Is out-of-home advertising the answer to eye-catching festive campaigns this Christmas?

Is out-of-home advertising the answer to eye-catching festive campaigns this Christmas?

Is Christmas cancelled?

That’s the question that consumers and marketers are asking themselves as new regulations are imposed every day. Of course, Christmas won’t be cancelled, just celebrated slightly differently this year.

As Covid-19 continues to cause uncertainty across many business categories and aspects of consumers lives, people need a special occasion to look forward to both commercially and personally.

Christmas is the holiday that brings hope and happiness, and provides an annual moment where community is important. It connects people, even when they are separated. If people are prevented from gathering at home or in pubs and restaurants, there is an opportunity for brands to bring that festive feeling to people outside their homes that fosters the sense of togetherness.

OOH media has always been one of the most impactful channels for engaging audiences as it offers the opportunity to reach people with a message tailored to the moment and mindset.

With the evolution of technology and digitisation of posters, brands have the potential to communicate with consumers through dynamic and creative ads, that not only grab their attention, but evoke a certain emotion and feeling within them.

The evolution of connect digital out-of-home networks and their national reach offers the option to leverage context in creative executions like never before.

The last six months have inspired a lot of creatives to connect brands with the public through humour, excitement, and a sense of relief. 

From Innocent’s campaign welcoming people back on the streets after lockdown to Coca-Cola’s ‘open like never before’ campaign that celebrated the small businesses in their local areas.

And with less than 90 days until Christmas, people are anticipating the festive season, hoping for some normality.

Remember that warm, Christmas Eve feeling? 

If anything, that feeling may be more accentuated and poignant than ever this year, and lighting technology now enables us to recreate the glowing lights and Christmas imagery that spark imagination and excitement, especially for children. 

So, brands should think about the possibilities of animation and visual effects for this festive season. Falling snow, shining stars, or Santa’s sleigh could come to life!

Dynamic screens able to react in near real-time to the weather and other contextual elements and localise down to postcode create an opportunity for brands to become part of the fabric of communities, instilling a sense of pride people have in their area.

Optimise through digital

For some consumers, the annual Christmas adverts such as the adventures of the Excitable Edgar or Kevin The Carrot are one of the staples of the festive season. 

However, with new rules and restrictions being enforced and implemented regularly, these ads are harder to plan, and staying on message and relevant becomes increasingly difficult.

This is where OOH can play a big role in connecting people and bringing them a sense of belonging to friends, family, and even neighbours.

Digital OOH offers advertisers the ability to pivot and optimise creative campaigns at a moment’s notice.

This level of flexibility and control could have a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of OOH campaigns. It can evoke positive associations and set the right tone at any moment consumers find themselves in, uniting us in this shared, unusual situation. 

Joy to the world

At Christmas, with countless ads across media channels all vying for attention, standing out is key to success.

Using special effects like animations, 3D aspects, bold statements or unique colours will enhance these impressions and make them even more memorable. 

Brands can create adverts or installations that capture consumers' attention and make the outside world feel a little bit more festive ahead of the holiday. For example, La Vie Est Belle’s Eiffel Tower inspired Christmas tree delighted passengers at St Pancras station last year, providing a moment of joy that was captured and shared socially.

Times are still uncertain, and budgets are under revision, but OOH is an agile and adaptive channel that brings brands closer to their audience and can engage them in a more targeted and brand-safe way. 

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