By: Phoebe Bain - Reposted from Marketing Brew
As a result of pandemic lockdowns, some OOH advertisers became more strategic with placements.
Perhaps no sector of the marketing industry was more impacted by the start of the pandemic than OOH marketing. But every billboard has a silver lining: Advertisers said the roadblocks that Covid brought with it have helped brands using OOH ads craft more flexible, precise campaigns.
During a panel at Advertising Week New York, Ian Dallimore, VP of digital growth and GM of programmatic at Lamar Advertising, said that the pandemic taught OOH advertisers more about how to collect real-time data as well as the importance of being quick on your feet in putting these ads to use.
For example, Dallimore said that throughout the pandemic, marketers have been able to find cities where foot traffic was up and buy OOH ads accordingly. After all, in 2020, marketers had to get comfortable with pivoting their OOH budgets quickly due to lockdowns starting and stopping on various timelines in different areas of the country.
“You may have held off your budgets in New York and LA. But why have them just sit on the shelf? Utilize that data in Dallas, in Cincinnati, in Baton Rouge, and Birmingham,” he said, adding that, with the help of increased attention to data, he saw a “massive shift in funding as brands started to open their eyes” to foot traffic figures.
“The ability to optimize the real-time [data] should be utilized with creative, like really fast,” Dallimore continued. “One of the things that the industry is doing on our end is print, to production, to post in less than two days,” he said, adding that this not only includes digital OOH, but also static installments, such as the painted walls that Lamar-owned Colossal Media specializes in.
Perhaps OOH marketers have become more open-minded in general. Brian Rappaport, founder and CEO of OOH agency Quan Media Group, told Marketing Brew that marketers came out of 2020 and 2021 with more creativity in the process of buying OOH media. “You don’t need to buy OOH in a traditional manner, in that four- to eight-week time period that people think you have to buy OOH in,” he said.
“You can react to IRL events and what’s going on in a matter of minutes,” he said. “You can run a digital OOH campaign and take over a city or a neighborhood for one full day. You could do it for a week, you could do it for an hour and have 100% ownership on every LinkNYC screen in Tribeca if you’re opening up a retail store there.”
Some brands are also increasingly pairing OOH pushes with their social and influencer activations. For instance, Dallimore said that Lamar did a live-tweet activation for the NBA playoffs. “Real-time players are tweeting live to our digital screens in competitive markets, which is super exciting,” he said.
Last summer, swimwear brand Andie put up a billboard on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills featuring Demi Moore and her three daughters that coincided with a social campaign.
Data suggests that OOH ads have legs across social platforms: According to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll and the Out of Home Advertising Association of America last month, 82% of TikTok users said “they frequently notice OOH ads while on the platform.”