Press Clipping
On the Wall: How OOH and Digital Meld into One Powerful Campaign

Digital and OOH may seem like two completely different marketing worlds, but they can play well together. The coolest thing: they can amplify each other says Kim M. Pham, Senior Digital Strategy Manager, DASH TWO

A billboard or wild posting mural can turn into a social media event, turning a visual element flashing by in a feed into something your audience engages with and remembers. Executing OOH can likewise turn into high-quality content via time lapses or videos, excellent for social amplification.

To maximize this effect, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan a campaign: timing, targeting, and the campaign’s creative.

Digital and OOH campaigns have their own rhythms that need to be honored but that can be synced up nicely for maximum impact. A billboard is up for about four weeks. Digital campaigns often run their course much faster. How do you know when to start?

Of course, every campaign with its specific goals or products is different. But some general rules apply. Most outdoor posting start on a Monday, and so should your digital campaign. Digital ads frequently start the same day as outdoor goes live. This makes sense: Monday and other weekdays are also when online ads and media outlets may get see radically more traffic.

Digital campaigns usually use one set of creative for two weeks. This can build an audience of people who have viewed videos, retargeting and serving them a different ad in a few weeks. This is one of the beautiful things about digital: you can keep reaching them without fatiguing them with the same creative.

If an event is involved in your campaign, you’ll want to make sure your wild posting or other outdoor ad is up two weeks before your event, so people get a chance to see it. And if the billboard in your campaign is the event, as it was in our recent work for hard rock icons Guns n Roses, all the better. The band put up a dazzling blacklight billboard on Sunset Boulevard and got their fans psyched to see what would happen by putting a big, bold countdown clock on their website. It turned a mundane event--the posting of a billboard--into something hotly anticipated by die-hard rock lovers.

Location is everything in OOH, your only tool and your most precise targeting, at least geographically. The neighborhood where the wild posting will go up, the environment around the bus bench or billboard, help determine who might see the ad. We’ve successfully microtargeted a very specific audience for our clients, including brands who wanted to reach the younger well-heeled professionals of Silver Lake for a relaunch (American Apparel). We’ve even bought a single billboard in Palo Alto for a hip European payment app (Klarna). It wanted to find potential investors, and we found them the right billboard.

Geotargeting can get more sophisticated and granular online, which makes for some intriguing possibilities. We often geotarget based on our OOH advertising locations, increase online ad frequency in zip codes where we have booked outdoor ads. On top of that, targeting can be refined by a whole range of other helpful things about users, what they are into and what they like. A billboard or wall hits everyone, regardless of whether they are likely to care, but you can strengthen the signal by adding more targetting layers on top of geography.

Merging these two overlapping strengths can lead to some cool possibilities. GnR not only ramped up excitement for the posting of their high-prestige, select market billboards; they created digital assets that could only be unlocked by those right by the billboards themselves. Stand nearby and you got access to a never-before-released track. Similar perks can be handed out for tagged selfies by outdoor ads and other outdoor-digital promotions.

How can you tell if you’ve hit the mark? The best way for us to see that is if people are engaging with the outdoor part on social. Social echoes whether outdoor is really engaging or not if it’s a targeting success. We executed an interactive, temporary mural for pop renegade Lady Gaga, not far from Coachella’s epicenter one year, but just far enough to make getting to the site an adventure. Her fans took the trip then took a ton of selfies, hashtagging them and amplifying the mural across their friends and contacts. They in effect did the targeting for the artist.

What has always mattered: the creative
Though there are tactics behind timing and targeting, the heart of the matter remains the same. The creative is the most important part of any campaign, regardless of the media involved. If it’s something relevant to the time, it will get a lot of engagement.

As awareness of the specifics of different channels and their formats, advertisers are finding ways to repurpose assets they have across formats and contexts. You don’t have to have an expensive professional video to echo your billboard; you can make a cool animated gif. By creatively making assets more digestible for each platform, you can maximize your campaign’s impact and unite the digital and OOH worlds seamlessly.