CBS Outdoor International recently performed their second ‘Interactive Europe’ study, which reveals the overwhelming influence that outdoor advertising can have on the public. Data from 5283 people and 14 brands across 6 European cities was pumped into the research, concluding that the out of home marketing sector is a dominant driver in terms of motivating consumer responses.
77% of interviewees were found to have reacted directly to an outdoor advert – including 20% subsequently making online purchases, 16% ‘Liking’ Facebook pages, 13% downloading apps and 11% sharing things on social media. An analysis of three selected interactive outdoor campaigns also exposed results such as 54% of an audience are more likely to mention their advertising experience in conversation, and 45% consequently increase their opinion of the brand in question.
An increase in smartphone usage can be commended as a high contributing factor, as the devices facilitate brand interactivity across everything from the humble hashtag to QR codes and augmented reality technology. On average, 75% of urban audiences across Europe are now owners of such objects, meaning that it is now easier than ever to communicate with the outdoor advertising world that stands ahead of our front door. You only have to remember last year’s ‘Look For Longer’ campaign to comprehend how a successful operation can catapult brands.
The only unconvincing result came in the form of near field communication (NFC) – where smartphones communicate with other devices within close proximity, such as for payments, data sharing and gaming. NFC increased by ten times in 2011, but its popularity only experienced a rise of 2% in 2013, indicating that the public is not being adequately informed of this interactive facility.
Antonio Alonso, CEO of CBS Outdoor International, concluded from the research that “outdoor advertising presents the opportunity to supplement reach and promote deeper levels of engagement”. In a specific client study, one individual thought of Chicago Town Pizza as ‘more innovative’ having seen their interactive advert across Dublin shopping centres, which encouraged the public to vote for their preferred pizza base. Following the campaign, Chicago Town Pizza had elevated awareness of their brand by 28%.
Alonso also commented that: “With smart device ownership continuing to grow, even amongst older demographics, it is clear that outdoor advertising is beginning to offer brands new channels for distribution and direct marketing.”
CBS Outdoor International have established several advisory points in order to execute a successful interactive campaign, such as ‘the creative should be explicit and inviting for people to interact’, ‘there needs to be an obvious benefit for consumers’ and ‘build interactivity into the campaign early’. A ‘halo’ effect is also observed, i.e. the public will notice others as they interact with the advert, which has the potential to spread awareness of the advert without every onlooker having to engage.