by Kamilah Kamara, Research & Insight Manager, Clear Channel UK
Often when we talk about activation in the out-of-home
industry we’re talking about the practicalities of our digital OOH screens. We
can activate ads to only appear on certain day part, or we can activate ads to
react the weather… these are indeed really important aspects of activation.
Another aspect of activation worth noting though is the process of activating
people. How do we get them to perform a target behaviour – be it making a
purchase or visiting a store/website?
We set out to find this out. With a nationally
representative sample of over 1000 participants and a theory in hand we wanted
to explore what really drives activation.
Dr B.J Fogg is the Director of the Behavioural Labs at
Stanford University and he has spent his whole career studying what gets people
to act. According to him in order to get someone to perform a target behaviour
they must: be sufficiently motivated & have the ability to perform the
behaviour. They also need a trigger, something to prompt them to act (something
like one of our 2,424
digital screens perhaps!).
According to Fogg you could chart this, with motivation on the y axis and ability on the x axis – imagine a theoretical line of activation. Ultimately you want both motivation and ability to be high so people are past that line of activation and in a position to act.
Of course it’s worth noting that motivation and ability is
fluid based on context – there’s no use seeing an activation ad for a Starbucks
coffee on your tablet when you’re at home about to go to sleep on a Saturday
night, but seeing it on a digital panel during your morning commute is more
According to Dr Fogg motivation and ability are each driven
by 3 things. We presented our participants with scenarios to see whether the drivers
of motivation and ability actually drove action.
Fogg says that motivation is driven by 3 things:
pleasure/pain, hope/fear and social acceptance/rejection. Pleasure and pain are
the most innately human of all motivations – when you’re hungry you seek food,
when it’s raining you seek shelter and so on. Hope and fear is driven by the
hope you may get something good (such as a deal in a sale or the chance to win
a prize) and fear of missing out on a product or deal. Social acceptance and
rejection ultimately suggests that social norms drive our actions. Were these
strong drivers of action among our participants?
Ability is driven by availability, money and effort. In
terms of availability if something isn’t available to purchase now then
action-oriented advertising isn’t the best of choices! For money, whether
someone can afford to purchase something in that moment is of course important
to their decision to purchase/not purchase. Finally effort – humans are
inherently lazy and anything to reduce the mental or physical effort they have
to exert is welcomed. We set out to explore whether these things actually drove
If Fogg’s model is true, by ensuring motivation and ability
are increased through our advertising we can get people past that theoretical
line of activation and get them to act. And by advertising in the right
context, we can make this even more likely. As part of our work we have pulled
together some actionable learnings on the best ways to utilise the flexibility
of digital out-of-home to drive motivation and ability.
For the full study and real life examples of the
effectiveness of advertising in this way on digital OOH please get in touch
with your agency rep or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7478 2972
020 7478 2943