How do we recover from a historic crisis?
It comes as a shock to no one that the advertising world, along with all other sectors of the economy, took an alarming and profound hit as the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally. Although all mediums of advertising have lost funding, OOH has the opportunity, over any other, to flourish during this time. According to a recent Advertising Association/WARC expenditure report, OOH is predicted to be one of the fastest areas of media to recover as we ease out of full lockdown.
This is not to say that the way OOH advertisers create content will stay the same. There is a continued uncertainty about consumers’ working patterns, shifts in transportation methods, behaviors, and mindsets. OOH advertisers have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in uniting consumers through heartfelt and profound messaging, targeting consumers closer to home, and providing trustworthy and factual branding. The best way to advertise these three key changes in a way that resonates with consumers, is through truck side advertising — here’s why.
Targeting residential areas – how to
Although businesses are slowly opening up and cities are beginning to return to some form of “normalcy”, people are not venturing much outside of their own neighbourhoods. Not to mention, a lot of people have started working from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. According to Statistics Canada, 25% of Canadian business are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to offer their employees the option to work remotely following the pandemic, that compares to less than 10 per cent in 2018 who had the option to work a day or two a week from home.
For advertisers, this comes as quite the change from the normal hustle and bustle of a consumer’s every-day life. However, with truck-side advertising, these changes can be adapted fairly seamlessly. According to a recent Campaign article, with truck-side advertising, brands will be able to double-down on digital screen technology and real-time travel data usage. This will enable OOH to respond to short and long-term changes to the travel and lifestyle behaviors of consumers. Brands need flexibility now more than ever, which OOH truck-side advertising can effectively provide.
According to a recent interview with Norm Chait, the director of sales at Ubimo, OOH reaches six out of ten shoppers. People are now leaving their homes with specific purposes — most notably for the essentials — whether that be groceries, gas, or drug store items. Through truck-side OOH advertising, brands can target these specific and hard-to-reach locations easily. Even as the rules and regulations surrounding the pandemic change, so too can the schedules of truck-side advertising. Because changing the route of a truck is much easier than creating a whole new billboard or bus-stop ad.
The needs and desires of consumers today
Important factors that must be considered in this new world of advertising are consumer sentiments and habits. These two components have been drastically disrupted due to the pandemic and will significantly affect how ads are viewed. OOH Tommy, a digital creative agency, believes that advertisers should be designing their content around the purpose of the viewer, their moods, their needs, and their actions as they come into the light — dusting off their pre-COVID lives.
The public service role
As uneasiness and instability become the norm, consumers desperately cling to brands who can create a sense of normalcy and security. According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, consumers who are deciding where to shop are more likely to buy from companies and brands that demonstrate care and concern for them and their employees. The study also advises its readers to think about the consumer and not about their company, necessarily. If you do this, you’ll have a greater chance of surviving during the post-COVID transition.
Trustworthy and factual branding
Alongside the importance of playing the public service role, companies should also be emphasizing trustworthy and factual branding. Consumers want their brands to be honest with them, especially during these uncertain times. We are constantly being berated by information, and oftentimes, misinformation. According to an Edelman study, 81% of consumers say that trust in a brand to do what’s right is a deal-breaker in their brand buying decision. For example, Absolut Vodka posted their “Absolut Truth” ads all around the streets of New York, emphasizing the fact that the company takes transparency seriously. Ads like these create a more meaningful and authentic relationship with consumers, which in turn, will create better brand recognition.
Through the use of truck-side advertising, brands have the potential to help consumers make informed buying decisions at a very pivotal time in their lives. Due to the pandemic, significant changes must be made to the way brands approach OOH advertising. The best way to do so is by using truck-side advertising to target residential and localized areas with sympathetic and credible branding. With these suggestions in mind, there’s no doubt that your brand will lead the way in building consumer loyalty and brand awareness. People need something to believe in now more than ever, so why can’t it be your brand?