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‘Marriage between mobile & OOH will become stronger’

By Rajiv Raghunath - February 22, 2018

Aileen Shaw, Vice President, Media for Grandesign's West Region, shares her perspectives on how OOH could leverage mobility to deliver great outdoor campaigns

The ‘Always On’ culture is pervasive today. As a premier OOH media planner & buyer in the US, is Grandesign taking any specific steps to leverage mobility for delivering innovative, impactful OOH solutions to advertising clients?

Over the last 18 months, I have read articles about the marriage of OOH and mobile and the success to a programme that they bring when used together. Studies say people use their phones to access apps over 40 hours a month and OOH is one of the only mediums that

continues to increase year after year, proving that this is a result of integration of mobile and OOH. Grandesign has taken steps to leveraging mobility—such as, educating our clients on the success of packaging OOH with mobile instead of pinning against mobile— and, as a result, had many extremely satisfied clients.

Everyone wants their programmes to last longer than a drive by a billboard. With the addition of geofencing, retargeting, NFC sensors, QR codes, beacons, social media elements and many more, the campaign has an extended life and additional impressions.

Grandesign puts together programmes with “technology” when QR codes were the latest and greatest. One of our first programmes that Grandesign executed with a QR code was grocery store advertising for California Avocado. The QR code drove the shopper to a landing page that contained recipes using the avocado. As a result, the shopper had positive experiences and California Avocado gathered all the data to execute future communications via email blasts with consumers that use their product. Success!

Mobility solutions can bring alive static images on traditional formats like billboards using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Are brands looking to use such technologies to achieve deep consumer engagement in the OOH space?

Yes, we are always brainstorming new ideas—whether it be traditional or experiential activations—that make our clients stand out in a very cluttered marketplace.

Grandesign has utilised both VR and AR in experiential activations. Both work best when there is more of a one-on-one interaction with longer dwell time and the addition of brand ambassadors to help facilitate the experience.

To illustrate this, mirroring Cadillac’s global appeal, a few years back Grandesign assembled chalk art exhibitions around the country that gave people a glimpse of exotic roads around the world. Wireless devices connected with chalk art displays, creating a revolutionary fusion of art and technology. Winding highways in Monaco,

Patagonia, and China became an AR experience; captivating viewers in a way rarely seen in traditional media channels.

Nowadays, OOH advertisers and marketers are able to use all of this new, innovative technology to achieve deeper consumer engagement, in addition to the big-ticket items of AR and VR. I personally executed a great programme for client, Pentel Pens.

Pentel wanted to execute a programme that would illustrate and educate the differences of its product line in a fun and exciting way

using technology. They wanted to create an experience that would lead to a positive brand association, as well as the consumer leaving with its product—a pen—at the end of the experience. The experience consisted of signing in to the interactive mall or shelter and creating art with the ability to upload to social media. This was made possible with a customised software programme developed by Grandesign, as well as a customised fabrication. The final piece was taking the best entries and placing them on a digital bulletin programme that was running in conjunction with the rest of the plan.

These were changed out regularly based on entries and location. Along with the traditional media and innovative elements, we hired brand ambassadors to help engage, educate and direct the consumer to the technology.

Contextual content is becoming increasingly important in brand messaging. Do you think that mobility solutions can help brands create a more engaging context for their OOH messaging?

Contextual content is very important, especially as it relates to brand messaging and it is also important to carry your creative message across media borders. With data and technology now easily available to target tailored audiences, it is important to provide content that is compelling and memorable across media.

Target audiences will see client’s ads on the OOH board and, with mobile geotargeting, the ad will follow them to one of the many apps they regularly use. Studies have shown that if the same creative is used on different platforms, the ROI is much higher.

Mobility brings with it significant data capture. Will use of mobility help brands to connect with the right audience at the right time?

A recent Nielsen study stated that OOH provides the highest rate of online activation per dollar spent. Brands are connecting with the right audience and people are viewing ads on the OOH mediums and then proceeding to act upon—whether it be by searching or purchasing on their new mobile devices.

I am finding over the last few years that ROI and metrics are very important to Grandesign’s clients. Clients must justify every advertising dollar spent and ensure that its ads are targeting the correct audience to see the results. We need to prove that to them. GPS tracking allows Grandesign to follow the audience from the time they view the ad, see the ad on their mobile device and act on the ad. Our goal is to continue to educate our clients about this new technology and hope that it continues to be the norm to marry the two.

Hyper-local marketing is another key trend seen in advertising today. Would local and regional brands benefit from mobility-driven hyper-local targeted OOH advertising?

Absolutely—OOH is perfect for hyper-local marketing. OOH vendors are obtaining data from the mobile carriers that include both predictive data, behavioural data and location data. This allows Grandesign—as strategists— to work on creating a targeted advertising programme that is more personally relevant to the audience.

Clients are able to choose the right unit for their programme based on location and pair it with a geofencing programme. It is an opportunity to get in front of a client based on location, competitor’s locations, “points of interest”, etc. Then, we place a virtual fence (geofence) approximately 3-5 miles around business and OOH locations and drive the ad to the consumer on their apps when they are within the virtual fence. This strategy can be duplicated at any location, as these fences are all based on longitudes and latitudes.

Recently, Grandesign sent out a proposal for a fast food restaurant that used geofencing. We proposed a test programme to geofence the billboard, geofence the closest restaurant, geofence the closest competitors and geofence the adjacent university campus. With the addition of this element, we were able to provide the client metrics showing how many people saw the ad and actually stepped into the restaurant—a technology that allows us to prove our work and leave clients happy.

Looking ahead, what factors will determine greater use of mobility solutions in OOH advertising?

Once the big boys (CCO, Outfront and Lamar) start using the mobile data available to them consistently for charting, the industry will see more targeted programmes and the benefits will be huge for our advertisers to speak to their market specifically.

With that and the pairing with a geofence programme, mobile and OOH together will become the norm in planning a comprehensive programme. It’s already been proven to work, it’s just working through the learning curve on the client’s end. Once we penetrate their mindset that digital and OOH are separate (separate budgets, separate strategy and separate creative) and prove that working together exponentially improves their results, we will continue to see increased revenue in OOH.



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