Becci – Senior Account Manager

“Digital comes first” has been the approach of marketers far and wide for years now. With its many forms of advertising, from creative clips on YouTube pre-roll to geo-display, and the detailed reporting of cost per reach, it’s no surprise that plenty of brands have shifted spend from offline to the digital space.

Yet recently, out of home (OOH) has been making a bit of a comeback. Reports have predicted that global OOH is set to see an 8.5% revenue growth in 2020 – its fastest increase in 13 years.[1]

So, what makes the platform so attractive? The answer to that is mass reach.

As a channel, it reaches the UK population more frequently, every week, than any other media channel. Even digital OOH follows closely behind, reaching 67% of the UK. From an ROI perspective, it’s guaranteed, as campaigns appear in front of diverse audiences in specific locations. And depending on your creative approach, they can be impacted in quite striking ways.

The BBC Creative team are one of many taking a unique approach to recent campaigns.

To launch the new series of His Dark Materials, the team took residence on a billboard close to London’s Westfield shopping centre, which contained a “living, breathing” polar bear, complete with a steam pipe in the billboard to depict icy breath coming from the polar bear’s mouth.

Another strong piece of work by the BBC team was surrounding the launch of the Dracula series. For this, the BBC erected two specially made billboards in London and Birmingham, along with a glass case in front, complete with the words ‘In Case of Vampires, Break’. The real showstopper on this one was the use of clever lighting that created a ghoulish shadow as night fell.

Google also combined its wealth of data to create a responsive, intelligent campaign. We all know summer in the UK can be short lived, and people want to make the most of the balmy days and nights. Google capitalised on this by pulling real search data into the ads that local audiences wanted to see.

Going underground, Hendrick’s Gin launched its new product with a tunnel wrap in Kings Cross St Pancras underground station. The floor-to-ceiling wrap was typical of the brands illustrative theme, whilst the posters scented with cucumber and rose created a truly immersive experience that beats the usual fragrances of the London underground.

To compete with the fantastic OOH campaigns seen across the country recently, what should we be considering?

Be impactful
Spending more of your budget to be creative on fewer sites can have more impact than taking the campaign over a wider number of billboards. Think outside of the box with what will truly create conversation with your audience.

Use OOH in conjunction with your existing advertising
Recent research from Facebook showed OOH as the most complimentary channel to social, increasing purchase intent by 47%. Even if your brand doesn’t have a bricks and mortar store, it’s still important to capture your audience on their commute or during their leisure time.

Utilise digital where possible – but don’t fret when you can’t
Digital OOH can be great if you want to be more reactive to events or the weather, for example, but as the BBC has proved, you don’t need to have a digital site in your area to be creative.

[1] https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/340647/out-of-home-ad-forecast-sees-sharp-gain-in-2020.html