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Are You Underutilizing OOH?

Creative Conversion Goals Encourage Consumer Interaction with Powerhouse OOH

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Mike Dunbar


By Mike Dunbar,  CEO, Illumivation
email mike@illumivation.com

Illumivation Studios

OOH Is Underutilized

Most advertisers limit their thoughts on out of home to just billboards or taxi ads, but the world of
OOH is so much bigger than that. Once a brand can embrace the idea that technology has
erased any previous boundary between advertising and point-of-purchase, they realize how
many opportunities to directly connect to consumers they’ve missed.

Looking historically at consumption, we humans have always pushed for convenience. The
trading post was more convenient than trapping your own beaver pelts just as the supermarket
was more convenient than driving around town to multiple stores. Now as society has fully
embraced online purchasing and smartphones have become how we get online, the consumer’s
digital and out-of-home experiences have melded in a way few brands have leveraged. Retail
stores, instead of closing, should be looked at as OOH advertising and OOH advertising should
be looked at as extensions of the retail footprint. Yes, billboard impressions are still valuable
complements to, and extensions of, digital channels, but a person sitting on a train can buy a
product just as easily as they could in a brick and mortar store or sitting on their couch at home.
So why should visual merchandising, digital strategy, and OOH advertising creative have
different conversion goals?

Transit advertising locations, such as bus shelters and train platforms, give brands an
opportunity to get so close to consumers that interactive, tactile experiences become possible, much like in a retail environment

Transit advertising locations, such as bus shelters and train platforms, give brands an
opportunity to get so close to consumers that interactive, tactile experiences become possible,
much like in a retail environment. These locations also give advertisers great opportunities to
present their products in a way where customers can take the time to examine them, notice
details, or experience some features. Take a standard bus shelter for example, you’ll find these
in almost every major market, studies and experiments by industry associations have shown
that impressions even from just static posters at these locations really work over time to drive
consumer action. That same bus shelter, though, has the potential to transform into a powerful
point of purchase machine. The entire structure of that shelter- the roof, bench, pillars, lighting,
glass windows, and adbox (in most markets)- is fully customizable. It can be outfitted with
interactive props, media presentations, social media connections, and even actual product
vending technology. Sounds like a store to me. Once combined with the surrounding dynamic
OOH media, geo-targeted mobile advertising, and researched consumer travel paths, it’s now a

I see these kinds of opportunities literally everywhere I go, and with the type of highly detailed
demographic data available, these opportunities can be creatively targeted in amazing new
ways that were not possible even five years ago. The best OOH advertising encourages
consumer action and seamlessly ties into online advertising channels. With unprecedented
knowledge of how consumers interact with both brands and the physical world around them a
commute path can be transformed into a carefully crafted set of touch points and experiences
that direct qualified consumers towards the conversion, wherever that may take place. Every
brand wants to be a lifestyle brand, but that requires actually being a part of a person’s real life.
So how can an agency take advantage of this? The first step is exploring what’s out there and
getting an idea of what it costs. Knowing this information upfront can change the whole mindset
of a creative team and regularly triggers new ideas that can change the entire creative direction
of a campaign. Concepting for the physical space can be a hard transition for creatives who
have spent their career making the best of 2D graphics, but learning what is possible and
keeping up with new advancements will soon be required to keep a competitive edge. Tools like
Google SketchUp provide an easy way to visualize a 3D space and come with a warehouse of
pre-designed elements. Reaching out and talking with media holders can elicit unique ideas or
locations to consider. However, there is nothing better than visiting a few qualified locations and
simply walking around, getting a feel for how people interact with that location, and looking for
opportunities to expand upon the normal.

Remember that technology is both a challenge and an opportunity for marketers and correctly
harnessing that opportunity will move brands into this new era. This level of experiential thinking
is no longer an oddity or icing on your campaign’s cake, it is how consumers want to interact
with a brand and should be built into the underlying framework of every campaign moving

Mike Dunbar,  CEO, Illumivation
email: mike@illumivation.com
Chicago — (312) 261 5561
Los Angeles — (213) 949 8651
Toll Free — (877) 822 5673




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