As marketing communications become increasingly sophisticated, it’s essential to know not just how many people have seen a brand’s out-of-home (OOH) campaign, but how to support the consumer’s desire to take immediate action. Thanks to the convergence of search with OOH, brands are finally able to capture the consumer’s attention wherever they are and meet the needs of today’s immediate gratification mindset, as well as take a sophisticated approach to measuring the real-time impact of campaigns.
Three factors have combined to create a perfect storm in the relationship between search and OOH. First, data shows more people are spending time out of home. Second is the proliferation of mobile smartphones used to connect to friends, the Internet, and the world at large. Last, the digitization of OOH with new OOH formats and technologies has become the perfect complement to static signs and billboards. At the intersection of these three points lies the basic fact that consumers want what they want, when they want it.
Mobile search may be the most dramatic example of how OOH and search are creating a synergistic relationship. We’re entering an age where consumers can see an OOH campaign and immediately, via a range of technologies, connect directly to a brand’s website for a specific offer or to learn more. These connection methods include QR barcodes, image recognition, GPS-based applications and, in the future, near-field communications to allow consumers to simply touch their phone against a poster to access mobile content.
In anticipation of this trend, Posterscope conducted an experiment to see how OOH could drive online search by using distinctive creative. We developed an advertising campaign focused on a single word — “Oohgle” — highlighted in a brightly colored search box. During the two-week campaign, which ran in various OOH media formats throughout the United Kingdom, we saw a huge spike in search for the word Oohgle. The posters and digital screens not only drove consumers to the Oohgle website, but generated other social media conversation, from chatter on Twitter to pictures of the Oohgle creative snapped from smartphones and posted to Flickr. This experiment proved that search and OOH in tandem could drive conversation and create other positive ancillary effects essential for brand awareness.
Looking ahead, search will play an increasingly vital role in enabling OOH campaigns to have immediate and measurable impact. Not only will consumers have their needs met when they’re in a particular mindset, but brands will better understand from where consumers are searching, what poster or screen is driving that behavior, and evaluate — in real time — how their media investment is working. Posterscope is already investigating real-time optimization of digital screen campaigns based on results that, when combined with immediate gratification, create a win-win situation for both consumers and advertisers.
More information regarding the Oohgle and Point & Find projects is available at http://www.slideshare.net/Posterscope.