Large digital screens are becoming a fixture of urban landscapes across several Southeast Asian cities. They come in all shapes and sizes and quality. However, the advertiser's objectives remain largely the same - grab attention, have a positive impact, and drive some type of action.Like any other media, outdoor ads are competing for consumer attention that is in increasingly limited supply. Experts estimate that the average consumer can be exposed to up to 10,000 messages in a day.
Sound a little too far-fetched? That's what this guy felt. So he decided to count the brand messages he was exposed too. He gave up, brand-weary, after counting 487 brand-messages he was exposed to - before he'd finished breakfast.
Similarly, your outdoor advertising campaign is competing for fleeting attention with thousands of other brand messages.
After picking the right location and choosing the media site, it's down to your creative to cut through the clutter and make an impact. Here's a few tips to help your creative stand out on outdoor media.
Short copy for bigger punch
Billboard audiences are always on the move. They may be driving, waiting or getting on a train, or even walking in a mall. It is critical that your creative communicates a clear message that can be consumed in a second or two. The headline should be especially short. Remember, someone may be driving or walking by your message.
This stays relevant for those who are waiting, perhaps at a traffic light. They may watch several ads on a digital screen. A short, clear headline will ensure your message can be recalled.
Current content resonates
Outdated static billboards are a common sight. It could be for an event that happened two months ago or a promotion that has already ended. Fortunately, digital screens allow multiple creative changes. Making sure your ad stays relevant to the location, audience and current events means your content is relatable and therefore impactful.
Use one (memorable) CTA throughout
Digital billboards, although growing in popularity, are a relatively new advertising medium. In fact, most creatives that go on these screens are simply repurposed or replicated. For example, many brands use the same video or graphic designed for online channels.
However, advertisers need to keep in mind that their audience's view will vary. Someone will pass by your ad when it's just starting. Someone else may look at it when it's about to end. How can you make sure people viewing your ad at different times get the same message?
The ideal way is to be consistent with your call-to-action (CTA). Be honest and let consumers know what you want them to do and ensure the message is visible throughout the ad. For an auto brand, this could be "Visit Our Showroom 500m Away." For an online retail promotion it could say "Use PROMO50 to get your half-price deal now." In both cases, whether the viewer is seeing the video two seconds in or 10 seconds in, he or she knows what to do.
Take advantage of digital's flexibility
Digital screens offer a host of features that traditional outdoor advertising cannot. Most importantly, you can rotate several ads and keep your content fresh. Don't be tied down to using the same creative for a certain period of time. Design a strategy that allows you to benefit from digital signage flexibility.
This could be - running a different ad during different day parts or even choosing to target periods of high traffic. Additionally, you could even tweak your strategy by measuring what works. For example, discover which ad resulted in more store visits or website traffic and stick to using the best performing one.
Test for fleeting attention
Finally, short of actually running your outdoor ad, how can you test its impact? We're all consumers of brand messages. Test your creative - video or image - for short attention spans. What impact does it have when viewed for one or two seconds? Get feedback from several people to learn what improvements or changes you can make.
The rise of digital signage is driving global outdoor advertising spend. It is also becoming a key ingredient in the media mix. As more advertisers embrace the medium, optimising your creative and learning about what works will help make sure your message gets delivered, remembered, and acted upon.
Are you already advertising outdoors or on some form of digital signage? Get in touch to learn how you can measure and analyse your chosen site's audience in real time.
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