OOH Advertising Has A Significant Part To Play In The Upcoming Black Friday Sales

Now that fall is over and the winter months are upon us, consumers are beginning to think about holiday shopping. In a couple of days, one of the largest shopping events of the entire year will take place, where millions of people will take to shopping malls, stores, and online outlets to purchase products at a discounted price. This very special day is known as Black Friday. The Black Friday weekend has seen steady growth over the years, with an astounding $2 billion more between 2018 and 2019 alone. Last year, 93.2 million buyers shopped online during Black Friday – the most of any year to date. This year is no different – there’s sure to be an increase in sales and buyers alike, especially online sales due to the pandemic. This is why advertising during this time is so important, the market is huge and consumers can be easily persuaded as they search for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has a significant part to play in Black Friday sales. Despite the fact that a very large portion of this year’s sales will be done online, there is a lot to be said about the organic, uninterrupted, easy, and cost-effective ways that OOH advertising reaches customers. Let’s take a look at why and how OOH can be extremely beneficial for swaying consumers during the Black Friday Weekend, as well as some amazing examples of how to grab consumers attention before the point of sale.

An image of two billboards promoting a Black Friday sale for Domino's pizza.

It’s no surprise that the OOH advertising industry has struggled during the pandemic as international health professionals advise everyone to stay in their houses as much as possible. However, according to a recent Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) survey, 48% of U.S. adults still plan to shop in person on Black Friday, despite the pandemic. Depending on what country, state, province, or city you live in, the COVID-19 guidelines may be different. As of late, people in the U.S. and Canada have been able to shop in stores as long as they socially distance and wear a mask. Many people prefer to shop this way, especially when they don’t know what they’re looking for and would rather browse shelves in-person than search endlessly online. This provides a perfect opportunity to display OOH ads to consumers before and on Black Friday. Whether they’re on their way to shop or are already inside stores, this is the optimal time to influence their purchasing decisions. Moreover, research from The Harris Poll reported that 68% of U.S. adults feel online burnout and are tuning out digital ads. The constant phone and laptop use have people longing for alternative activities. Getting outside is a great way for people to feel a sense of normalcy again. It’s always a great space to advertise to consumers, when they are away from their devices, not distracted, and are more willing to engage with natural and intuitive advertising.

An image of a billboard for Jet.com. The billboard's background is purple with white text and has a wrapped purple box on the right-hand side with a bow.

As previously mentioned, more than half of Black Friday shopping will take place online, potentially even more due to the pandemic. Instead of focusing solely on digital marketing for Black Friday, your business would be extremely progressive in using OOH advertising to drive online sales. Big, colourful, and integrated OOH advertising is much more appealing to the eyes of consumers than online ads. This is especially true because a lot of people have ad blockers on their devices and are accustomed to ignoring or blocking out online ads. By creating a marketing mix that covers all the bases, your company will be way ahead of the competition this upcoming Black Friday weekend.

An image of a busy street in downtown New York. The image focuses on a large billboard for Mastercard promoting their holiday shopping online options.

The biggest reason why Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for consumer spending is because of the mass amounts of great deals on otherwise expensive products. According to an OAAA survey, 43% of U.S. adults who plan to shop in person on Black Friday say they’ll be on the lookout for ad signage offering discounts and specials. Of those 43% of American consumers, 38% are interested in promotions via QR codes and text messages. Contactless promotional offers are more popular than ever since the pandemic hit and are a fast and easy way to reach consumers right at the point of purchase. OOH advertising provides the perfect space for boosting Black Friday sales. The large, unobstructed, easy-to-use format also provides a great space to incorporate QR code technology and digital marketing tactics. In Korea, Emart and CheilWorldwide placed 3D QR codes throughout the city of Seoul. These digital billboards resembled grocery store shelves and provided passersby with scannable QR codes between 12pm and 1pm daily, which would then give them discounts at their local grocery stores. The campaign was created to encourage people to shop during quieter hours of the day. It was a huge success due to the ease in which consumers were provided the discounts, which they then were able to take advantage of during their in-store shopping.

An image of a large billboard for homfurniture.com. The ad is black, red, and yellow with large bold lettering.

These days, instead of taking public transit, people feel safer driving their own vehicles to do their shopping. The best place to reach consumers is when they’re on the move and thinking about what they’re going to buy when they get to their destination. Big and bold billboards that provide a sense of insistence and importance on the item being advertised will not only get people thinking about your product but will also encourage them to go make the purchase as soon as possible.

An image of a large billboard for Warner's appliances. The ad is promoting their Black Friday sale on fridges with an image of a fridge on the left-hand side.

Now let’s look at a few amazing examples of OOH ads in the past that have sparked unbelievable Black Friday shopping opportunities and excitement.

The digital retailer and financial services provider in the UK, Shop Direct, launched a dynamic digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) campaign as part of their Black Friday promotion. Digital billboards were placed all over the UK using an analysis of social data and other data sources that worked to target consumers that are more interested in Black Friday technology offers. The dynamic technology they used also provided passersby with different product ads depending on the viewer and revealed stock availability in real-time, in order to encourage fast-acting purchases. The campaign was an innovative success as the new technology that was used was able to target the right demographic at the right moment.

An image of a woman walking along the street beside an ad for Shop Direct. The ad is in black and pink and is promoting their Black Friday sales with an image of a laptop in the centre.

Last year Nykaa, an Indian retail seller of beauty, wellness, and fashion products, created a unique Black Friday OOH campaign that garnered country-wide attention. Nykaa placed billboards in premium locations around the capital and put a fun twist on the classic Black Friday sale by calling it the “Pink Friday Sale”, covering all of their billboards with pink hues. The goal of the campaign was to amplify their online sales, as well as attract urban women with the bold imagery and vibrant pink colours. Overall the campaign brought in five times the surge in sales on the first day alone, garnering a massive ROI and building lasting consumer engagement.

An image of a bunch of large billboard ads for Nykaa. All the ads are grouped together and promote their Black Friday sales in bright pink florescent lettering.

Back in 2018, Boomerang, an OOH media owner, offered 25% off to advertisers and brands alike for advertising space in select locations. The deal ran during Black Friday sales and buyers were offered the opportunity to book a mall campaign at a discounted price to have it run between the 26th of December and the 30th of January. This opportunity truly was a win-win situation for both advertisers and Boomerang alike, as advertisers would get a great deal and Boomerang would be provided with OOH ads to fill up the spaces they needed.

An image in a shopping mall of a DOOH advertisement that is promoting the space for advertisers.

To sum it all up, “in a uniquely challenging marketplace, OOH offers a combination of location and audience targeting capabilities allowing brands to intercept consumers with highly relevant, unskippable messages near the point of sale.” (OAAA). Despite COVID-19 keeping everyone indoors, lots of people still want to go out and shop in-store this upcoming Black Friday. The flexibility and immediacy of OOH advertising can be extremely beneficial when targeting consumers that are leaving their homes for predetermined purposes. Not to mention, the whole reason for Black Friday shopping is for the amazing deals that so many companies and brands provide. Being able to enjoy contactless shopping with OOH QR codes and other scannable discounts is highly favourable during the pandemic. The ability of OOH to combine all of these advantages while simultaneously being creative makes it more valuable than ever. OOH is going to have a big impact on upcoming Black Friday Sales, so you should definitely hop on board.

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