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Tips And Tricks For Engaging Out-Of-Home Audiences
June 22nd, 2017

ACA Staff

Out-of-home advertising has a unique power in today’s digitally-connected universe: when done correctly, it’s impossible to ignore.

Billboard ad for Australian underwear company. Billboard message: To keep your boys working give them a comfortable office

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Australian underwear company Bonds’ OOH execution puts innovation and interaction at the heart of its message.


At a recent ACA webinar, Jacques Major, Marketing and Communications Director at the Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada (OMAC), took attendees on a virtual tour of the globe to see some world-class out-of-home executions, and shared OMACs tips and tricks for getting (and keeping) audiences’ attention.

Technology takes centre stage

While static OOH is and always will be an important part of out-of-home marketing, some of the most interesting work from around the world puts innovation and interaction at the heart of its message, Major showed.

Take the work from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Australian underwear company Bonds: to remind men to look after their “boys,” the agency created a seven-foot tall digital billboard that changed with the temperature.

The ad itself featured a pair of men hanging in oval chairs suspended by ropes, and as the weather changed, so too did their positions.

When it was warm, the duo dropped down; when cold, they shrank up. The pair even shook around when the wind blew.

And it’s obviously not the only brand making its out-of-home interactive: to help promote SICO paints, agency Sid Lee and Reno-Depot created a transit shelter ad that used an app to determine the colours of passing objects – like yellow school buses or gray tractor trailers. It matched the shade with the nearest hue available at the retailer, pointing passersby to store or online for more information.

You only have consumers’ attention for 10 seconds – out-of-home – so finding a way to get them to pause and engage with your ad is the key to any successful OOH execution, Major said.

OMAC’s 7 tips for creating great out-of-home

  • Be succinct and simpleminded: Out-of-home advertising, by its nature, is seen at a glance. Brands only have a few seconds – seven to 10 in fact – of a person’s attention. Making your messages as clear and digestible as possible is a key factor to success.
  • Keep your branding prominent and simple: Few companies enjoy the cultural awareness that allows them to get away with a logo. Since you’ve got consumers’ attention for only a few seconds, make it count and make it clear what brand you’re selling.
  • Be mindful of your visuals: Dramatic images and beautiful designs are important in capturing audiences’ attention – anything to get people to pause, and take notice.
  • Use the right type: Certain fonts and typefaces enhance and detract from readability. For example, text in all uppercase or all lowercase is more legible than sentences that use both, while heavy fonts tend to become blurred when read from a distance.
  • Consider your colour wheel: Contrasting and complementing colours naturally draw the eye, though colours that are equal shades of dark might blend in together – so be mindful and use colours that pop.
  • Make your message count: You don’t need digital to make your ads interactive. Humour can heighten recall, while intriguing taglines – content that makes people stop and think – gives people a reason to pause and digest your content.
  • Involve the viewer: Engaging the audience is one of the single most effective ways of helping build recall and affinity for the brand. And technology is making it possible to get audiences in an unlimited number of creative ways.

In the end, really successful out-of-home comes down to engaging both the audience and the surrounding – be it through innovative uses of technology, eye-popping visuals or catchy messages.

OMAC, as part of a global initiative, helped roll out a new tabletop book, Open Three, highlighting some engaging and unique out-of-home.

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