Outdoor advertising – A growing media channel

This MultiConnexions blog was written by Hardik Malik, Media Manager

Outdoor advertising is a great medium for increasing brand awareness and works to complement other traditional, digital and social channels when running a campaign. Outdoor advertising has become increasingly popular as marketers realise audiences spend a significant amount of time out and about shopping and travelling.

A key advantage of outdoor advertising is cost effectiveness as ads reach a large number of people with ease and at a lower CPM cost (for the laymen, that’s Cost Per Mille, the advertising cost per thousand views). When it comes to outdoor advertising there is an array of options to choose from including trains, trams, buses, airports, billboards, hoarding and building wraps. Brands are spoilt for choice.

Ride-sharing company Ola launched an excellent outdoor advertising campaign, #DoYourShare, in India a couple of years back which used a large billboard to track real time carbon emission levels saved in the city thanks to Ola passengers. Installed at prominent junctions in Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore, the billboards successfully showcased and encouraged the company’s mission to achieve sustainable mobility.

Image source: All About Outdoor

Outdoor advertising is just as important as other traditional and digital media formats as it allows us to reach audiences when they are out and about and very receptive. It also helps increase top-of-mind recall and can influence and change a shopper’s mind – often at the critical last minute.

Words of caution
There are also, however, some areas where marketers need to be cautious when considering outdoor advertising. For example, there are higher production costs and lead times; a longer media buy commitment is required; and unlike digital ads, message fatigue may kick in if the message doesn’t change as easily as digital placements.

Brands can have great success in this area if their message is relevant to a large number of people that will potentially see the advertisement and if the message itself is not overly time-specific or based around an exclusive offer, but rather a disseminating an overarching brand message.

The Australian outdoor media landscape
Comprehensive options for outdoor advertising have always existed in Australia, with companies such as oOh!media, APN Outdoor, JCDecaux, Adshel and QMS providing various formats and rates.

Recently two smaller players Adshel and JCDecaux did, however, merge forces with oOh!media and APN respectively. While this may appear to have cut options for agencies it did in fact benefit customers in the sense it provided agencies currently using their services with a wider range of options.

Last year there was talk of an APN and oOh!media merger which would have, given the large scale of each of these companies, monopolised the industry, with the entity owning a whopping 90 per cent of the outdoor advertising business in Australia. Thanks to interference from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission who anticipated an unfair increase in media costs and the quashing of healthy competition, the merger did not go ahead.

The multicultural opportunity
While outdoor advertising is great at reaching mass audiences, when placement is strategic it can also be used to target specific multicultural audiences. With many of Australia’s multicultural audiences clustering and living in particular suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne, the use of outdoor media for a brand wishing to target these communities is very important.

For example, South Asian audiences (including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) tend to live in suburbs such as Sydney’s Parramatta and Liverpool, and Melbourne’s Dandenong and Werribee, and shop at major centres in these suburbs. This provides an opportunity for brands to target these audiences with outdoor advertising in these areas and a tailored in-language message.

Chinese audiences tend to cluster in a similar fashion in suburbs such as Sydney’s Hurstville and Chatswood, and Melbourne’s Box Hill and Glen Waverley. Similarly, Arabic-speaking, Korean, Vietnamese and other cultural groups in Australia also tend to live in close communities and hence we are able to effectively reach these audiences through outdoor.

MultiConnexions works with many outdoor media companies and provides our clients with comprehensive options as part of their media strategy. Some of our previous successful work includes Lunar New Year activations in Melbourne and at Macquarie Shopping Centre for Telstra, as well as light-rail advertising for ANZ on The Star to Haymarket tram line.

ANZ Light-rail wrap Image source: MCX

The Lunar New Year activations proved very successful as they were stationed in suburbs with a high Chinese population so encouraged engagement with a relevant audience. The light-rail wrap on the tramline from The Star to Haymarket was also effective at reaching Chinese-speaking audiences as it ran directly through an area which is noted for its high number of Chinese residents and where Chinese services and businesses are plentiful.

elstra Lunar New Year activation Image source: MCX

For further information on integrating multicultural outdoor media in your next marketing campaign, contact MultiConnexions today.

Featured image source: oOh Media

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