Political advertisers are known to be smart, data-driven and, most importantly of all, effective. They gather vast amounts of information about their target audiences, and then use a variety of techniques to reach them. One such technique, which has been a lynchpin of this group’s success, is Out of Home (OOH) advertising.
It’s no coincidence that OOH has been experiencing a resurgence recently, evidenced by predictions that the space will grow by roughly 1.3 billion U.S. dollars between 2019 and 2023.
But the question becomes whether brands are taking advantage of this medium as much as they can. And, are they learning from how political groups use OOH and other forms of advertising to their maximum potential?
Here are five ways they can do just that, and improve their own efforts greatly:
One of the biggest trademarks of political campaigns is getting a candidate’s name or message out to the maximum number of people as frequently as possible. The reasoning goes that if the reach and frequency are high, people who have viewed their ads will experience familiarity and vote accordingly.
Brands, of course, usually have a much smaller addressable market than political organizations who typically target voters who are 18 and up. But, brands can still benefit from the underlying takeaway about why political ads tend to be viewed often – and remembered.
If companies aim for larger reach and greater frequency, even within the confines of their target audience, they’re more likely to be memorable in the minds of their buyers, too.
Another important element to consider is who political ads tend to reach. If they’re on TV or online, viewers are getting a mix of messaging with which they either already agree or that makes them angry. OOH advertising allows you to reach outside viewers’ information bubbles and scale your messaging out of the confines of narrow audience groups.
Political organizations, and the messages they share, are often taken with a few grains of salt. Yet, political ads work remarkably well, particularly in the OOH ad space. This form of advertising is unique because it purveys a feeling of trust.
For example, it’s much harder to distort someone’s words or intentions on a billboard than it is in a television ad, which is why OOH ads are often met with less hesitation than other forms of advertising.
OOH advertisers also don’t have to worry about their ads appearing next to inappropriate content, disrespecting consumer privacy, or having their dollars wasted on fraud and bots. And, because OOH is embedded within the community, it comes off as more authoritative than digital advertising. It has a legitimizing effect.
Brands can learn from this by considering their audience’s perception of trust in them.
Has trust in your ads – or their efficacy – been diluted because of where they’ve appeared or how they’ve been received? Can you increase that trust by trying a different medium, like OOH ads, and/or a different message?
Trust is often the first step to winning over a buyer, so it’s a key element to focus on.
Marketers are used to relying on data to drive their digital advertising campaigns, but many aren’t aware of how data can lead OOH efforts, too. Political advertisers are known for gathering and leveraging as much data as they can access across all advertising channels.
When it comes to OOH, brands can follow suit and choose to work with an ad partner that uses robust data sets, filters and indexes to make data-led planning a priority.
This is where political organizations really shine. Granted, they usually have a very straightforward message to promote, but they do so with incredible efficiency.
Whether they’re telling voters to vote for their candidate or to vote “no” on a particular proposition, their OOH ads are built around a singular message – and are succinct. Every brand can adopt this philosophy when it comes to OOH advertising.
The more clear you are with your key point, and the more briefly you can relay it, the more effective your ads will be.
It’s no secret that political organizations spend mind-boggling sums of money every year, especially during high stakes elections like a presidential race. This most recent election cycle is cited as the most expensive in history, costing $14 billion in advertising, according to projections made by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Naturally, most brands can’t come anywhere close to spending a fraction of that sum in their own advertising, but they can still learn something from this. When competition is fierce and you have a lot on the line, you must invest into OOH and other forms of advertising in order to see results.
After all, the more you invest, the greater your ad reach and frequency can be. It’s all cyclical and, like with most marketing tactics, OOH advertising will yield returns commensurate to how much you invest in the first place.
As the general population has largely reached a point of fatigue with digital advertising, OOH advertising is growing in dominance. But it’s always been a powerful medium, and remains even more so today.
Any brand, no matter its size or industry, can learn some valuable lessons from political advertisers who prove they know what they’re doing in this space time and time again.
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