Combining creativity and relevancy is the key to a successful and effective Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising campaign. OOH features different formats, such as place-based advertising and billboards, the latter being the most popular and lucrative option. The OAAA, short for Out of Home Advertising Association of America, reported that billboards’ share of overall OOH ad revenues grew to 85.7% in Q1 2021 from 67.7% in Q1 2020.
Besides the traditional OOH approach, marketers adopt digital out-of-home (DOOH), the main driver of Out-of-Home advertising globally since 2019. Nonetheless, many businesses are creatively incorporating it into their OOH campaigns to cope with the current pandemic that requires most people to remain indoors. It empowers advertisers to merge technology with traditional outdoor formats such as billboards and design memorable, immersive, and interactive promotions.
Here are ten examples of some epic and effective OOH advertising that incorporated outdoor and digital techniques:
1. COVID-Safe Skoda
The ongoing pandemic creates strange and generally uncomfortable situations, ranging from lockdowns to social distancing. People saw plenty of OOH creativity after the government eased lockdown restrictions, including Skoda's ad that considered social distancing measures.
The innovative DOOH campaign advertised its latest range of SUVs, displaying them on digital interactive screens at shopping malls. Notably, the screen was touchless, meaning the audience engaged with the content while observing safety and health regulations.
2. Weather-Based e-Bay Ads
eBay used the dynamic capabilities of digital OOH for a weather-driven advertising campaign. The DOOH was reactive to real-world conditions, and the brand's messages changed according to weather status. For instance, rainy and cloudy days promoted promotions for rain gear, whereas sunny days featured visual ads for gardening tools. The dynamic campaign reflected eBay's colorful and vibrant products in a creative way that matched the audience's surroundings and mindset at the moment.
McDonald's is so recognizable that it does not require adding its name or logo on advertising. Thus, the brand ran a name-less campaign that involved bitten billboards, showing a burger with huge "bites" taken out of them. TWBA/Paris ran the 'Bitten Billboards' campaign successfully, with McDonald's also choosing not to feature any reference or context to COVID-19 to prevent being viewed as a misguided marketing ploy.
4. Emily Crisps
Emily Crisps put out its first-ever DOOH that unfortunately ran during a government-enforced lockdown. The company embraced and made fun of the predicament, incorporating tongue-in-cheek advertisements. They made light of the situation of running ads that nobody would see. The brand took photos of the advertisements and shared them online via social media, ascertaining that people would see them. It resonated and connected with the audience, switching a potentially disastrous effort into a successful campaign.
5. GMC's Interactive Content
Modern technology and innovation mean you can customize OOH advertising messages just as you can digitally. GMC incorporated this technique via its interactive campaign for the Acacia SUV. The digital displays featured cameras using AI-powered facial analytics technology that detected audience demographics, including age and gender. It could also determine whether viewers were alone or came as a part of a group, family, or couple.
In addition, the technology could detect if the audience was frowning or smiling. The display then presented one of thirty possible video promotions featuring interactive games such as staring competitions or Simon Says.
6. National Geographic
A Nielsen Consumer Media & View finding showed that high coverage of OOH media reaches 66% of consumers. National Geographic took advantage of the effects from such considerable exposure to call people’s attention to saving animals at risk. They formed a user-generated content marketing campaign via DOOH, labeled #SaveTogether.
People could snap a selfie with a photo of an endangered species displayed at a street level as a picture. Afterward, they posted it to Instagram and Twitter accompanied by the campaign's hashtag. National Geographic organizers then picked 175 photos to project on New York's Times Square billboards.
Aesop said that gratitude turns what you have into enough, and Britain ran a campaign to show their gratitude to the health care workers during the pandemic crisis. The ‘Grateful Britain’ campaign, initiated by Outsmart, received a media space donation from the OOH industry to amplify the nation’s gratitude to the National Health Service (NHS) and other key frontline workers. Mother London ran the campaign using colloquial and lighthearted language to highlight the diverse roles that have been so valuable throughout lockdown and beyond. Additionally, the lockdown increased the emotive message’s impact since key workers were among the few people permitted outdoors, enabling them to view the billboards.
8. CVS's Beauty Unaltered
The CVS's beauty campaign labeled #BeautyUnaltered ran via DOOH in one of the most iconic spots for digital outdoor advertising globally, New York City's Times Square. This promotion was a component of CVS's Beauty Mark social media campaign that encouraged users to post their unedited selfies to the social platforms using the hashtag. The event organizers then showed a different person's photo on the Times Square digital signage every ten seconds.
Besides this, the brand paired a standard digital billboard with the dynamic digital billboard, incorporating awareness messaging. This campaign tapped into the cultural shift from unrealistic beauty standards toward appreciating unedited and unfiltered beauty. As a result, CVS paired a solid campaign with dynamic user-generated content and a high-profile location for successful and effective results.
9. Lasik MD Elevator Ads
Lasik MD used digital OOH to determine elevator users who are wearing glasses. Afterward, the technology presented various ads relevant to the riders to promote the brand’s services. The Lasik MD marketing team incorporated OOH ad tech to target candidates for laser eye surgery. It identified whether or not an elevator occupant was wearing glasses and personalized the creative accordingly.
These DOOH promotions by Lasik MD generated 11 million impressions to the target audience, boosting engagement among glass-wearing elevator users. Moreover, the campaign's ad tech determined gender and age, enabling the Lasik MD's marketing team to segment their findings further.
10. Dallas Cowboys Interactive Photo Kiosks
The Dallas Cowboys launched the interactive "Pose with the Pros" kiosks in late 2019 at the AT&T stadium. This DOOH allowed fans to take photos of themselves with virtual members of the Dallas Cowboys. Consumers could pick up to five of their favorite Cowboys players on the interactive screens and pose with them. The Augmented Reality (AR) application overlaid the players around the small group or person in the photo.
After this, users could send the virtual group snaps via email to themselves, friends, and family. Alternately, they could also share the photos on social media. AT&T powered the interactive experience, with the brand advertising its 5G technology. The brand successfully created experiences that enabled consumers to learn how fundamentally different 5G is from LTE. Hence, the campaign resulted in a dynamic digital OOH advertisement that engaged fans while simultaneously highlighting AT&T’s latest technology.
The ongoing technological development means AI and machine learning will become more affordable and widely accessible. In turn, DOOH will become increasingly innovative over the next years, enabling you to create truly data-driven, customized, and interactive campaigns that exceed reach and impressions to actual customer engagement. Looking at the above examples, you can learn what made these advertisements successful. They can inspire your efforts by showing where you can improve and add creativity to deliver impactful and successful overall OOH marketing campaigns.