Thursday, September 30, 2010
OOH Media - Time to Start the Conversation
Recently took a trip to San Francisco. There’s nothing like the vibe and rush of a true city to shake things up and get you in touch with the crush of humanity that goes along with such a thriving urban center.
As a self-confessed media junkie, I love to see how advertisers jockey themselves in these hyper-saturated media environments. I remember visiting San Francisco years ago and marveling at Apple’s ‘takeover’ of the Muni station, with every billboard at the Market street station touting what was then the new iPod. What made this salient was the physical location of the Apple store – strategically positioned just outside the Muni station escalator. It was a very relevant push…the message, like a welcome mat to the gleaming Apple store and its array of colorful acoustic candy.
This trip, the media world is much different. Mobile has taken hold, and the web is now accessible on any number of devices consumers can fit into their pocket. Which is what puzzles me: Urban outdoor media seems to be stuck in it own silo. I saw it everywhere in Francisco, with gorgeous billboards, posters and visuals without a hook to connect to consumers and start the conversation.
Mobile has the ability to add interactivity to otherwise static, one-way media and start the conversation, engaging consumers to text, tweet, enter to win, click and ‘like’. For the most part, these consumers are all standing around faces fixed on their handsets anyway, so why not take advantage of that behavior and add a call-to-action to out-of-home media and really leverage that moment when you catch that consumer’s ever-fleeting attention?
Many industry pundits have gone one year after year that ‘this is the year of mobile’. Until media teams stop thinking about it as a medium unto itself and use it for interactivity across otherwise non-interactive channels, it will continue to putter along, no matter how many touch-screen smart phones get out there.
As a media professional I would never run any print, OOH, in-theater or TV spot without it. Every message, regardless of its primary function, would have a secondary function to start that ever-more-valuable consumer conversation.