The R Word | How Out of Home advertising helps brands grow

Three R's to care about in 2023

22 Feb 2023 / News, Opinions
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
A collage image with an outdoor advertising screen, audiences and an electric vehicle

While the R word – recession – is on many people’s lips, we see it as a brilliant opportunity for the Out of Home industry and brands to grow. Why?

R is for Real World 

A real-world channel like Out of Home (OOH) can offer genuine solutions to some of the challenges we face. Let’s start with one simple fact: you can’t stop advertising.  

There’s plenty of evidence to show that if brands stop advertising, sales will decline, market share will be lost and it will be so much harder (and expensive) to win back consumers later.  

So, brands can’t cease to advertise, but can do things a little differently. One way of doing things differently this year is to adopt a people-first approach, focusing efforts on three key areas: increased price sensitivity, changing needs, and purchase triggers. 

Consumers have become far more price sensitive. The knee-jerk brand response might be to lower prices, but that’s simply not sustainable in the long run. What advertisers should consider instead is brand building. It’s well documented that branding drives price elasticity and we all know there are few better branding channels out there than OOH. 

We’ve spent a lot of time recently tracking consumer needs and and it’s clear that they are most definitely changing. One of the needs that has seen a significant increase in importance is trust, specifically brand trust.  

At a time when people no longer have the money to take risks when buying goods and services, brands must make good on their promises and claims. This new brand-to-consumer relationship requires a degree of trust and, as a public medium, OOH has the ability to build trust like no other media channel – brands can’t get away with telling lies in public. 

And let’s not forget purchase triggers, also known as Category Entry Points (CEP’s). They’re the cues that category buyers use to access their memories when faced with a buying decision. In light of the current economic climate, CEP’s are changing so it’s key to identify these changes and react; either by delivering advertising messages that reinforce the existing CEP’s or by creating new CEP’s and reasons to buy. OOH literally lives and breathes CEP’s because the driving factors behind these entry points exist in the real world. Here’s a more in-depth look at how brands can leverage CEP’s to drive sales. 

R is for Reach 

So we’ve established how OOH’s unique position of being in the real world can help to navigate challenging times by driving a people-centric approach. But that’s not all. As a media channel, OOH has many unique features and benefits but its absolute superpower and the thing it does the best is building brands.

Research from MESH says that OOH is the most effective channel to increase brand consideration, more so than any other medium. ​And when paired with other media, particularly the likes of TV, it makes a media plan work so much harder.  

​It also speaks to everyone. For instance, Clear Channel’s combined estate reaches 90% of all UK adults and digital offering alone reaching over 66%, with Adshel Live being the UK’s largest DOOH network with 3,000+ screens in towns and cities nationwide.​ ​ 

With that reach, comes inclusivity. At a time when many brands are rightly focused on ensuring their media plans connect with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, OOH is naturally the most inclusive channel. With thousands of sites on high streets and in local neighbourhoods, reaching people where they live, exercise, do the school run, whether they're working from home, in the office or on the commute in between, OOH speaks to people at their level.  

As people navigate the cost-of-living crisis, understanding their mindsets, behaviours and motivations is essential to land advertising campaigns impactfully yet mindfully. Our new ‘Audiences in Focus’ insights will help advertisers track those ever-evolving consumer needs in 2023 and beyond. 

R is for Responsibility  

​During times like these it’s also important not to lose sight of how we can collectively make advertising more responsible and sustainable. Making a real-world impact is part of OOH’s DNA, with its presence in communities up and down the country.  

By spending media budget on OOH, advertisers are helping to invest back into local communities (with 50% of OOH revenue being reinvested) and fund more sustainable public infrastructure like Bee Bus Stops, expected to double in 2023. With 92% of our DOOH estate already using renewable energy and our continued roll-out of more energy efficient screens, advertisers can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their DOOH campaigns as we progress towards a Carbon Net Zero future.  

Clear Channel is also responding to the current needs of communities by donating media space to 50 charities and other good causes, helping to tackle issues such as food poverty or public sexual harassment, as well as continuing the Clear Channel Compass scheme to support Black-owned businesses. 

So, there are lots of reasons to believe why 2023 is the time for Out of Home to shine and for brands to leverage the power of our real-world medium that builds trust, reaches audiences at scale and has responsibility at its heart for sustained growth.  

If you'd like to explore how OOH could benefit your brand, then get in touch!