3 Examples of Social Media-Worthy Outdoor Advertisements

It’s important to see how social media enhances outdoor advertising and vice versa. Many companies are making their ads more “shareable” and social-media friendly. Here are three examples of social media-worthy outdoor advertisements.

Many look at the relationship between outdoor advertising and digital advertising as combative. We already know that out-of-home advertising works (here’s why). However, it is important to see the ways that the digital world enhances traditional ads and vice versa.

Think about it. New York City is the most photographed city in the world. Times Square explodes with colorful billboards and signage, both day and night. People flock to the displays, while taking pictures with their phones and sharing them on the web for the world to see. When advertisements are usually clever or visually appealing, viewers want to take pictures to share with their friends and followers.

Because of this, many companies are actually making their outdoor ads more social media-friendly and “share-worthy.” By being eye-catching, artistic or allowing for viewer participation, many advertisers are connecting traditional advertising with social media.

Here are three examples of advertisements that use social media “share-ability” to be more appealing or broaden their reach:

1. Delta Airlines x Tinder = The ‘Dating Wall’

Tinder and Delta Airlines teamed up to create the ultimate outdoor advertisement for social media use. The “Dating Wall,” located in Brooklyn, was comprised of images of popular travel destinations. The point? Audience members were meant to take selfies with one of the destinations as the backdrop and upload it to Tinder, creating a much more eye-catching “Tinder pic.” This campaign promoted both brands in a fun way that allowed viewer participation via social media.

2. Spotify’s ‘2018 Goals’

For its “2018 Goals” campaign that took place in 2017, Spotify used humor to appeal to its audience. The streaming company was able to use users’ listening habits to create a memorable series of hilarious and relatable outdoor ads. The campaign attracted both real-life and Internet attention, because they’re the perfect ad to share with a friend for a good laugh.

3. ‘David Bowie Subway Takeover’

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements Bowie pic

Spotify is a champion of memorable ads. In 2018, the company set up a month-long art installation in an NYC subway station to celebrate the late David Bowie. The campaign featured both a photo-worthy portrait of the star and information about what he loved to do in NYC. Soon, photos of the art quickly popped up all over social media. This ad was especially appealing, because it made a normally mundane spot much more interesting.

Your Website Is a Conversation, Not a Presentation

Is your website a conversation with your clients and prospects? Or is it a presentation?
This can be a tough distinction to make because, of course, your website is a proxy for you. You’re not actually sitting face-to-face with your prospects. But even without the back-and-forth of an actual conversation, you can get better Web results by striving to create a dialogue by encouraging engagement with your audience.

Social conversationIs your website a conversation with your clients and prospects? Or is it a presentation?

This can be a tough distinction to make because, of course, your website is a proxy for you. You’re not actually sitting face-to-face with your prospects. But even without the back-and-forth of an actual conversation, you can get better Web results by striving to create a dialogue by encouraging engagement with your audience.

In Other Words, You Want to Control the Narrative, Not Dominate It

Of course, you can’t control where your site visitors are going to click next. That’s the beauty and the curse of the Web’s non-linear nature. You can’t even control whether they start at “the beginning”. (If your social media, SEO and email marketing are relevant players, your website home page isn’t always going to be their entry point.)

But You Can Encourage Them to Take the Action You Desire

Strong copy, intelligent presentation, and a little bit of coding savvy can work wonders for your site — but for starters, you’ll want to define a solid set of goals. You have to know the action you ultimately want your site visitors to take. And you have to know, as the conversation moves along, what you want your audience to be thinking about. The thoughts your website provokes in consumers will be the best determinant of their course of action.

Recognizing that your audience has more options than “previous” and “next” has the added benefit of forcing you to stay tightly focused on your topic and think in terms of your audience’s interests, not your own agenda.

This is where many marketers go wrong. Staying focused does not necessarily mean diving into the minutiae of a topic. Nor does it mean forcing prospects to move forward with no destination possible other than your conversion point.

Because, of Course, There’s Always Other Options

But not options you want pursued: the browser’s close button, or your competitor’s website. Instead, you must guide them toward the action you ultimately want them to take by offering a range of possible paths. They may feel it’s time to reach out and contact you by phone. Or if their need is less pressing, they might want to subscribe to your newsletter and learn more over time. Or a trip to your “related materials” section might be in order, so they can dive into a topic in more detail.

You have to offer these options because there’s no way of knowing where a prospect is in the buying process when they arrive at your site.

There’s a fine line to be walked here: Just as droning on and on about a topic is likely to turn off prospective clients, so too can offering them every option under the sun.

With the exception of certain pages of your website — the home page, most notably — most of your digital marketing should be focused enough to appeal to just a select segment of your audience. They should be reading your email newsletter because it is likely to be of interest to them. That newsletter should contain links to the pages of your site that will be most relevant to their needs. And the calls to action embedded in that page should lead them to the next piece of content that addresses their needs and creates your case as the best solution for them.

The more audience segments you are trying to appeal to, the more difficult this can be, so it is important to craft your online marketing with specific segments in mind. Next time, we’ll talk a bit more about effective audience segmentation.

The Digital Mystique: All Smoke and Mirrors?

While it may be true that US adults spend 47 percent of their time interacting with digital (online, mobile or otherwise), that doesn’t mean that marketers will be seeing their investment in digital pay off in the long run.

While it may be true that US adults spend 47 percent of their time interacting with digital (online, mobile or otherwise), that doesn’t mean that marketers will be seeing their investment in digital pay off in the long run.

A recent New York Times article quoted Jon Swallen, the chief research officer at Kantar Media North America who stated “the cost efficiencies of digital advertising enable many marketers to buy more for less.” And while that’s probably true, it doesn’t come close to telling the real story.

As many new startups are learning, digital spend may yield lots of clicks, but very few new customers. The web is besieged by advertisers, so much so that I have started to close out of sites that interrupt my reading with pop-ups, sidebars that occupy a more prominent size than the content I’m trying to read, or other distractions including social media sharing tools.

Of course digital ads can reach millions of eyeballs quickly, but God forbid you click on one as you already know what will happen next:

  • Retargeting efforts mean you’ll be repeatedly seeing that product over and over again on every site you visit (I actually tried to email the marketing director of Signature Hardware to tell him to stop stalking me as I already made the purchase!)
  • Every time I conduct a search, the same results keep popping up for the company/product I explored via an ad click through, but rejected (perhaps they think frequency messaging will help me change my mind?)

This week I was researching a client’s industry to find information that would support a whitepaper we were writing and I discovered half a dozen sites I’ve now noted to avoid at all costs. These sites were chock full of ads in all shapes, forms and colors. In between paragraphs of copy, there would be some random headline that was a link to a product landing page. I literally couldn’t absorb the content it was all so distracting.

In the last 2 months, I’ve received calls from several fairly new startups who wanted to discuss their direct mail options. Yep—that old “tried and true” medium is coming back in vogue. Why?

As one CEO put it, “Our board no longer has the patience for our slow pace of growth because we’ve tied our marketing investment to the digital advertising landscape. We get lots of clicks, but very few buyers.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Like many who have been involved in direct marketing since the dark ages, we no longer need to test to know the following statement is true: Mass media vehicles (like digital) tend to drive a high volume of leads, but they’re of low quality (they don’t convert); Targeted media (like direct mail) drives a low volume of leads but they’re of high quality (and therefore more likely to purchase).

If your strategic plan is to create a sales funnel that drives both high volume and requires high conversion to sale, you need a combination of media to accomplish that task cost efficiently. It’s already been proven that no single medium can deliver on that promise.

Because if it were that easy—and digital was the Holy Grail—then wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Oh wait… they already are. They just forgot the annoyance factor.