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Disrupt me now

Katie Ingram,, Strategy Planning Director   |   01st July 2016

We have heard a lot about disruption. Brands must cause a disruption to stay relevant. Brands that wish to survive must be prepared to be disruptive. Brands that will win in an age of disruption are those that seek to change and morph into the best contemporary version of themselves.

There is little doubt that steadfastly clinging to the “way we have always done things” has lead to the demise of some big brands, I don’t even need to point out the obvious Kodak, HMV, Blockbuster case studies to make this point. Brands that embraced change, found new ways to deliver gratification for consumer desires or even invented the desire that can be gratified have prospered and thrived.   

A quick glance at Linkedin shows how deeply disruption has infiltrated the media narrative. Once you look past those working in the transport industry who I suspect are dealing with more stressful, “wrong kind of snow” forms of disruption there are plenty of Disruption Chiefs, Officers, Directors and Innovators all looking for ways to make their brand stand out.

In his President’s Prize winning IPA Excellence Diploma essay, The Hare and the Tortoise, Charley Ebdy focusses on the way in which 21st century brands require a new set of rules to build their brands. He concludes “we need to learn and build on the lessons of today’s winners and add a second model of brand building to our arsenal, the 21st century Hare to the 20th century’s Tortoise. By toggling between these two options, quick first and slow second, brands can be both built and sustained, successfully and consistently.”

This is where I think Out of Home comes in. Google and Apple, hero brands for our medium, provide examples of previously disruptive brands crossing into the main stream, clinging on to their anarchic roots with their impressive executions. Technically complicated or visually stunning the big kids know how to make their presence felt, but the new boys and girls of the disruptive generation are making great use of OOH to extend their fledgling customer base.

Many of these new and disruptive brands are monopolising on the insatiable desire for us to be able to control everything from shopping to healthcare, central heating to getting home to the previously warmed house from the device in the palm of our hands. Many of the people that are open to new brands and the experiences they offer are likely to be heavily exposed to OOH.

Our recent research study OutPerform shows that people who are exposed to OOH are 17% more likely to take a brand action on a smartphone than those who did not see it. That’s across 35 brands, only 7 of which were actually telling people to go online and do something. If you look at just the top 20 performing campaigns the uplift rises to 38%, imagine the potential for a brand actively looking for smartphone engagement and makes the call to action clear.

Marketing Week’s recently published list of 100 disruptive brands includes, YPlan, Nutmeg, Commuter Club and Deliveroo amongst others that have, to varying degrees, successfully utilised OOH to make their brand famous. They are brands that need to weave themselves into the lives of early adopters, be omnipresent so that when you do need a ticket to a gig, a loan or a posh burger delivered to your door you know just where to go. OOH gives new brands the opportunity to play in the same playground as the ultimate disruptors.

OOH allows new brands to extend their couponing or offer led customer recruitment, imply stature through scale, educate the audience into how to interact with them. New brands that may not have the marketing clout to invest large budgets may succumb to the myth that OOH means a large entry cost, smart planning and even smarter creative mean that doesn’t have to be the case. There might even be a value exchange with the brands own tech; Seenit is another of Marketing Week’s disruptive brands and have been working the OOH industry to capture and curate user generated content for several years.

As our research shows, OOH and smartphones are a powerful combination. Emerging tech and smartphones seem inextricably linked. To build a brand and increase consumer awareness OOH is perfectly placed to not only get people thinking but to get them doing something about it.

Then, when the initial disruption subsides and it is about being the biggest and the best, you can keep the message alive with some bigger and bolder executions. You might have heard of a little disruptive taxi outfit called Uber. They are looking pretty great on posters doing just that right about now. 

"As an industry, I believe, we have forgotten the power of repetition. Effective communication isn't small. It isn't cheap. It isn't once."
"Advertising isn’t supposed to be private. It’s supposed to be overheard, shared, stumbled across and discovered."
"And then there’s advertising’s past. The intrusive, inflexibile and mute billboards. They feel like throwbacks to the old way of doing things. A flat image with an unyielding rule that the consumer can take in no more than eight words (unless they’re Economist readers). How boring. How old school. Until you remember 2015's ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ campaign. Simple, traditional and utterly un-missable pieces of art in the urban landscape."
"Out of Home is the oldest medium of all There’s still huge power in the public message – the power of the public comment. It’s a big thing – it’s why people get married in front of an audience of 150; it gives a public sense of commitment."
"We've chosen to use digital to make everything more efficient...but we've forgotten how to explore and discover. It's a loss of serendipity and we've lost a lot of the humanity. We're becoming very reliant upon digital and the internet to make us incredibly efficient and we're losing out."
"The beauty of OOH is that it can double as a TV screen, a social feed, a camera, a vending machine, a download site, or a purchase point."
"OOH is constantly evolving, and its ability to integrate so brilliantly with new technology is one of its main strengths."
"Media changes, driven by digitisation, have left consumers facing a tyranny of choice—yet OOH is a channel that can still deliver huge audiences, and can increasingly do so in creative and engaging ways."
"The Out of Home sector has been tremendously resilient throughout the recessionary years, showing consistent growth driven by its fundamental benefits. In an ever-fragmenting media landscape, you can still reach pretty much the entire population, all at the same time."
"Out of Home is booming right now: OOH is the most ubiquitous media – you can’t turn the page, change the channel or switch it off, and Out of Home continues to integrate itself brilliantly with other new and innovative technologies."
"Posters decorate the world "
"Speed of change is all around us and no more so than in the rate at which advertising investment in traditional posters is being transitioned to include a far more flexible Out of Home canvas; the digital poster."
"I love OOH because the diversity of opportunities makes it a realistic option for almost any client. Add to this the ever growing possibilities for new innovation and it’s a media channel that is truly exciting to both agencies and clients alike."
"As DOOH becomes more “digital,” it becomes more agile, richer, and better able to play its part in a big idea. As a plugged in medium, DOOH can be the active element in a multi-layered campaign. It can create buzz, break news, invite interaction, and help to drive content and discussions online. Great DOOH campaigns are ones that sit comfortably within the wider brand strategy and capture the imagination."
"By its very nature, Out of Home’s remoteness from the consumer living room, from the office, and from the home computer, has made it a natural bedfellow of mobile marketing."
"OOH inhabits a wonderful space in which we benefit from a rich heritage of memorable, iconic campaigns and a truly exciting future unfolding before us. A broadcast medium that just keeps getting better."
"DOOH is a really interesting storytelling medium, beyond advertising. It allows you to touch and feel and interact in a way no other medium does. That's the real beauty of it, and usually overlooked"
"Show me any brief, for any client and any campaign and I guarantee that OOH will be able to have a justifiable role to play as part of the media solution. That role maybe big or small; local or national, classic, digital or both, large format, small format or anything in between... but it will be justifiable and worthwhile. There isn’t any other medium that can replicate that claim, or indeed come anywhere near doing so."
"London’s very large public transport network carries a great deal of OOH advertising. As a result, London alone has 170,000 advertising sites, more than 40 per cent of the national total. This makes London the most valuable city for OOH advertising in Europe and among the most important in the world."
"Digital OOH networks are multi-sensory and with the development of touch technology things are moving fast. Stimulating the senses more creatively generates social shares, great PR and awards."
"Central London will undergo a transformation and cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will get even brighter and more connected"
"It makes sense for the most welcomed and least intrusive media to deliver presence for brands interacting through the media"
"OOH remains the flexible canvas for which a guaranteed audience is never too far away"
"OOH may be the oldest medium, yet it has shown remarkable resilience in reinventing itself"
"Smarter brands are contextualising their ad messaging, reaching a target audience when it matters most and can change behaviour"
"Poster sites really are the last true broadcast medium capable of near universal reach"
"Immediacy, targeting and excitement are what DOOH can offer that other media can't - its just very very cool.The opportunities are endless"
"The combination of classic and DOOH should be an intoxicating mix for any marketing director"
"Out of Home is an accountable, measurable and effective media for advertisers"
"Reaching people in the right place, at the right time is still Out of Home’s biggest strength"
"Posters are the purest and most effective form of communication"
"I would advise marketers using OOH not to see a poster as a Wikipedia entry, think of it as a piece of art"
"OOH engages hard to reach audiences on the move with inspiring and innovative communications"
"Using data to plan OOH enhances campaign performance by up to 200%"
"London is the most valuable city for OOH advertising... and among the most important in the world "
"Super premium digital Out of Home is one of the quickest ways to get into the conversation and make your brand famous"
"For a brand to live, it needs to appeal not only to the people who buy it, but also to the people who know about it "
"Media isn’t about the number of impressions you make. Media is about the power of the impression you make."
"In advertising, we have the power to change minds, change beliefs and change the world"
"DOOH offers deeper engagement than other media, more of a story and feedback"