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Thinking out-the-billboard: Big ideas to bring your next OOH campaign to life

Out of home (OOH) media, revered for its BBE (that’s Big Billboard Energy) and larger-than-life presence, is a great way to gain the attention of consumers. In fact, Kantar’s latest Media Reactions report saw consumers cite OOH as one of the top ways to capture their attention. And when outdoor is combined with a little out-the-billboard creative or features an iconic installation, it’s the ideal vehicle to inject next level excitement into your campaign.

Ruchelle Mouton, Tractor Media Holdings’ Group Head of Marketing and Services, says: ‘OOH serves as a creative canvas that allows for powerful expression. It can trigger emotions and, when executed effectively, motivates people to take the desired invite action and extend into the digital world.’

Mischief Media is a division of Tractor that specialises in highly creative OOH advertising interventions and executions, making brands unforgettable in real-world spaces. Mouton shares a few innovative executions that you can bring your brand to life in new, expressive ways, through outdoor media – courtesy of Mischief.

1. Immersive set-ups

Digital billboards can be made into super immersive 2D and 3D set-ups with unique stages and stories, while static billboards also have various creative toolkits available.

‘Advertisers can engage 2D extensions, 3D props, audio and lighting effects, such as spotlights, neon lights or projection. Our clients are integrating UV lights or glow-in-the-dark vinyl into their campaigns, revealing hidden designs,’ she says.

‘Imagine a digital billboard that transforms into a 3D stage at night, showing an awesome illuminated artwork that is not visible in daylight? Or a mural on a giant wall that tells a story and links to your brand purpose? These are all ways to transform your campaign into a truly immersive audience experience.’  

One example of this is Converse’s City Forests project, which saw the shoe brand bringing creatives from all over the world together to design and paint environmentally-friendly murals around the globe. This series of murals employed photocatalytic paint that helps to clean the air by using light energy to break down noxious air pollutants and convert them into harmless substances.

2. Using tech as a conduit for human connection

‘Humans are inherently social beings who are programmed to seek connection,’ says Mouton, ‘and “technology is a powerful avenue to drive these interactions with your customers.’ In fact, research suggests that campaigns that incorporate technology are up to eight times more impactful compared to creative content displayed on static screens.

‘From augmented and mixed reality experiences to user-generated content-driven campaigns, technology allows you to build engaging moments with your audience, driving people to interact with your brand,’ says Mouton.

A stunning example of how out-of-home media can connect with customers was Brutal Fruit’s #YouBelongToCelebrate campaign, powered by DOOHshare – Mischief’s fully-customisable platform that allowed users to submit personalised content through a mobisite, broadcasting these messages on digital billboards for all to see. Once creating their shout-out, users were able to select the billboard where their message would appear and even received an in-situ image of their message on the chosen billboard, which they were able to share on social media.

Another example is an Easter campaign that Mischief worked on together with Innovocean, the V&A Waterfront’s outdoor media partner, which made use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that enables a device and physical object to interact with each other – without requiring a prior connection.

Special NFC tags were installed on totem poles at the V&A, which consumers could simply tap to get Easter promo information – a convenient way for users to engage with promotional material, without first connecting to the source, as with wifi marketing.

3. Customised builds

Custom-built OOH executions offer a unique and tailored approach to advertising, allowing brands to create unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experiences that resonate deeply with their target audience.

Says Mouton, ‘These bespoke installations break away from the ordinary, capturing attention, sparking engagement and leaving a lasting impression. These range from eye-catching activations that grab attention to unique stages and stories, including projection mapping, vertical gardens, 3D moulding, pop-up shops, sculpting and more.’

4. Extraordinary ideas, guerilla tactics

When you think outdoor media, you probably think of a billboard or a digital screen at the local BP Forecourt. Think bigger.

As the name implies, outdoor media can be any media type that is outside the home – including walls, floors and even paragliders! ‘Brands can leverage an environment to make a brand stand out, connecting with consumers in surprising and delightful ways,’ says Mouton.

Premium beer brand Corona recently used paragliders to promote its This is Living campaign, which were flown on a beach in Blouberg, Cape Town, while Coca-Cola commissioned a custom “soundwave” installation at the Bayworld Aquarium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, for its Sound of Happiness campaign.

Concludes Mouton:Ideas have the power to transform everyday mediums into captivating experiences – and it’s these experiences that bring people together. Outdoor media has been proven to connect with people when they’re in a receptive frame of mind – and we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the creative ways it allows big ideas to be brought to life.’

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