of advertising are combing their power to provide consumers with an even better, more engaging experience. This is a perfect example of how in marketing you should always be improving and innovating to move your brand forward.