Clear Channel

Crafting creative brand strategies with OOH

Out of Home (OOH) advertising is predicted to be a billion-pound industry in 2024. That means a lot of people are hitting the streets and stores and letting things catch their eye - and influence their shopping decisions. Take for example the recently-opened Battersea Power Station shopping and leisure centre - footfall has exceeded expectations, with more than 11 million people walking through its doors in the first 12 months of opening. If brands aren’t using OOH advertising, they’re missing the chance to attract the attention of literal millions.

But not all billboards are made equal. When it comes to OOH, being visible is one thing - but being memorable is what makes passersby carry your message with them, even once they’ve left your ad behind. Let’s take a look at how to create creative brand advertising strategies that are more likely to stay with your audience.

Understanding the power of Out of Home advertising

OOH advertising comes with lots of unique advantages that can’t be recreated through other channels. Here are just a few of the features that make it such a valuable medium for brand promotion.

  • Visibility: When placed in locations with high traffic, on foot or otherwise, OOH advertisements can bring maximum visibility to your brand, 24/7. The potential for constant eyes to be on your brand and product increase its familiarity to consumers, even when viewed by people who wouldn’t necessarily be your target audience. This rise in familiarity can increase trust in your brand.

  • Frequency: A follow-on from visibility - OOH advertisements are not only seen by many, but they’re seen often. As well as increasing familiarity, this repeated viewing increases the likelihood of consumers responding to your messaging.

  • Geographic segmentation: In some ways it is easier to advertise to specific geographic segments through OOH ads than it is via digital channels. This is particularly useful for smaller local businesses, and brands looking to target specific demographics.

  • Unobtrusiveness: While this might sound counterintuitive, OOH advertising often benefits from not seeming like it’s being “forced” in front of people, the way online ads occasionally can. When encountered as a part of their daily routine, people are far more likely to feel as though they have discovered the ad themselves, as opposed to being targeted by advertisers. 

  • Cost effectiveness: OOH ads are often incredibly cost effective considering the amount of attention they can attract.

  • Measurability: While it may not be measured in clicks or open rates, depending on the type of OOH advertising you’re using it’s still possible to track impressions - and therefore the impact - of your campaigns.

Integrating OOH into brand strategies

Incorporating OOH into wider brand strategies is a great way to raise awareness of your brand and reinforce the messages you’re sharing on other platforms. Staying consistent with your branding and tone of voice across multiple channels is key to establishing and maintaining your brand’s identity - the thing that sets you apart from your competitors. By using OOH to complement your digital strategies you’re going to make it easier for potential customers to recognise and remember you, your product, and your values.

For example, by complimenting a video campaign with a billboard referencing the same characters used in your ad, you’re fleshing out the world of your campaign and creating a cohesive sense of storytelling across multiple mediums. Similarly, they’re a great place to highlight and repeat any slogans you’re using to stick in your audience’s mind.

Creating an Out of Home ad campaign

Creating a successful OOH ad campaign should be approached strategically. That means outlining clear objectives that are relevant to your overall business goals, and deciding on exactly the audience you’re looking to reach. Making these decisions will entail thorough prior research and data analysis, and cannot be rushed. Luckily, it’s not a process that you have to go through alone - with experts such as Clear Channel on hand to help get your creative juices flowing.

Once these factors have been decided you can start crafting a message to appeal to and resonate with your audience. Your job is then to take that message, and display it in a way that’s guaranteed to attract attention. Make sure that whatever you create is consistent with your brand’s overall tone of voice, and complies with the local regulations for your chosen locations.

Lastly, even after implementation, no campaign is complete without being tracked and measured for its effectiveness - these insights can then be taken with you into your next campaign. For a more indepth look into creating an OOH campaign, take a look at our full breakdown on the topic.

Fostering creativity in OOH campaigns

OOH campaigns are a place where imaginative approaches can really shine. Creative brand advertising and strategies often involve pushing boundaries to develop unique and memorable campaigns. Often it’s useful to turn to the experts to harness their experience in creativity. After all, your goal is often to be able to turn heads in crowded locations. Here are some of the places in which you can encourage creativity with your OOH campaigns.

  • Visuals: Of course, OOH advertising has the potential to make a strong visual impact - this is a hallmark of all creative advertising. Especially in situations where your ad might only be seen for a moment - by people passing by on foot or by car - it’s important that you’re able to send an attention-grabbing visual message.

  • Interactivity: Human beings are naturally curious creatures, and interactive ads really play into this feature. Shoppers are looking for enhanced experiences, and interactive OOH ads that can provide sensory encounters are one of the things really fuelling its rise in popularity.

  • Emotional appeal: When confronted with something not neatly confined to the screens of our phones or laptops, it has the potential to make a much larger emotional impact. OOH can’t simply be turned off or swiped away from, and this is something you can really play into with creative emotive messaging.

  • Relevance to the audience: Obviously all marketing should be relevant to the audience - but OOH can take this concept and get specific with it. For example, any advertising involving motoring in a place that people will pass in their cars, or earplugs in a location that is often very noisy. Leveraging the geographical location of your ad can present opportunities for real creativity - as can making the most of data platforms such as RADAR, to help further understand your targeted demographics.

  • Humour: Again, because OOH ads so often interact with people carrying out their daily routines, there are lots of opportunities for self-aware humour to make them feel even more connected to and seen by your brand. Referencing the morning commute or the weekly shop gives you a chance to connect with your audience on a human level - and moments of contextual relevance such as this can increase campaign effectiveness by 17% when used in DOOH.

Leveraging data for Out of Home creativity

As mentioned above, you can’t create a campaign without data and research to use as your building blocks. There are lots of ways to leverage data to enhance the creativity of your OOH brand advertising, much of which focuses on the aspects of OOH that are unique - those centring around the geographical locations of your ads and who will be seeing them. 

For example, by taking weather data into consideration you can not only find out when people are most likely to see your ad (e.g. a sunny weekend day), you can also decide whether or not you want your advertisement to change depending on these environmental factors. Advertising cool drinks on hot and sunny days is likely to be more effective than showing the same drinks to people fighting their way through snow and ice. Pair this with an understanding of the local footfall patterns, and you have a lot of information that can influence how and where you’ll spread your message.

Perhaps the most important data you’ll need to understand and use is the data surrounding your target audience. One of the traps of OOH campaigns is the fact that they can be seen by anyone - but that doesn’t mean they should be designed with just anyone in mind. You need a fleshed-out and logical profile of your intended audience - because, if your ad isn’t made for anyone in particular, then who is supposed to want to look at it?

Measuring Out of Home campaign impact

As previously mentioned, it’s a misconception that the impact of OOH advertising isn’t as measurable as online counterparts. There are plenty of OOH Media analytics you can use to track how many people are seeing your campaign and how that affects your business. This can be as broad as measuring footfall past your ad, to specific measurements such as Eye Tracking. Eye Tracking makes it possible to tell not just how many people pass your ad, but how many people actually look at it, and what shapes and sizes of ad are more likely to enter their field of vision. 

It’s important to establish ways of tracking and measuring your campaign’s impact during its conception. Without these figures, it will be impossible to prove that the time and money you have spent on your campaign has been worth it. It also gives you valuable information to take forward into creating your next campaign. Seeking support from the experts at Clear Channel would give you access to PCAs (post-campaign analytics) with a detailed overview of your campaign’s impact - because we understand how important it is to know you’ve made a good investment.

Elevating your brands with creative OOH

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas for how OOH can play a part in your creative brand strategies. The goal for all brands is to make an impact on their target audience, and OOH advertising provides some truly unique ways of capturing their attention. By embracing imaginative ideas, reinforcing your brand’s voice, and utilising the power of data, OOH advertising can take your brand to the next level.

Clear Channel is one of the UK’s leading providers of out-of-home advertising. If you want to discuss your campaign, creative ideas, or how to target your ideal audience, talk to to a local team to start your journey, and see just how many advertising formats we can use to help you reach your audience.