In this guest piece, Posterscope business executive Theodore Buscemi (pictured above) explains why marketers shouldn’t look past the out-of-home media channel to control how their brand appears in market.
The ad industry never fails to breed controversy. Like a hot summer sun and dry dead grass, it is just a spark away from a full-blown firestorm.
Digital is stealing all the attention these days – everything from fat-fingers and ad fraud to flawed metrics and evil algorithms. Not to mention the proliferation of fake news, which has garnered widespread attention since the 2016 US presidential election cycle.
Meanwhile, giants like Facebook and Google suffered as a result of the recent online video debacles. These issues went beyond financial implications of misspent marketing dollars – brand image itself was the real victim. And when a brand entrusts Google with a portion of its marketing spend, it is Google’s responsibility to protect the brand image of the client.
Why is it so important for brands to consider where and how they are represented in market?
As Scott Goodson, author of UpRising and founder of global cultural movement firm StrawberryFrog, puts it: “Products have life cycles; brands outlive products”.
Brand is power. It represents a company; its products, services, and the value code it operates by. Brand is trust. It is reputation. It has its own intrinsic value. Brands take years to build and can be crippled overnight.
Pepsi’s recent campaign fail illustrates this well. By numbers alone, the campaign did great. It received global attention with plenty of video views, comments and social amplification. This, of course, is not the full story. Widespread backlash damaged the brand and alienated the very audience the campaign aimed to engage.
Once a campaign is released into the wild, it is anyone’s guess how the public will respond. McDonald’s also saw this firsthand after pulling an ad using a child’s grief for his dead father to tell a brand story.
So, how do clients exert some control over how their brand is viewed in market? Well this is where the power of out-of-home media comes into play.
Attribution and ROI measurement is increasingly more important to clients, and digital channels provide strong metrics in this area. However, it is crucial that clients don’t just look at media channels through this lens – particularly out-of-home.
Out-of-home traditionally hasn’t been used in this way, though there are new tools and technologies being developed to illustrate the medium’s role in the conversion process.
One of out-of-home’s greatest strengths is its role in creating impact and awareness. Don’t just think about static billboards here – think about the new, dynamic, digital out-of-home technologies helping brands tell more engaging stories.
Out-of-home media also has the ultimate trump card up its sleeve: it can’t be switched off. Unlike other media, consumers can’t avoid out-of-home. There are no out-of-home ad blockers.
As such, out-of-home gives the client maximum control over where and how ads are displayed. The promise of control in digital media has proven difficult across content-rich platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Out-of-home doesn’t face these complexities.
What this means for clients is greater power to align brands with an audience or environment that enhances its image. Premium clients can target affluent audiences in c-suite office towers, and brands rooted in family values can play in retail and entertainment spaces where the risk of appearing alongside offensive content is almost zero.
Sales are crucial, conversion is key, but brand is power and needs protecting. So, take back that power and use out-of-home to control how your brand appears in market.