Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about one of our favorite forms of advertising, Out of Home! We discuss how Out of Home has come in and out of style, what the future of Out of Home looks like, and give some hot takes on our favorite billboards.
You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.
What is Out of Home?
Out of Home advertising is focused on marketing to consumers when they are in public places, and all into six main categories: billboards, street, roads, highways, transit, and alternative.
Although digital advertising has seen the most growth, Out of Home has some distinct advantages over all other advertising methods.
- It reaches more than 90% of the population because it is in the real world. You don't need a Facebook account or watch a specific TV show, you just have to exist in the place where the ad is located. If you advertise in a community, almost everyone will see the ad in that area
- It's high frequency, and gets a lot of repeat traffic. People usually have standard ways of traveling and getting to work, so will continue to see the ad over and over.
- It's in the real world, so ads are not prone to click fraud.
- You can hyper-target your audience based on geography and location in a way no other medium can match.
- It's easy to share on digital and social media channels because it is so visual, and it drives online searches and activity. Out of Home advertising is the most effective offline medium in driving online activity, according to Nielsen.
What's next for Out of Home? Will it be Out of Home 2.0? Or something completely different?
With new digital technology being incorporated into traditional billboards, augmented reality, and new forms of billboards being invented (like Echo by Lightvert), the future of Out of Home may look totally different than what it looks like today.
Hot takes on our favorite billboards
Hassaan: What up? We're back. Looking at this camera. This week, we're talking about out of home. What does that mean? It's not digital. People forget what not digital means.
Brian: What is out of home, Hassaan?
Hassaan: Well, advertisements you see, not on your screen, outside of your home.
Brian: So, billboards?
Brian: This week we're talking about ... Maybe we should go back to outdoor advertising.
Brian: Maybe there's a place now. Maybe modern marketers can put that in their old playbook. Number two ... Is out of home going to go through kind of a V2 now with digital? Or is it going to be something totally different?
Hassaan: Completely different. Right.
Brian: That's not out of home. And third, we're gonna do kind of a hot take round, where we're going to show Kyle and Hassaan some different ads that I pulled, different billboards. Producer Kyle is our chief opinion officer and he's very opinionated about things, so we're going to throw out some designs to him and see what he likes.
Hassaan: All right.
Brian: So, let's do it.
Hassaan: Let's do it.
Brian: Let's go.
Hassaan: Sweet. All right Brian. So let's start this out with, "What is out of home?" Can you define that for me?
Brian: Out of home is OOH, as you described, it is officially defined as anywhere that a marketer, the ooh, ooh, ooh, anywhere a marketer tries to engage a consumer in transit. In public places and they're usually around commercial locations and they put it into six different categories-
Brian: Which I'm going to try to remember here. Billboards, street, highway, road, transit, like a subway and then alternative, which seems to just be the etcetera bucket. And what's been interesting for me to see over the last few years, I am definitely seeing a resurgence of more modern companies, start ups even, using out of home, especially in subways, on buses around the city and Matt O'Connor from Adweek actually had a really interesting article that he put out this month, that was basically describing, "Are marketers overlooking out of home? Compared to magazines or any other offline media, it has the highest number of online engagements." So more than any other medium that's offline, it drives the most online followups, clicks, visits, not clicks because it's offline, but the most number of visits-
Hassaan: I was reading about ... There are start ups now that are trying to build a better way for purchasing billboards or other space-
Brian: Oh, the whole process, I can one clip spend fifty bucks on Facebook to boost a post. How do I get a billboard?
Hassaan: It's a big deal. You typically have to go to the people who own the physical billboards, whatever, whatever. But now, you're talking about driving online data. Right? Driving online engagement. From what I understand, they're using that data to then, not necessarily come up with a complete one to one, but try and replicate a paper click situation for the physical space, which just kind of blows my mind that you can do that.
Brian: Even, Google Analytics, you can track locational responses. So if you have a billboard set up in a certain place, you can see, did traffic increase in that certain place that you can then attribute maybe to those out of home advertisements, but I guess it's just a really interesting traditional industry that's kind of being re-invented now and kind of being dominated by digital, but I'm really excited to see how they can kind of transform that into a new era of out of home.
Future of out of home, we were talking before the show, and you made an interesting point, where we talked about some start ups that are launching new products in the out of home space, and you're like, "Well is that out of home? Is that like V2 of out of home? Or is it something entirely different?" So what's your take on future of out of home? Is is going to be totally different or is it going to be just like the next step?
Hassaan: You know, we're definitely ... I think it's definitely gonna be another medium once the AR starts to pop off [inaudible 00:04:00]. Right now, we're kind of limited because all the inner activity seems to be just driving towards online engagement and I think it'll start to become another medium once that engagement happens in the space. You know, because it's like even, I think it was British Airways, right? They have a really awesome out of home ad, where it's a billboard and there's a kids and they're tracking real time flight datas so that that kid points to real life planes as they fly over the billboard, but that's still just a video billboard with some sensors on it. It's not really freaking the format-
Brian: It's the most advanced version of the digital billboards.
Hassaan: Right and going back to the argument, to me, that's just billboards 2.0. It's just taking something old and adding some accessories to it.
Brian: It's clever billboards, that uses technology that's static, but still doesn't really drive any more engagement. So one of the newest out of home trends out there right now, is to try to drive more of this engagement. So not just be out of home 2.0, it is to actually engage people in new ways. So one of these startup out of the UK is called Light Vert and they just launched a new technology called ECHO. They did a campaign with Marriott where they put this light pole up and it had a laser technology where it projected any JPEG image, but when you look directly at it, you can't see it. It's only when you look away or when you move back in forth, for some reason, that's when the image appears. So it's more of an attention grabber-
Hassaan: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, yeah, I mean, so what I like about this ECHO technology is that it doesn't ... I mean I haven't been there to interact with it in person, but from what I ... Your description that you gave to me, it doesn't take up space unless I interact with it.
Hassaan: But then I kind of say that hesitantly because then I also ... You know, if it's like this thing works peripherally, I imagine a world where these light verts are stacked everywhere and everywhere I look, one of them is in my peripheral vision.
Brian: They also combine it with mobile technology where you can actually capture what the image looks like if you engage with it. What are your thoughts on having that secondary layer to every out of home advertisement? Is that 2.0? Is that something different? And we see that with Pokemon Go getting super popular.
Hassaan: Right. The shittiest thing to me about AR, is that I'm not trying to have to walk around like this. But what ... This is again like what I think Pokemon Go did that is dope, is that they used that extra step you have to go through, to access that layer and they contextualize that as it's own activity. You see what I'm saying? So instead of me just pointing my camera at something to see something there, I'm playing a game with my phone and that's bringing me to these spaces. I think that's not billboards 2.0, that's the future of AR, because it's not walking up to a billboard, pointing my phone at a QR code and watching an animation animate, wherever right? It's like something driving me out of my home, to this place.
Brian: I picked out some of my favorite billboards, so my favorite out of home, we're going to bring up Kyle, producer Kyle-
Brian: Our head of product who's chief opinion officer as well. I want you guys to critique these. I want to see what you think. So give me some takes.
Hassaan: Hot takes. Hot takes on the ooh ...
Kyle: Hot takes on the ooh.
Hassaan: Okay, so we're looking at these [inaudible 00:07:25] and yo be as savage as the person who made a one hour, fifty-five minute playlist called "Lasting Longer Than The Mooch".
Kyle: Is it Anthony Scaramucci, is the dude's name right?
Hassaan: Yeah. OG Herb.
Kyle: Yeah. Aggressive Herb and that's first of all, I like the word savage. If you're up on like the topics of the day, solid ad. Concern though, data problem, right?
Hassaan: Right. That's a good point.
Kyle: Like they know a lot about every person.
Hassaan: And, and.
Kyle: Be scraping through all that stuff to find interesting shit for your ads. Like, that's weird.
Hassaan: There's definitely an aggressive push for us to be comfortable with them using our data-
Kyle: Oh for sure. And like, at the end of the day, if you don't know people are using your data, right? If you are a Google user and all that right?
Hassaan: Right. If you use the internet.
Kyle: We are the product.
Kyle: So, if you're not comfortable with it, skip the internet.
Hassaan: My thing is, is that like, yo-
Kyle: Buy records.
Hassaan: Right. I'm like, "All right Spotify, where's my ad revenue?"
Hassaan: I need ad royalties for this data.
Kyle: Yeah. Yeah. So where's the next one? Are they gonna put one outside my house and is it going to be-
Hassaan: For you.
Kyle: "Yo, Kyle-
Hassaan: Hey Kyle, hey dawg-
Kyle: That's a terrible playlist.
Hassaan: I got this.
Kyle: Check these songs out."
Hassaan: I got this ooh.
Hassaan: Billboard for you.
Kyle: Custom ooh.
Hassaan: Ooh. Custom ooh.
Kyle: Custom ooh.
Hassaan: All right. Laika. Everybody likes Laika.
Kyle: Shout out to Laika.
Hassaan: Shout out to Laika.
Kyle: Sick cameras. Can't afford them. I want one.
Hassaan: Yo, if you want to sponsor this show, Laika ...
Kyle: We'll take a couple M10's.
Kyle: Right now.
Hassaan: That's fine. Anyways ...
Kyle: So they do this ... Do they do one billboard for every location?
Hassaan: I mean you're right, this billboard only works here.
Kyle: The one spot, that's crazy, that's hard.
Hassaan: You know what else I might add?
Kyle: That's not easy.
Hassaan: You know what else I might add?
Hassaan: This only works at certain times of the day. You know what I'm saying?
Kyle: When the sim ... When it's the similar light, see but see to be fair, if you're going to buy a $10,000 range finder camera-
Hassaan: You might want to know-
Kyle: You're going to be that-
Hassaan: You know what I'm saying?
Kyle: You're going to be that hyper detailed. So this is a perfect capture of the ad, because it's probably lit, but at night, feels a little weird.
Hassaan: Here's an ad that works at any time of day, regardless of the light. Koleston Naturals hair color, natural color.
Hassaan: I mean, this shit is just dope.
Kyle: This is maybe one of my favorite ads of all time.
Hassaan: I mean like-
Kyle: Just like immediate reaction.
Hassaan: This is the [inaudible 00:09:53] perspective. From a marketing perspective-
Kyle: It's super good.
Hassaan: I don't know what kind of digital insights you're gleaning off this shit, but-
Kyle: I mean, my only problem is, during the day, during the afternoon, because it's not lit, because they want you to see the background, you cant' see the brand name.
Hassaan: That's a good point. Yeah.
Kyle: So like, but also, the only other concern of this, you cant' do a one sided billboard. You have to have a purpose built billboard for this one. Right? Because it's got the cut through, right? So it's got to be the same on both sides.
Kyle: You know.
Kyle: So that's just ... That's gonna be a purpose built one, so you can't leverage bill boards that already exist, it seems. I mean at least-
Hassaan: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kyle: My perspective right? You cant' do side of the building, you can't do like all that kind of stuff right? It's got to be like-
Hassaan: One of these.
Kyle: Yeah. It's gotta be .. That's a few location marketing campaign, but it's pretty rad. It's really good, but-
Kyle: That's the episode.
Hassaan: That's the episode. Subscribe.
Kyle: Brian doesn't get to do this today. Subscribe.
Kyle: Hey, there he is.
Hassaan: Ah, ah, ah.
Kyle: Get the hell out of here. Nah. All right. Tell your friends, tell your family-
Hassaan: Tell everybody.
Kyle: Your mother will love this.
Hassaan: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn.
Kyle: Right. Yep. We'll do another one.
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