Banners, the Outdoor equivalent of a smack in the face

Outdoor, Uncategorized
By Ivan Clark, OMC‘s Man on the Move

Why are banners, giant billboards or building wraps, booming? According to OMC figures, advertisers spent nearly 50% more for display on them in 2010 than during 2009.

If general OOH campaigns are product placement in people’s lives, Banners are the Outdoor equivalent of a smack-in-the face; like TV’s memorable “You’ve been Tango’d” campaign.

Most media people get the broadcast qualities of 6 sheet and 48 sheet poster advertising, able to quickly achieve high reach with the frequency needed over time to indelibly plant a simple message in the brain.

I think POSTAR does the job for Outdoor with media planners using its “likelihood-to-see” audience estimates, rather than the “opportunity-to-see” model used by most other media. Banners, must have additional impact and be able to communicate in a bigger way.

For one thing, people will have a particular cone-of-vision depending on how they are moving and what they are doing. The sheer scale of most banners guarantees memorable impact to all but the most short-sighted of people, and I don’t mean those who believe all traditional media is dying/dead.

Some banners have over time become iconic locations, a kind of feature of the urban landscape.

Most banners have a massive canvas beloved of creative teams and fame-hungry brands. Even if the pack-shot is a small part of the overall picture, easily miss-able with some smaller format posters, this key brand message will still stand-out.

Banners can surprise and display a brand image where people wouldn’t be expecting it, especially valuable in neighbourhoods where the audiences appeal to those advertisers seeking kudos with this year’s trend-setters.

Banners can dominate at strategic locations like major vehicular routes in and out of city centres, often with significant dwell-times during peak traffic periods.

Banners create brand standout on a massive scale. They are the biggest medium in advertising.

It’s much more difficult to paint a memorable picture in people’s brains using radio waves, often the only other media able to reach drivers and their passengers.

If you are looking for the icing on the cake for any campaign, not just Outdoor, contact one of these: BlowUP,  Clear Channel, Mass Communications, Ocean Outdoor or Big Sky Banners, which after a recent merger, is now a division within Outdoor Plus.

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Bus advertising gets you noticed


By Ivan Clark, OMC‘s Man on the Move

If you didn’t watch Business Nightmares with Evan Davis on BBC2 last night or last week, you missed a treat. Case histories covered include, New Coke, Hoover Free Flights, Persil Power, Sunny Delight and Mini.

I think this should have been compulsory viewing for anyone working in Advertising, PR, Marketing or Media; it is a salutary lesson in how wrong anyone can be, including experts.

They also featured Yardley, and its attempt to target a younger cosmetics buyer. Mistakenly ignoring the Englishness and traditional values defining their brand, their re-launch advertising featured a Canadian supermodel and a bunch of brand attributes they could never hope to match.

Yardley Bus

Their ad campaign was highly visible but this only made the failure even more spectacular. A marketing expert described the reasons for their media selection “to be noticed by younger customers, creating a vibrant impact on the sides of buses and posters to make people stop and look.”

Bad for Yardley, they went out of business. Great plug for Bus and Poster advertising. 

If you want to watch the show click here, the reference to buses/posters starts from 51 min 40 sec.

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Clear Channel provides text-to-donate digital billboard space


By Ivan Clark, OMC‘s Man on the Move

Genuinely helping homeless people get off the streets couldn’t fail to make even the most hard-nosed person put their hands in their pockets. Well now they can pull-out their mobile rather than loose change and text a donation. Clear Channel is donating space on their LED billboards to help raise money for homeless charity, Thames Reach. Although this is not necessarily bleeding-edge technology, it’s people-friendly. If you cough-up £2 you get a new track to download by Imogen Heap. I have never heard of her but this certainly beats being “chugged” on Tottenham Court Road.


Thames Reach campaign


See official story here

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Taxis the most social of Outdoor media


By Ivan Clark, OMC‘s Man on the Move

Speaking to Asher Moses of Taxi Media and Andrew Barnett of Ubiquitous, it is obvious the passion both companies have for the media and what it can achieve for advertisers.

They both tell me everyone knows taxi advertising offers high coverage and frequency at low cost, and there is not a better value outdoor media opportunity.

How else is Taxi advertising unique and how is technology complementing its proposition?

Taxis often access areas where there are high-value audiences and little other media, for example London’s West End, City and Canary Wharf. With full-livery creative they add a particularly eye-catching colour to the streets. There is a natural synergy between iconic brands and the World famous London Black Cab. Taxis have a ubiquity that means wherever people are on the street, it is unlikely they won’t see one, and the advertising on it.

Where some media are disadvantaged by the growth of online and social media, technology brings new opportunities to taxi advertisers. In a competitive market sales people like to keep new developments under-their-hats. However, I would expect, further integration of GPS within campaigns, extensions to electronic-wallet and credit card easy-pay services, near-field-communication aiding more interactive opportunities and of course more digital displays.

Word-of-mouth and influence isn’t the sole domain of social media and the modern cabbie is less a stereotypical tabloid reading loudmouth and more a networked smartphone and Facebook influencer. They are the eyes and ears of London and are able to position the vehicle where it’s wanted and co-operate with PR led campaigns, while talking about it, online and off.

Current favourite campaigns include Asher’s choice of Moshi Monsters, for the playful use of children’s cartoon characters, and Andrew’s selection of Vodafone, for its sheer scale married with its synergy with other media, including the online Vodafone Taxi Grand Prix.


Moshi Monsters


Vodafone London Calling


We didn’t even talk about the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, but I would guess any number of brands will want a cabbie saying they had them on their cab one day.

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