The Who and How of Outdoor Advertising
Learn WHO Outdoor Advertising Appeals to and HOW to Best Use It For Your Brand
Billboards seem like a slice of Americana. Just picturing one in your mind probably takes you back to road trips or giant works of advertising art in Time’s Square. There’s a reason for that: outdoor advertising has been around for a long time because it’s very effective.
Outdoors ads can be a simple, straight-forward, and elegant way to communicate your brand’s message. Plus, they’ve managed to change with the times, particularly with the use of digital boards. These types of outdoor spaces provide the opportunity to have multiple messages that can be rotated – both on a single location, as well as throughout town.
But there are some things to realize about outdoor advertising upfront. Mostly in the areas of who you are communicating to and how you are making an impression in their mind’s eye.
Let’s start with the WHO:
As always, know your audience, and make sure outdoor is the right vehicle to reach them with your message. There are 2 types of people who take note of outdoor art.
- Assertive types are known for making quick decisions. So, if they see an outdoor board that is geographical in nature, you may be able to influence them with a more direct approach.
- Amiable types are usually drawn in by visuals, so it’s always good to have a strong visual component to go along with your message. (For more details on personality types and how to develop messaging for them, check out our blog that tackles the subject).
Can you create an effective, visual ad that will appeal to these personality types?
Pro-Tip: This is where a great graphic designer can come in. Outdoor ads should have little to no copy apart from your company logo or name. Choosing the right person for the job means clean and memorable designs.
Now let’s talk about HOW to communicate through outdoor advertising.
Now, we know any outdoor advertising message should be simple and to the point, but what should that short, clear message actually communicate? Here are 3 message types to keep in mind:
- Directional Messaging: This one is a quick indication of what your business is and where it’s located, hopefully near the outdoor advertising. Something like: “We’re 2 blocks away,” or “Just around the corner” works really well, but make sure you find a creative and memorable way of saying it.
- Event Oriented: If your brand is sponsoring an event, outdoor advertising is a great way to get the word out to the masses. Just make sure you include the details, without going overboard.
- Brand Awareness: General brand awareness also lends itself to outdoor advertising, but it needs to resonate with your audience and be memorable. Remember, you only have a few seconds at best, so be sure to make what you say count.
Getting it Right
Here are some of our favorite examples of companies that have made great use of outdoor advertising:
1. The Economist: Simple, eye-catching and involves the audience.
2. Oldtimer: How can you forget this? Disputing the scenery makes a large and lasting impression.
Getting it Wrong
1. Where to begin. Too much copy and confusing images make up the majority of this outdoor ad.
2. QR codes? While some outdoor ads lend themselves to codes that can be scanned, ones along the highway do not. There is no way anyone can scan this code going 50mph.
When it comes to outdoor advertising, think audience and message. Learn from the good and bad designs and choose a team that understands the importance of quick and memorable messaging.