Creative Review: YouTube
In this week’s, “Creative Review”, Coop talks about YouTube’s latest OOH ads that can be found everywhere in NYC.
I like the recent YouTube ads from a purely creative point of view. They hit all the right buttons. Clear visuals, simple message, aspirational (as they say). I do have a little bit of a backstory here though which taints my overall opinion. One of my first projects in NY was turning a YouTube star into a make up brand. The girl was Lauren Luke, a single mom from a pretty grim place in the North of England. We flew her to NY, made her into a brand and successfully sold her product in Sephora. We also made a Super Nintendo game with her and got her a column in a national newspaper. Not bad.
Lauren was clearly a very talented make up artist - still is. But she is not what you would call a classical beauty. One of the reasons we liked her was because she didn’t look or act like the overly made up people you see in make up stores. She was real. And that was what YouTube was all about. Anybody could make it. It was a TV platform for the people.
There are still stories like this. Everyday Joes found on YouTube and turned into stars. But the stories are fewer and all seem to feature the same sorts of people. Young, good looking, confident people. The sort of people that you suspect might make it anyway. If not on YouTube then somewhere else.
This is not a bad thing but I do miss the days when someone totally random and a little odd became a star on YouTube. I’d love to see some posters of them.
Creative Review: The Hundreds
In this week’s, “Creative Review”, Coop talks about “The Hundred’s” billboard seen on Canal Street in NYC.
Ok, I am probably too old to really to be completely in step with all the cool shit The Hundreds do but I do see this as a missed opportunity. There is something to be said for just slapping your big ass logo up there, white and black and the address - no website either - I like the bling of that. If bling is still a word? Do the kids say bling? I don’t think they do. You can argue that the simplicity is classy, confident.
But… but… a quick look at The Hundreds’ Instagram feed and you can see they do some really interesting stuff. Cool collaborations and some really original design work. So if you’re gonna go large and buy a billboard in SoHo why not show your wares a little bit. I’m not sure enough people know what The Hundreds’s signature style is yet.
Supreme could get away with doing a giant billboard with just their logo because everyone knows their aesthetic and product. But then Supreme are way too cool to advertise.
So there you have it. Too cool to show your product but not cool enough that you don’t need to remind people that you have a store in downtown NY. It’s not easy is it. Who would be a client?
This article highlights the traditional process of buying outdoor advertising. For our readers, it’s important to understand how OOH was previously bought, in order to appreciate the new innovations in the market today. At ADstruc, we have brought the OOH industry online with powerful tools to help buyers and sellers better manage their operations. We hope you enjoy the post.
Out-of-Home advertising for your business
Out-of-Home, outdoor, or OOH, advertising refers to a broad range of advertising media including billboards, closed-circuit TV networks, cinema advertising, transit media, and even skywriting. In fact, any time you travel, commute, or walk out of your front door - OOH is all around you!
Whether you are launching a new product, directing users to a retail location, promoting an upcoming event, or just building brand awareness, you can achieve your goals with outdoor advertising. You can learn more about how advertisers are using Out-of-Home here.
Advertising firms which own and rent billboards are referred to as operators, and include large integrated firms such as CBS Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, Van Wagner Communications, Adams Outdoor, Titan 360, Fairway Media Group, and many other local and independent firms.
A detailed look at planning an OOH campaign
Planning your first Out-of-Home campaign need not be daunting. The following flowchart illustrates the traditional buying process, including major milestones and the average time necessary to put up your first billboard. To avoid delays, we recommend planning your campaign at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
Submit a New Request For Proposal
In order to find billboards and get quotes, you must contact individual operators and send them a Request for Proposal, (RFP).
This process is very similar to your last home remodeling project. However, instead of inviting contractors into your kitchen to evaluate your old cabinets and countertops, your RFP is a document that defines the goals and criteria of your advertising campaign including location, timing, the type of media, and budget.
However, using ADstruc, you can submit your online RFP to dozens of operators with one click. We work with hundreds of operators across the country so that you can focus on finding the right billboard instead of the right phone number. You can learn more about creating an RFP through our online tutorial.
Once an operator receives your RFP, a sales rep will identify which of their billboards fit your criteria and send you a customized proposal. This proposal can be online (via ADstruc) or offline via Excel spreadsheets and PDF maps. Depending on the number of markets and operators you send your RFP to, it can take several business days to receive all of your proposals.
ADstruc proposals live online and use interactive Google maps to illustrate where each board’s location is and why it was selected for you. Instead of shuffling inpidual spreadsheets and email attachments, you can compare price, location, and other sales data in one streamlined view.
Negotiate and Accept a Proposal
As with most service proposals, OOH pricing is often negotiable. It’s a good idea to compare pricing and coverage across operators before negotiating a discount. If you are purchasing multiple units from an operator, you may be able to secure a discount or other concessions.
You can use ADstruc’s built-in messaging tools to negotiate with each operator on individual billboards or entire proposals. Afterwards, you can accept the proposal to initiate a media contract.
For an explanation of the factors influencing OOH costs and a comparison against other media, please refer to our detailed help center article.
All outdoor advertising operators will require you to sign a contract to secure and finalize the purchase of a billboard. The contract will be similar to a self-storage lease and covers the terms and conditions of the sale. Operator may also require a basic credit check for new customers.
Whether you use ADstruc or go direct to operator, contracts are always written between yourself and the operator.
Deliver Art to the Printer
If you’re new to Out-of-Home, printing a billboard may sound trivial, however it’s an important component which affects your budget and campaign timing.
A standard billboard is 14’ tall, 48’ wide, and printed on special type of vinyl. As a result, you must contact a specialized OOH printer to produce it. Most printers will accept digital art files (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). Both the artist designing the advertisement and the printer will require production and design specifications which will be provided by the operator.
ADstruc has partnered with Circle Graphics, the leading OOH printer in the country, to offer you extremely competitive production rates.
Print, Ship, and Post the Vinyl
Regardless of the printer, it takes several days to setup, approve proofs, print your billboard, and deliver it to the operator’s installation department. Operators typically ask that the billboard vinyl arrive 10 business days prior to your campaign’s start date. Once the operator receives your billboard, an installation crew will install it the evening before or morning of the start date specified on your contract.
Receive Photo Confirmation
A couple of days after your billboard has been posted, you will receive a Proof of Performance report from the operator. This report will contain photos of the actual billboard and certifies the date it was posted. If you are buying the billboard as part of a co-op marketing program, you will need this report for reimbursement.
Of course, ADstruc always has your back - you can reach our account team by calling 646.692.4966 or emailing us.
How To Effectively Use Outdoor Advertising
So you might be wondering, “Why should I get involved in outdoor advertising?” Aside from the fact, that having your photo or brand on a billboard in your town is celebrity status, it is a highly effective medium when you approach it correctly. We live by these steps to help our clients build successful advertising campaigns.
Who is your target audience?
- Who is your customer? How old are they, what is their demo breakdown, etc.? Understanding these questions help you prepare the next step of “Where are they located” but also starts to build the mood of your ad campaign. Nailing these two points helps lay the structure for building a successful outdoor advertising campaign and in setting various performance-based metrics.
Where are they located?
- Is your target customer in urban or rural areas? Do they travel in and out of the city on a daily basis? What’s the major highway in the area? Understanding these questions ultimately narrow down the most targeted areas to start searching for outdoor advertising locations. From here, you start to get a sense of the type of ad mediums available in that area and begin determining what is the best medium for your message. Street Furniture? Billboards? Bus Ads? Maybe your target audience actually lives outside of the city but drives in every day - a billboard heading into or out of town makes sense. For example, a client recently used our platform to target wealthy individuals going into the city to shop at their stores - billboards on the major highway heading into the city was an effective approach. Understanding where your customer is located, how they travel, and in what location is best for the ad, helps in communicating most effectively with them.
What’s your message and call to action?
- At this point in the process, you should have a good sense of who is your target audience and where they are located. Now is the fun part. Get their attention and make sure your message has a call to action. Whether that be a keyword, a unique web address or phone number, a coupon or QR code, an augmented reality app, whatever, just make sure the message has a reason why somebody should interact with it, and most importantly, receives a reward for doing so. This reward is the gift to the customer for answering your call to action. There is reason location based companies like Foursquare have success and it’s because we keep winning things, free coffees, badges, etc. The message needs to be exciting enough that the audience remembers the ad and interacts with the message on their mobile device or when they get home. For example, maybe your customers are mothers. Your message should maybe be focused on solving a problem that they can identify with and they get a bonus item for following that call to action. Creating a strong message with a call to action helps drive attention both online and offline. For example, our client Gary Vaynerchuk did a campaign where he put his cell phone on NYC ads - over 250 people called, he spoke with nearly all of them directly, and built great relationships with his community.
- Understanding your call to action is extremely important. By understanding the desired outcome of your ad campaign, it will help you structure success metrics of which to monitor closely. What do you want? More customer registrations? Transactions? Press? Partnerships? Do you want X amt of signups for every $Y spent on outdoor? It’s easy to determine your metrics, but important to monitor them closely over the course of your campaign.
What other ad campaigns are you currently running?
- It’s always important to align your advertising budgets with respect to time of year and metrics. Are you about to launch a new product? Are you currently running outdoor ads and thinking about following up with online ads? The beauty of advertising is how targeted it can be. The call of action in outdoor could lead to bringing a consumer online and converting them through online ads, or vice versa. Reminder advertising is an interesting thing to think about. Always being present, not being able to be turned off, with witty messaging and in great locations, helps to keep the brand top of mind. Especially, if you are preparing to launch a new product or open a new retail establishment. This also creates great Word-of-Mouth buzz.
When outdoor advertising is done right, it’s actually not about “advertising”, it’s about initiating a conversation and building a relationship. Stay tuned for more insights on outdoor advertising and check back for some case studies on some recently successful campaigns launched through ADstruc.