Outdoor posters: a key medium for World Cup advertisers says Aimee McKay
Outdoor posters: a key medium for World Cup advertisers says Aimee McKay
A view from Aimee McKay

One medium promises to cut through the clutter of this World Cup

As the Rio World Cup 2014 approaches, one medium leads the way in providing the flagship environment for great brands to stand out enough to become and stay famous, says blowUP Media's sales director, Aimee McKay.

The football World Cup this summer will be a key event for a range of major advertisers. Whether official sponsors or regular, mainstream advertisers, they will be attempting to benefit from the emotional dramas of top-class sport, one of the few elements of today's information – overloaded life that truly capture the public's attention.

Cutting through the clutter is the challenge

Yet their big problem will be cutting through the clutter that proliferates across the media. Top-and-tail commercials, TV sponsorship bumpers, programme trailers, ambient media, native advertising, the increasing range of digital activity packed with SMS messages, NFC and QR codes – the list of promotional options grows every year.

This frenzied activity is eminently understandable. Competition is of course more intense than ever. Marketing directors know their brands must fight for every opportunity to gain attention and make their pitch to the consumer before yet another proposition grabs their attention.

Yet in many ways, this continual search for attention and novelty means that the lasting, stable reputation that brands require has been underrated and in some cases forgotten.

Historically, great brands such as Guinness were created by becoming consistently famous and having the confidence to stand up and put themselves in the public eye, through the most spectacular and impactful media available. Consumers recognised this assurance and boldness, which inspired trust and brought reassurance.

These were brands that believed in consistent fame and standing out from the mass. Clearly in business for the long term, known and trusted by their consumers, they were part of the commercial, media and, to some extent, social landscape. Nowadays brands such as Coke, Nike, Unilever, Samsung and some others recognise this truth.

One medium still commands mass attention

Yet where can such brands achieve that status today? Now that consumers are being swamped with promotional offers – on TV, in the press, on their computers and phones – one medium leads the way in providing the flagship environment for great brands to stand out enough to become and stay famous – giant posters, the most impactful and highest quality sector of outdoor.

A recent study carried out for blowUP Media by the research firm uniQma, using a virtual drive simulator, showed that people driving through a city are more than 70% likely to see a giant poster and that the average viewing time is 3.6 seconds  – a length of time reached by almost no other out- of-home medium and higher even than ads in most newspapers and magazines.

Furthermore, four out of ten participants immediately recognised the test motifs after only a single viewing during the virtual drive in a simulator.

And brand image improved also. The test group participants viewed a brand more positively in comparison to participants from the control group who had not been presented with the motif on a giant poster. The test group were also more likely to choose for purchase a brand shown on a giant poster than competitive brands not featured on blowUPs.

These are findings that serious advertisers should bear in mind.

In essence, out of home hasn't really changed much conceptually since its beginnings, and giant posters are the quintessential, purest  form of out of home. They deliver unrivalled scale, size and brand presence, and both advertisers and audiences find them easy to understand. In today's ever more hectic and complicated world, there's a lot to be said for these types of benefits.

Aimee McKay is sales director at blowUP media UK