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Outdoor Advertising Is The New Black
2017-12-12 21:20

Outdoor Advertising Is The New Black

Big cities like San Francisco and New York are digital meccas, home to many of the world’s largest technology
startups — and to hordes of smartphone-toting, app-using consumers. But when it comes to making a name
for themselves, many of the companies hoping to influence these techie urbanites are going decidedly analog.
In these cities, and others, it’s hard to miss the resurgence of old-school, outdoor marketing on behalf of
venture-backed technology companies.

And we’re not just talking about traditional highway billboards. These days, taxi tops, newspaper stands,
bus stands and even the buses themselves — traditionally the turf of local advertisers like museums and the
lottery — are blaring messages for the likes of Percolate, DraftKings, Rinse and Jet.com.

According to a recent report from Kantar Media, total outdoor advertising spending in the U.S. rose 2.2
percent in this year’s second quarter amid an overall 3.9 percent decline in total ad spend, including
decreases for cable and spot TV advertising, online display, magazines, newspapers and network radio.
And outdoor marketing spend is up for the first half of this year versus 2014, as well.

But is all this tech-company spending on outdoor ads a good idea? When done smartly, yes. Most
outdoor-marketing campaigns need to be executed in conjunction with separate (or related) digital
campaigns, which leverage incredible data and analytics to improve targeting.
But when advertising outdoors — not a venue in which marketers can track clicks and engagement—
companies today need to be more strategic and thoughtful in how they place and position these old-school ads.

Remember, new technologies like smartphones have fundamentally changed how people interact with
advertising they consume in the physical world. Sure, simply having a presence outdoors can help get the
word out about a movie or product or new app. And the real-world presence adds legitimacy to technology 
companies that would otherwise only be encountered in the ether.

But I believe outdoor advertisers can increase their odds of success if they evaluate their buys against
four key elements: time, place, “state of mind” and creative relevance. All of these increase the likelihood
of provoking action, as well as getting eyeballs. Call it the “quadruple-threat” of outdoor marketing.
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