Today, my BFF and I had a ‘Sunday Drive’, no (particular) destination and no rush. A good drive around Lagos. As an experienced Brand Manager, I couldn’t help but notice the activities of Brands around me. (After all, Brands make the world colourful and beautiful with its many campaigns across diverse communication platforms).
The billboards piqued my interest, though whilst I appreciate the progress and evolution of outdoor advertising, I’m (somewhat) disappointed with the state of some of these ‘boards’. I noticed that quite a few were obstructed by tree branches, many were poorly lit (the front / back lights were dancing shaku shaku), and for some of the digital boards, it seems the transition from one brand message to the other was too fast… that I missed the message totally! I also observed (for some) the brand messages would fit more the center spread of the newspaper (too wordy). Finally, there were quite a few boards with faded materials and images.
With these observations, I turned to my BFF, and asked (curiously) “how can Brands drive distinctiveness in a cluttered outdoor / billboard space”? Her response -…. “I’m not sure anyone is looking up anymore”! 😲 (e choke me)
Confused,…. I asked… “what do you mean”? She said… “besides the driver who obviously need to concentrate on driving, other passengers actually look downwards… concentrating on their phones”. Okay! this is “new insight for me”!
For big Brands, outdoor / billboards make up ~ 25% – 40% of ‘their’ annual A&P spend; and here I am being informed consumers prefer to look down and not up?! Really?!
Anyways…. @Brand Managers (first things first)
1. You need to go on ‘Sunday Drive’ from time to time to check the state of your investment and if your Brand is benefitting from the exposure
2. Hold your Media Manager and Agencies accountable. Set clear KPIs and monitor (always)
3. Review your outdoor concepts to ensure it conforms to outdoor golden rules
4. Review your outdoor strategy.
– Who is the target for outdoor? (demographics)
– What should you be saying? What type of boards will get the job done?
– Where should the boards be located?
– Why should they (your target) believe you and act?
There’s been a lot of discussion on the role and import of outdoor in today’s brand building Initiatives and execution. Personally, I like billboards (can’t imagine Lagos without one), and I see how they can fit the integrated marketing communication execution of Brands; however, I see opportunities for improvement where the Brand can authentically and purposefully connect with the consumers.