Timely, Targeted OOH Cuts Through the Clutter

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When Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Prichard spoke at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting last month, his comments on digital ad viewability and fraud issues caused quite the stir in the ad community. In response, billboard ads targeted directly to Prichard were posted right outside the Procter & Gamble office in Cincinnati, letting him know there is in fact still real advertising. Marc did see the billboard ads, along with others at P&G. We hear it was quite the water-cooler buzz.

Much of today’s OOH is hyper-targeted, aimed at reaching specific demographics, a particular interest group, and, as in this case, even individuals. Once known as the greatest mass medium, OOH can now reach precisely its intended audience. And OOH remains an unparalleled mass medium, too.

Throw in Cultural Relevance

Responsive, culturally relevant advertising is certainly a top trend in today’s media marketplace. We often see brands wooing consumers with particular social ideologies and political preferences, especially in light of the latest US presidential election – the most controversial in recent US history.

Adding this cultural component to an OOH campaign is pure genius, especially when the advertising is targeted to the right audiences at the right time.

At the height of last year’s election season, an OOH public service campaign served as a neutral instigator hoping to drive voter registration and elevate the role American citizens play in keeping the wheels of democracy in motion. Ad copy featured combinations of labels representing the diversity of the American electorate, and all ended with the one label that counts: “Voter.”

The Vote to Count campaign brought to life a unique sense of culture, paired with demographics and psychographics. Rather than create a one-size-fits-all solution, the campaign tapped into and connected deeply with the local character of each market, creating a messaging architecture that paired content with context in the most personal way possible: near sports arenas, local eateries, and iconic local attractions, to name a few.

Digital OOH allowed for swift, timely messaging changes following presidential debates and during special events such as Tevor Noah and Bill O’Reilly live shows, with customized ads across the street. During Advertising Week, the campaign targeted attendees with labels specific to media professionals.

The provocative tone of the public service campaign created controversy. But this only served to stir emotion and drive social media engagement.

Pairing content with context, the campaign spoke directly to the local character of each market, driving engagement in a deeply personal way. For example, a billboard in Rochester, NY, featured labels near and dear to the hearts of locals. When The Genesee Brewery saw one ad featured the label “cream-ale drinking, wing-eating, east-side voter, they posted a photo to Facebook for all the locals to see.

Up to election day, the campaign kept people talking, breaking through the clutter of political messaging across all media and reaching today’s fragmented audiences. And, in the end, 2016 voter registration reached an all-time high, and the American public, whether they agreed with election results or not, were empowered.

As these campaigns proves, OOH can connect the right message to the right audience, in large and small markets, precisely at the right time.

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