The Perfect Pair: Social Media & Out of Home Advertising
Recently I wrote a blog about my favourite social media campaigns of 2015 and it’s occurred to me that some of favourites were accompanied by an out of home advertising campaign. Working in London and spending time flicking between social media, I see ads on my commute into work and the social campaigns that they’re joined up with.
This got me thinking: Is social media Out of Home’s perfect partner?
It Extends Reach
When I see an advert that makes me laugh, catches my eye or just looks pretty cool, I share it on social media and I know I’m not the only one. Just search #mankind on Twitter or #choosehappiness and you’ll see out of home ads gone digital when people share what they saw in the form of pictures on social.
The great thing about it is that pictures work well on social media and out of home ads make great, shareable content for the web. Some companies encourage you to share the ad on social media, whereas others are confident that their out of home ad or stunt will be enough to capture the audiences (and the press’) attention.
For example, National Geographic promoted its dinosaur biopsy event by dragging a life size dinosaur through the streets of London on the back of a trailer. Chances are you missed the dinosaur being ferried around the streets of London, however you wouldn’t have missed the news stories or the social messages filling up your news feed.
Pictures work on Social
Out of home advertising is said to have 10.3 billion impacts each week (JcDecaux), when this is mixed with social media’s reach, the ads impacts can be huge. Think, if you, the target audience, liked an ad, took a snap, shared it on social with your friends, who some are probably the same target audience, they will also see the ad. This seriously extends the good old posters reach.
Carlsberg are known for their OOH stunts to go with their ‘if Carlsberg did…’. This year, to name a few, they have put up a drinkable billboard, had go at advertising on the back of the beach body ad and sent crates of beer to a luggage belt at an airport to replace holiday makers luggage. All of their OOH stunts got shared on social media.
The ‘If Carlsberg did posters’ ad was probably the most notable for me. Thousands of people flooded social to share what they had seen on the street in Shoreditch. The press also picked this up, further extending the brands reach.
The fact that people are turning to social media to share their favourite ads means that there is more data for advertisers. The number of mentions, shares, likes, comments and the public’s reaction can help determine whether the campaign was a success.
Does this mean that there is more pressure to think out of the box when brands are advertising or putting together OOH stunts? In a world with more adverts than ever trying to grab our attention, advertisers need to think about what is shareable, funny or clever. It has to be mentioned though, this can go wrong. Look back to earlier on in the year, with the Beach Body Ready out of home campaign that flooded the subway trains and billboards. People were turning to social media to vent their anger about the ad or to parody it. Eventually it was removed.
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