Pity the poor marketers who had outdoor campaigns booked for April—and in particular, smaller businesses who have wasted precious budget on such media that will hardly be seen during lockdown.
One such advertiser, London-based snack brand Emily Crisps, has however made the most of this situation. The brand had booked its first ever advertising campaign, but the billboards were timed to come out slap bang in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
So the brand ran with its "misfortune," with billboards that make wry fun of the timing. One, for example, reads: "Our first ever poster, seen by a runner and one pigeon. Typical." Another reads: "Do an ad when it's warmer, they said. More people will see it, they said. Pfft." Another muses: "Hmm. Maybe we should have made a TV ad instead."
“We booked the outdoor media for Emily back in 2019, so this was not something we could simply cancel at late notice. Luckily, the Emily brand is all about being bold, so we decided to be totally transparent and use this as an opportunity to poke fun at ourselves,” explained Ben Arbib, Ffounder of Nurture Brands, which owns Emily Crisps. “We’ll be sharing photos of the outdoor ads on social media with #stayhome as, unusually, we don’t want consumers to see them in person.”
The campaign is running on digital six sheets throughout the U.K. in partnership with Clear Channel. To get the exposure it wanted, the brand is sharing the outdoor ads on social media: for example, on Instagram Stories, where it's added an interactive element by asking people to fill in blanked-out missing words on the ads.