According to McKinsey's ‘Luxury Shopping in the Digital Age’ research, it was concluded that while only 4% of sales were made through e-commerce sites, around 40% of them were influenced by a consumers’ online or social media presence. With this in mind, it is no wonder that luxury brands have been wary of any forms of outdoor advertising. However, with the growing success of brands such as Asos, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Net-A-Porter through their out-of-home (OOH) – this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Exclusivity, brand image, and status are all key players in making or breaking the presence of a luxury brand. The luxury brands have a history of amplifying this by targeting the most exclusive advertising spots - luxury magazines, in-flight magazines, celebrity event sponsorships, and, more recently, social media influencers.
We have already seen outdoor advertising become a favourite for digital brands. But is the same trend true for the luxury brands? Here are some recent campaigns that certainly make it seem so
Amplifying Online Sales Using Offline Media
Marketers have been firmly focussing on omnichannel media integration to make sure their cross-channel messaging, strategy, and execution is perfectly aligned. Net-A-Porter, did this perfectly by showcasing their online shopping trends via digital billboards.
The Digital OOH media campaign showcased real time sales updates across the board via a live feed. Consumers passing by could see what was being sold and to which parts of the world –which conveyed both a sense of urgency and seamless brand innovation across platforms.
Making a Big Impact
Whilst mobile and online advertising has the ability to reach more niche and targeted audiences, there are times when luxury brands can afford to go extravagant.
The clothing and handbag company Hermes for example, often opt for a unique OOH media approach by creating vibrant, massive and eye-catching digital media billboards that are aimed at generating buzz. This is also another tactic increasingly employed by luxury brands – to drive organic content from an ad going ‘viral’ and hopefully drawing more attention on social media with likes, shares and comments.
Balance between Two Worlds
OOH media strategies for an affluent brand needs to cater to the classes, not the masses.
An insightful brand would understand how to appeal to it’s demographic, while maintaining the level of scarcity and exclusivity that consumers strive for when making a purchase decision.
Louis Vuitton’s ‘Time Capsule’ campaign is a good example. A dynamic experience into the history and culture of the brand, using an experiential installation at luxurious locations across the world. Reaching the right target audience using a limited but impactful presence at a location where luxury purchases are made - all perfectly executed!
The key takeaway from this growing demand is that luxury brands are presented with a much more unique environment when it comes to running an OOH media campaign. Luxury brands are quickly realising that large digital screens are a perfect opportunity to "touch" audiences and build the brand image in the physical world, especially next to shopping and travel areas.
As the McKinsey report mentioned, store purchases still make up the most significant portion of luxury brand revenues. However, many of these stores are located in exclusive areas and digital screens could be used as a last mile activator to influence a potential buyer to visit the store.