Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is the best running mate any political campaign could hope for. By strategically targeting and placing OOH ads to accompany your other marketing efforts, you can be sure voters will have ongoing visual contact with your name and messaging as they go about their business in the real world.
That's good, especially if your ads win them over. But it's only the first step.
What you really want is to engage with voters — to make a more visceral connection with them and to draw those who are interested further into your campaign as a donor or volunteer. Making that connection is crucial because if voters don't like you or can't relate to you in some way, they are not going to cast their vote for you.
Interactive OOH creates memorable experiences
Because interactive experiences affect people in multi-sensory ways, they have stronger impact and more lasting impact. That enhances your campaign effectiveness and ROI.
Once again, out-of-home is on the job.
QR codes are hot right now as a way to facilitate real-time connection between OOH and your online presence. They are inherently intriguing. You can create customized QR codes for free and include them on almost any type of OOH ad from kiosks and street benches to walls and posters. Also pizza boxes and your campaign's official taco truck.
A quick scan, and voters are digitally transported in real time to your website to learn more about your campaign, sign up to host a meet-the-candidate coffee, donate money or whatever your ad invited them to do.
Digital billboards and screens can also display QR codes, web links or promo codes within your ads. Viewers can use these to engage with you, and you can track that.
Here are some ways to elevate the experience of interacting with your ads.
- In effect, every time someone responds to your OOH ad to engage with you online, that constitutes an interactive experience. But you can give it more dimension to make it more memorable. For example, this interactive billboard literally puts your audience in the picture. Think of how you could adapt something like this to promote your campaign.
- Conducting a social media poll? Pose the same question on your OOH placements with a click-to-respond QR code. People love surveys because they love to express their opinion — especially in election-related polls. This is also a great way to generate valuable feedback from supporters or voters in general.
Create a follow-up OOH + social media campaign announcing your survey results. Promoting the result shows you are listening — something voters want to see in a candidate.
- Hold a candidate trivia contest, with the question on your OOH ad and a text link or URL to find out the answer.
- Use your ads to invite voters to attend your digital town hall (or a live one with limited seating to add a sense of urgency and exclusiveness), with a link to RSVP. Participating in the event augments the experience.
- Ask supporters to send you their best campaign-related selfie. Let folks vote for their favorite on Facebook, and turn the winner into an ad campaign using both OOH and social media.
- Earlier we mentioned using a wrapped vehicle for impromptu campaign stops.
You can arrive at any location where geo-targeting data tells you there will be a good crowd (or a gathering of a specific segment of your audience). Open the doors, take a poll, answer questions, hand out campaign swag or coffee or fresh-baked cookies.
Fun on the fly, then off to the next destination.
The positive effects linger even after the experience ends.
Nearly 80% of consumers say watching video from a branded experience boosts their feelings about that brand. That’s why it’s so important to post photos and video clips from your in-person events to spread the after-glow.
But you can achieve the same goal by creating imaginative experiences with your out-of-home advertising and sharing them. This feeds people's sense of place and sense of belonging, strengthening their connection with you and your campaign.
Mike Bloomberg made himself 200 feet tall on Times Square digital spectaculars.
Barack Obama enlisted support from an entire fleet of mobile billboards.
You can go to those extremes if you can afford it, but whatever you do to make your promotions more interactive and experiential will get people talking about you and your candidacy. And that’s the goal.
Have an upcoming political campaign that you are looking to enhance with OOH? Download Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our new political playbook series to help keep you ahead of your competition.