There are many reasons why this Q4 is going to be extraordinary. With a World Cup on the run up to Christmas, there are more opportunities than ever to showcase your brand. Out of Home has a star role to play; perfectly placed in the real-world and nestled beautifully between broadcast and digital – it’s a winning combination.
By Mark Smith, UK Sales Director, Clear Channel UK
#So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s playing football, sang no-one ever...until now! In a change to schedules that few people saw coming, the World Cup final in Qatar is set to be staged just a week before Christmas on 18th December. This means that one team (dare I suggest Gareth Southgate's England side?) will get the perfect early Christmas present of holding the coveted trophy aloft as world champions!
What is already certain is that this Q4 is going to be very, very different for brands and consumers alike. Brands are already considering how to maximise their presence around the biggest tournament in football which comes at the most important period in the marketing calendar. And amongst the tangle of football scarfs and tinsel, consumers are going to be looking to brands to help them navigate this season as sporting and festive experiences collide.
Q4 2022 certainly looks set to be a one-off opportunity for brands to really grow revenue and claw back market share lost during the pandemic. GlobalData insights predict there’s going to be over £17bn of Christmas related retail spend up for grabs. And data from the last World Cup points to at least £1.3bn extra spend for retailers, pubs, and restaurants if England make it through the 2nd round. But it’s also going to be a huge challenge for brands to cut-through, as increased demand, inventory pressures, and TV media inflation all come into play.
In addition to the World Cup, there is plenty of other strong TV programming on the horizon, with I’m A Celebrity, The Great British Bake-off, and several flagship dramas all slated to air during the winter season. Throw into the mix an impressive Q4 film slate, including Black Panther 2 and Avatar 2, and it’s clear that brands are going to need to find smarter and more effective ways to stand out from the crowd, grab the nation’s attention and keep their foot well and truly on the ball.
Nestled beautifully between broadcast and digital, Out of Home offers a winning combination for these advertisers. It’s the physical space where audiences meet to watch games, talk about on and off pitch events in real time, and to enjoy the best of the festive season with friends & family.
To ensure your brand is one of Q4’s star players, here are three guiding principles for best practice in Out of Home:
1. Take an early lead
We know Christmas shopping starts earlier every year. Toluna research shows that at least 10% of people have already started their Christmas shopping in July. And TV cost inflation is already putting huge pressures on advertisers to secure their media space earlier than usual.
Q4 is already the most demanded period of the year for Out of Home, however this increases further around key sporting events (demand rose +11% during Euro 2021). With a swathe of blockbusting films also being released in the run up to Christmas, we expect to see extra pressures on inventory. Brands need to ensure they plan & commit their campaigns early to avoid missing out.
2. Stand out from the crowd
Out of Home is great at delivering broadcast reach, often achieving 70%+ all adult coverage across a national campaign. In fact, audiences are higher than pre-covid levels in most Out of Home environments. So, we know it can connect at scale, but how can you use it to cut through?
Clear Channel’s RADAR planning tool can help you plan your campaign to perfection – by targeting specific audiences such as football fans, sports enthusiasts, or even Christmas fashion lovers – using mobile SDK data, we can find your audience in near real time and build the optimal solution to reach them.
With one of the largest digital footprints in the sector, our Adshel Live, Billboard Live and Storm networks combine to deliver a blend of broadcast reach, activation at point of purchase, and brand fame.
These networks offer the ability to deliver contextually relevant messages in the right place, at the right time – something that is proven to increase campaign effectiveness. A neuroscience study measuring brain response, eye tracking and sales uplift showed that displaying relevant content based on time, location or live updates can increase ad effectiveness by +17%.
3. Up your creativity game
You can plan and buy the best campaign, but how it looks on the streets is also vitally important. We’ve seen many advertisers step up their creative work across all media channels on the back of the pandemic, with a return to simple brand messages that cut through and pack a punch. It’s vital that your copy is designed specifically to work in the one-to-many medium that is Out of Home.
A big focus of Clear Channel’s Powerful Posters series is to help you do exactly that – to get more from your Out of Home campaigns. We talk a lot about legibility; It might sound blindingly obvious, but posters need to be as easy as possible to consume in the real-world context in which they’re seen. One clear headline, image and core message are all it takes to form the foundation of your ad and hit your objectives. Don’t try to do too much. Talon’s Creative Canvas studies show that simpler designs drive a higher attention fixation than those that are overly cluttered, where a viewer is made to work too hard to take away your message and call-to-action. So, keep your World Cup and Christmas creatives simple, don’t overcrowd or complicate your message, and don’t be scared to go bigger to make full use of your canvas!
Closely tied to keeping things simple, is keeping your message succinct. Shorter, smarter copy drives better comprehension and memorability, essential for brands to cut-through. Posterscope’s Creative Elements for Effective Campaigns study highlights that optimising copy length and logo size are the biggest creative drivers for increasing brand effects and recall. Creative optimisations in this study pushed ad recall by +140% uplift and message recall of +66%. That’s just a few of many tips for creating Powerful Posters, and we’d love to share with you more detailed thinking and opinions on crafting better campaigns for your combined World Cup and Christmas plans.
So, there you have it. In order to capitalise on this set-piece opportunity, brands need to take an early lead and plan their Out of Home ahead to avoid missing out. They need to stand out from the crowd, using digital Out of Home and keeping it contextual to making their advertising work harder. And they need to up their creativity game, by crafting powerful posters that draw attention and make a bold statement.
Gareth, I hope you’re taking notes too - follow these simple principles and come mid-December, we might just be celebrating in the streets wrapped in St George’s flags and wearing Santa hats!…
And remember it’s Chrissssssstmasssssss!
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