The service category is making strides, as the global economy looks to experience a long term shift from products to services – and services are becoming a large part of the GDP. For most service-based brands it can be challenging to reach your target audience, especially with the competition. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising can help drive sales and bring awareness to your service business. Whether it be tourism or IT, the service category encompasses a wide range of businesses, and OOH can help you make a more memorable impact on your audience. OOH can help translate your work onto big, eye-catching displays that are sure to attract your audience. This article will dive deeper into OOH and the service category, along with examples of current service-based brands who are leveraging OOH to generate successful marketing campaign results.
The Service Category
Before we jump into OOH advertising, it’s important to understand what the service category is, and the unique factors to consider when advertising a service compared to a product. At its very core, the service category is a group of offerings based on their intangible value. Just a few examples of services include IT (management and support), creative services (commissioned art), personal grooming (e.g hair salons), food & beverage, and hospitality .
Service brands are extremely personal, as they involve interacting with people and their skills. Compared to a product, services require more trust from their consumers. Just think back to the last time you went in for a haircut — did you randomly go into an unfamiliar salon and hope for the best? Probably not. When advertising services, it can be incredibly useful to show real-life examples of what your service can do for someone. For example, a dentist office may have large displays of someone before and after their braces procedure. This is visual proof of distinction and it helps establish trust in potential customers who are more conscious of choosing a new brand. The service category also relies on building customer loyalty – an example of such is offering customers a discount through a loyalty program, which will help retain a customer base. Now that we’ve understood the differences of the service category, let’s see how you can use OOH to create an attractive advertising campaign for your service.
What OOH can do for your Brand
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising can elevate any advertising campaign, driving awareness and action to your service. For starters, OOH increases brand recognition. These big, bold, and larger-than-life displays are guaranteed to turn heads. OOH is a vast category, with many different options to display ads. A few include static billboards, wall murals, truck-side ads, car wraps, place-based signs, street furniture, and public transit stations. With a wide variety of options, sizes, and locations, it’s easy to hyper-target different audiences with OOH. Oftentimes, people are bored waiting for their train or bus — glancing over at the posters put up on the station platform, or are stuck at a railway crossing looking at the truck-side ads right beside them. These ads are in the right place and reach consumers at the right time. And unlike online or TV ads, consumers also can’t skip or ignore OOH.
When it comes to connecting with audiences in a real and authentic way, OOH can be one of the best marketing tools for service businesses. As mentioned previously, the service category thrives on consumer trust and loyalty. By making your target audience feel connected and important, they are more likely to choose your brand. And lastly, OOH delivers a highly effective yet low cost medium. For every $1 spent on OOH, about $2.80 in sales is generated, as opposed to $2.43 for TV and $2.41 for print.
OOH and the Service Category: Examples
There are a plethora of service-based companies who have leveraged OOH to improve their reach. The following will take you through a few examples of services who’ve had huge OOH success.
- Non-Profit Organization: Project Teacher
This ad was originally a static billboard for the non-profit, Project Teacher. This ad has minimal words, yet attracts an audience. There is a shocking stat that leads to a fun play on words (‘cray cray!’). They also mention what to donate and where, which is enough information for the consumer to remember without being overwhelming.
- Education: Michigan State University
Education is also a service, and Michigan State University has put out an eye-catching display to attract potential students. By using their university’s colours, simple symbols, and few words, they have created a great billboard that will help advertise their school.
- Health Care: West Florida Hospital
Here, the West Florida Hospital is advertising their all-private rooms to attract people to make the West Florida Hospital their hospital choice. By highlighting an critical advantage they have over other hospitals, Wester Florida Hospital has effectively painted a picture of their service for their consumers.
- Education: Ryerson University
Ryerson University in Ontario, is using truck-side advertising to attract potential students to their continuing education program. Truck-side ads enable brands to increase their reach by travelling through residential neighbourhoods and on main roads.
- Health Care: Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
This OOH ad uses texture to mimic the shape of a spinal cord. This ad stands out because it is very different due its shape, and they have also provided the name and website of the hospital for potential clients to visit.
The service category encompasses a large portion of today’s businesses that offer a variety of important services. Using OOH to help elevate your brand’s advertising is the way to go. OOH can help increase your reach at an affordable cost. The next time you launch an ad campaign, consider OOH to bring greater attraction to your brand.