Each year, our industry descends on the Croisette to celebrate the best accomplishments of creative communication and human connection. And each year, that challenge seems to become more complex and difficult to achieve. The challenges extend beyond accusations of fraud, privacy compliance, political polarization and the death of the agency model. Audiences are inundated by a seemingly unlimited supply of media and advertising. With an average consumer attention span of just eight seconds, brands are finding it increasingly difficult to break through the noise and make meaningful connections with their customers.
In this hyper-competitive, attention-deficit world, consumers are looking for something that draws them to a brand. A recent Salesforce survey showed that 80 percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. This is why it makes sense that many companies are taking the brand experience of their products and stores and extending it to their advertising campaigns to make stronger, longer-lasting connections with audiences. And there’s only one form of media that can make that experience larger than life.
Out-of-home (OOH) media, whether static or digital, enables brands to connect with their customers in the real world. It inherently weaves through a consumer’s daily journey between home, work, shopping and entertainment. It’s big and bold, and it can’t be skipped or blocked. OOH is a unique creative canvas that can activate the five senses in a way no other form of media can. The combination of creative and media can surprise, delight and drive people to take action. But many brands have yet to fully realize the experiential and creative potential of OOH media to create that special connection that consumers value so much.
In line with many of the key themes at this year’s Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, here are the four ways that marketers can extend their brand’s experience through out-of-home advertising and create a more valuable connection with their customers.
1. Think outside the canvas
Out-of-home offers both customization and scalability. Digital screens, billboards, banners, wraps, sheets—these all have specs, but those specs are all starting points. Whether you include engaging video, interactivity, pop-up retail or larger-than-life installations, when you look beyond the rectangle is when your campaign will really come to life.
2. Go multichannel
Out-of-home is great at driving people both online and in-store. In fact, the medium’s high-impact, human-scale messaging helps it drive more consumers online than any other form of traditional media. Brands should look to create OOH executions that directly integrate with their digital and in-store efforts to create a holistic and cohesive experience across the entire customer journey.
3. Use the context of the space
Out-of-home is not just about location awareness, it’s about context awareness. Wherever your ad runs, what do people actually do there and what could they do? Are they on-the-go, or is it a place where people linger? Do they have time to touch or interact with the creative? The best OOH experiences are the ones that embrace the space they’re in.
4. Measure, measure, measure
Be creative... and smart. Out-of-home is becoming increasingly more measurable, whether through brand awareness, foot traffic or direct response. Advertisers should take advantage of all the advances in technology to measure, learn and optimize the next experience. The same tools that marketers use to measure digital campaigns can now be used to measure OOH.
There’s no doubt, consumers are distracted and brands are having a hard time commanding their attention. In a world where people value experiences above all, companies have the opportunity to extend their brand experience to the customer journey in a tactile and meaningful way by using out-of-home to its full experiential and creative potential.