Research shows fall in outdoor effectiveness

Poster effectiveness has fallen to its lowest level in ten years,

according to new industry research.

Average awareness for poster campaigns fell to just 29 per cent across

2000 and 2001, compared with average awareness levels of 35 per cent for

the past ten years.

The research from Ipsos-ASI RSL Signpost, commissioned by Concord, also

shows that only 52 per cent of consumers who recalled a campaign were

able to correctly attribute the right brand to the advertising. This

compares with an average recall rate of 54 per cent over the past ten


Concord, the outdoor specialist, blames poor creative for the falling

awareness levels concerning outdoor campaigns. Its research shows that

strong creative is the most important factor in the effectiveness of

outdoor campaigns, but it argues that ad agencies too often sign off

press ads for poster campaigns and push out sub-standard creative to

meet deadlines.

Nigel Mansell, the managing director of Concord, said: "Advertisers must

stop signing off press ads for their poster campaigns - it has cost them

dearly. We can deliver the right audience at the right cost, but there

clearly needs to be more effort in achieving creative that


Mansell said there are basic outdoor creative guidelines covering the

use of colour, humour and recognisable people and icons that are too

often ignored.

"This might not produce award-winning work, but it helps to create work

that communicates well at a brand level," he said.

Concord's findings follow the recent news that Adshel is to launch the

outdoor industry's first research service to assess the impact of

creative on posters. The Creative Research Service, launched earlier

this week, is available free to advertisers using the Adshel Research


Stevie Spring, the chief executive of the More Group, told Campaign last

month: "I'm staggered by the number of posters that are designed so they

can't be read. No other medium, even in really inept creative hands,

allows such a total, demonstrable waste of clients' money."

The Adshel service will be run in conjunction with Millward Brown. It

will put a range of questions to 300 people aged 18 to 54 every two


During a five-month trial of the Creative Research Service, the recent

Whiskas "Long live cats" campaign emerged as the "perfect poster".

Wall's also scored highly with its Magnum ice cream campaign.

Separately, the outdoor industry has reported a 3 per cent increase in

ad revenue for the first half of the year. The figures released last

week by the Outdoor Advertising Association show revenues up 14.6 per

cent in the first quarter, but down 5.8 per cent in quarter two.

The OAA attributed the increase to advertisers shifting TV revenues, and

increased sophistication in the outdoor industry.


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