Top Tips for OOH Advertising During the Wintertime

Purolator's new Mobile Quick Stop service truck with the city of Toronto in the background.

As the winter months approach, companies are actively trying to promote their products and services in the most effective ways possible. Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising is one of the best ways to advertise this winter because of the creativity, consumer engagement, and brand awareness that this platform is able to achieve. A new Nielsen study revealed that more than 40% of consumers searched for a brand online after seeing an OOH ad and 74% visited a business and made a purchase after seeing a directional OOH ad. This information is vital to companies who want to make the most of the holidays and the winter season, as it shows how effective OOH advertising is in increasing sales. From bright and flashy billboards, to holiday-inspired ad campaigns, this article will provide the tips and tricks you will need this winter to create the best OOH advertisements that will surely stand out, captivate your audience, and boost sales.

Keep it Clean, Keep it Bright

One of the most important things to keep in mind during the wintertime is how early it gets dark outside, which means it’s much harder to spot outdoor advertisements. To fix this issue, companies could make use of LED displays, bright backlight systems, or any other forms of lighting, so that their ads are clearly visible at any time of day or night. Furthermore, using bright and vivid colors could also help ads pop even more and capture the attention of the viewer better. Apart from it being dark so early, another issue outdoor advertising can face is the lack of visibility when it snows. The weather is often unpredictable during the winter, which means companies should be ready to create outdoor ads that are easily visible even during a snowstorm. One concern with truck-side ads specifically, is that trucks get splattered by snow easily, thus, companies will need to make sure they are using trucks that are several feet off the ground so that the ad doesn’t get dirty or become unappealing to the eye. The quality of an ad is extremely important, as it resonates with the image of the company, therefore it is crucial during the winter months that outdoor advertisements are visible, bright, and properly maintained. 

Coca-Cola Christmas Truck

Bright Christmas Coca-Cola truck with lights wrapping around it and an image of Santa Claus on the truck.

One of the most iconic examples of a bright, creative, and fun OOH advertisement is the Coca-Cola Christmas truck. The truck is wrapped with over 8,000 twinkling Christmas lights that illuminate the famous Coca-Cola logo, as well as an image of Santa Claus, creating a beautiful scene that best encapsulates the holiday spirit. What makes this ad even cooler, is that the truck plays a holiday jingle; With the combined sound effects and bright imagery, there’s no way you won’t feel festive after eyeing the display. This ad campaign started in 2011 and the truck has travelled over 700,000 miles over the years, displaying the beautiful Christmas theme to passersby all over the country. By using a truck that is several feet off the ground to keep the ad clean, and having a gorgeous display of Christmas lights, it’s no wonder that Coca-Cola has had amazing success with this ad campaign for so many years!

Make Use of the Holidays

Perhaps the best thing about wintertime is the holidays. Christmas and New Year’s remain the most popular holidays of the winter season and include tons of festivities, food, and gift giving. This allows for some extremely creative and innovative outdoor advertisements. From supporting a charity, to taking jabs at a competitor, the options to show your festive spirit during the holiday season are endless. Furthermore, this is also the time when consumers spend the most amount of money on food, gifts, and other holiday-themed purchases, making it more crucial to advertise during this time to increase sales and brand awareness. Below are a couple of creative holiday ad campaigns to demonstrate the ways in which you can make use of OOH advertising during this busy season.

The Grinch

A green The Grinch Billboard with text "Another remake?! Hope you're proud Hollywood."

In 2018, a new animated movie about The Grinch was released along with a super exciting outdoor ad campaign. The promotional campaign showcased the Grinch on many billboards, subways, buses, and buildings across the country. The ads were bright and vivid with the Grinch’s  signature green color and included funny messages that showcased his infamous negative attitude. With mocking lines, such as, “Good luck getting those Hamilton tickets,” and, “Of course you’ll make it as an actor”, passersby would surely take notice and have a laugh, as well as take interest in the upcoming movie. By using bright colors, funny messages, and a holiday-inspired theme, consumer engagement increased instantly.

Lidl vs Rivals

A holiday billboard by Lidl showing their Christmas pudding and taking jabs at competitors with text "But ours is matured even longer. And it's much cheaper."

Lidl is a supermarket chain based in Germany that operates stores in both Europe and North America. They created a holiday-inspired ad campaign that made jabs at their rival competitors, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, to showcase that they were the better and cheaper alternative. The ad featured billboards of their competitor’s ads in the background with their ad being displayed on top in the foreground to promote their better pricing. What made this ad holiday related was that the company demonstrated the price differences of their Christmas products, such as pudding, gingerbread, and turkey. By showcasing the value and quality of the company’s products, the OOH ad campaign was a success as passerby took note of them being the cheaper and better alternative to other supermarkets.

Engage with your Audience

When it comes to displaying OOH ads during the wintertime, it’s important to place the ads in the best possible locations and create content that consumers can relate to, in order to engage with the widest possible range of audience. Heavy traffic areas are great for truck-side ads, while billboards are best placed near shopping centers and in crowded areas, such as Times Square. By placing OOH ads where the most amount of people can view them, even if they are indoors looking outside through a window, companies will be able to reach as many consumers as possible. The content that’s displayed is just as important as its location; Therefore, advertisers should make use of the wintertime to display images that people would want to see during these cold, dark months. For example, displaying a sunny tropical vacation ad would be perfect to showcase to passerby. Companies should engage with consumers during these months with imagery and feelings of warmth and joy in order to counter the cold and darkness that winter brings.

Travel Cuba

A rainy day with a Travel Cuba truck ad showing a beautiful sunny Cuban beach.

Travel Cuba recently created an ad campaign with Movia in order to promote the country as one of the best vacation places to travel during the winter months. The purpose of Travel Cuba is to demonstrate the country’s rich culture, beautiful weather, and to showcase Cuba as one of the top tropical destinations. Movia created 13 mobile billboards that displayed beautiful sunny weather and tropical beaches. The winter months (January to March and October to December) were the perfect time to run this campaign, as people want to be somewhere warm when they are caught in cold weather. By promoting Cuba as one of the top travel destinations, Movia was able to increase Cuba’s yearly tourist visits to the country.

Cadbury’s Pop-Up Post Office

Cadbury's pop-up postal service with people waiting in line.

Cadbury created a really innovative OOH ad campaign that didn’t use the traditional billboard or truck-side mediums. They created a new way to display OOH ads – by placing pop-up post offices in several cities around the United Kingdom. Consumers were able to visit these temporary post offices and mail a Cadbury chocolate bar as a holiday gift for their family members or friends. There was a wide variety of chocolate bars available, from fruit to nut to caramel, in order to promote the various options the company offers. What made the ad campaign even more special, was that it resembled the holiday game of Secret Santa, meaning that all of these chocolate bars were sent anonymously.

Final Words

The days are getting colder, darker, and shorter but that doesn’t mean that consumers have stopped purchasing goods and services. People are buying more than ever as the holidays are approaching which means that it’s more important than ever to advertise and capture the attention of consumers to increase sales. What makes the holiday season so great is the spirit and festivities that it brings along with it. In other words,people are making more emotional purchases as they do their gift giving. It’s the perfect time to engage with consumers by using cool billboards, interesting truck-side ads, and innovative posters. By creating bright, holiday-inspired, and creative OOH advertisements you will be able to stand out among competitors and captivate your audience in new and exciting ways this winter season.

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