Friday, September 01, 2006

Outdoor out of the door?

I’ve been working on an outdoor feature for the October issue and I’ve noticed that outdoor often seems to get sidelined during the marketing campaign planning process.

Sometimes it might stand a chance of getting a position in the marketing schedule, but only at the last minute, when the campaign planning process is at its tail end and the marketer discovers he has money left over for an outdoor execution.

Keeping in mind the fact that securing outdoor can be a very lengthy process in Singapore, what with all the regulation and approval, why are marketers still treating outdoor as an afterthought? If they want to do outdoor execution, they should, as with every media, allocate proper lead time to ensure their money’s being spent on getting the most out of it.

After all, when the medium’s brought in so late, with no proper planning or dedicated creatives for the outdoor execution, what kind of result is the marketer expecting anyway? At that point, all the media planer can do to ensure the campaign rolls out on time is to check availability. And when the campaign does roll out, it really doesn’t add any value to the client’s marketing mix. There are of course examples where outdoor’s been given the time and planning needed, and when that happens, it achieves its aim for securing attention and engaging with consumers, and that’s pretty darn good. And that’s not because the campaign was special in any way, it’s simply because it was thought-through more clearly and given more time to develop. So I say marketers should think about making better and smarter use of their time and marketing budgets, otherwise they should just keep whatever’s leftover.


ron-at-kinetic said...

Another issue, apart from treating OOH as an afterthought, is putting very small budgets into non-traditional outdoor media. Don't get me wrong, ambient, digital and other new outdoor formats is often attractive and unique and gets noticed, but these ideas should be the frills which enhance the broader campaign.
Too often we see advertisers missing the power of OOH as a mass market and immediate communicator.
For example buying one media spot such as one bus shelter dressed up in 3D livery and may spend $50,000 (most of which is production cost), when they could have bought 100 bus shelter poster panels for the same period, or 200 wrapped taxis for twice as long.
Someone has to ask some serious questions about the relevance and value of these big production budgets.
What are the views of marketers out there?
Are these special builds effective to add impact and visibility for the campaign, or are they simply ego-stroking?

malcolm said...

One of the challenges is for clients to note that too many campaigns are overly creative-driven. I reckon it’s time that clients listen to what the media professionals have to pitch.

It’s undisputable that people are spending increasingly longer time OOH daily. For many, we are either on the road, in the office or eating out - at least twice a day for many working adults and students! What medium have we available to connect these OOH consumers, chilling out daily with their core influence group at foodcourts, coffee shops, cafés, and food centres? Hasn’t any of us think of how to get people talk about the Brand among each other - not just anybody but trusted people around us daily - who are considered most influential in our opinion forming.
Seriously, how many even know of tabletop advertising at our many foodcourts and food centres?

Discoroach said...

Isn't this just two different approaches to outdoor?

The dressed-up bus shelter sacrifices reach & frequency in favour of impact whilst the 100 posters sacrifices impact in favour of reach & frequency. These are two extremes but surely some campaigns require impact whilst other campaigns require reach & frequency.

A reckon the two biggest issues with outdoor are inappropriate creative and lack of independent & standardised audience stats.

Most outdoor ads you see here in Singapore are simply blown-up versions of print ads. They're quick & easy to create but they don't take advantage of many of the unique attributes of the medium.

An industry agreed standard for audience data would make planning & buying outdoor much easier. A planner can spend $1 million on TV, press and major magazines in about half an hour. Adding OOH into the mix adds another week to the process. If clients and agencies had reliable independent data on how an outdoor campaign would effect a TV & press campaign you'd probably find OOH getting on more schedules.

So who fix these problems? The OOH media companies - they're the ones losing out at the moment and the companies with most to gain if these two issues were fixed.