It doesn’t take too much to recall the days when outdoor was a selection of differently sized paper posters that looked pretty shabby after one day of posting and, at best, arrested a passing glance from their audience. What excites me as a consumer and enchants me as a media practitioner is the incredible versatility of the transformed medium we know today.
Outdoor offers the incredible impact and eye-watering quality of big-screen cinema or TV, the hyper-targeted precision of programmatic, the regional flexibility of local press, the messaging agility of dynamic display and shareable engagement of social.
So, in a single campaign, you can punch a whole crowd in the face with an incredible HD-quality execution of sumptuous scale and impact, while stroking their hands individually with a personalised, engaging piece of near-one-to-one shareable messaging that pulls them close and tickles their hearts.
As digital has revolutionised outdoor (and the entire media landscape), so the medium has come of age. It is versatile and adaptable like no other. And, as we move closer to a fully ad-served world, where we can track engagement with outdoor in a cross-channel consumer journey and follow audiences through the funnel, so the medium’s power will grow ever greater.
At one end of the scale, its leading position as a fame-building channel is set to be enhanced further with the revolution in broadcast video. What used to be linear TV is becoming primarily demand-based, while social video (which began life as entirely demand-led), is starting to steal a march as scheduled live broadcasts become their new focus.
So outdoor’s ability to create impact and visibility and build fame, reaching mass audiences in a visible and public way, will be largely unrivalled. At the opposite end of the scale, we see the growth of fully ad-served, data-led and precision-targeted outdoor. Mobile-led and fully consumer-responsive, outdoor’s presence on a performance-led media plan is as justified as that of any DR channel.
Punch and stroke, shout and whisper, slap and tickle. Whatever the will, outdoor seems to have the way.
Anna Hickey is the managing director of Maxus UK
As a judge in the Campaign and Clear Channel Outdoor Media Awards 2017, she will be looking for surprises, connectedness, variability, insight and evidence of success