Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Media Spike # 56 – Blow The Doors Off Using Outdoor
Glad you could join us.

On the road again?

If your first reaction to this is Willie Nelson then that’s a great testament to an iconic musician and someone who has toured the world one mile at a time, by bus.

Imagine the places he’s been, the venues he’s played, the things he’s seen, the billboards he’s passed..?

Billboards he’s passed?

We remain a nation, perhaps a continent perpetually on the go. Toing and froing. To the office or jobsite, home, shopping, traveling, visiting, always behind the wheel. Our attention and focus should always be on our driving. But the pace or lack off sometimes plays favourably into an advertiser’s strategy.

Outdoor advertising in the form of outdoor posters, billboards, transit shelters, wall murals, bus wraps, train wraps, TaxiTops and wheel advertising, truck advertising, underground pathway electronic signage, stadium or arena advertising spaces are omnipresent and powerful.

The on the road, out of home messages can hit like a sledgehammer when a bold idea is served up in a skyline dominating powerful visual with just the right words. The visual impact and stopping power with brevity will resonate long after you’ve driven past if done correctly.

Some have likened outdoor advertising to cheap television. You still have a powerful visual, but no audio to amplify the message. Thus the skill of your copywriter has to distill paragraphs of sales copy into a short memorable thought.

Here’s an example of the power of outdoor and the limitation of social media.

One client had a series of spectacular beauty shots of their wine region prepared. Each one featured a distinctive image of the region. The one word describing it all was: untweetable (Client was Wine Country Ontario, in a campaign composed by Agency 59).

How powerful is that. You have to be here to experience the vibrancy, the exquisite charm, the joy, the history, the nature, the elegance, the people, the passion, the architecture, the food, the experience. A picture was certainly worth more than a thousand words, and 140 characters.

My favourite description of outdoor advertising is to Make Some Noise Without A Sound.

A few things to consider:
  • Most outdoor media will rotate in four week cycles. This way every advertiser gets exposure to multiple geography of the city(ies) where they’re appearing.
  • It’s a chance for you to refresh or change the creative, or to ensure the same look now appears at different parts of the city. 
  • To the best of your ability, try to keep the media units constant from market to market. Production-wise, it’s typically cheaper to print 100, paper posters at 10 feet X 20 feet than it is to print 65 Posters and 35 Transit Shelters. We respect that sometimes the availabilities or not of some formats in your markets make it mandatory to use a secondary format. We’d encourage you to confirm availabilities ahead of printing to make sure you get the best value.
  • Many transit shelters offer a excellent opportunity to remain backlit, adding a dimension of visibility and creative ‘pop’ when viewed at night. This lighting is accomplished sometimes by electricity, others by battery, still others by solar lighting. Knowing this can help your production team set the colours best in your ad to maximize impact and visibility.
  • Be UNMISSABLE. As I expressed recently in Media Spike #51, Behave like you Own The Place. Dabbling, trying out is best left to less expensive media. Go Out There and Blow the Doors off OutDoors.
  • I want you to get to the end of the flight feeling – WOW. We were EVERYWHERE. And if you put a call to action in the ad, your results will tell you just how much impact going outside had.
  • Apart from an explosive display of creative excellence, outdoor offers repetition that delivers the necessary frequency to become memorable in a short period of time. We are creatures of habit and those habits include our driving and commuting patterns and while the media is static, the audience isn’t.
  • Outdoor, not unlike TV or radio, can act very powerfully as a Stand Alone media, and many successful campaigns have relied on an Outdoor advertising campaign only.

* Happily, also like TV and radio, it’s a great team player via visual impact and in your face presence. It’s also a wonderful tool in your arsenal as it quickly adds so many more touchpoints of communication for your message.

Has Willie Nelson seen all your ads?  Well I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it just yet. However, considering the mileage he’s racked up touring, the outdoor ads may be the reason he just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Stay tuned.

Dennis Kelly

P.S. I know you’re busy. Thanks for making this far. In case you’ve missed the original link from Media Spike #24, here’s where you can find more Outdoor Advertising info for your reference.

In addition, there is also a single page, printed two sides PDF which speaks to the Powerful Partner that is Outdoor.

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- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

Dennis is the author of “ 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising” and is available to Masthead Reader for $197 through a special offer at this link
Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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