Grand Visual offers insight into millennial friendly DOOH campaigns

Ric Albert, creative director of Grand Visual, outlines a few ways to effectively target millennials with DOOH campaigns, outlining examples of recent projects that younger audiences have engaged with. He talks to Tim Kridel.

TK: Gens Y and Z grew up with always-on technology, such as mobile phones. Does that make them savvier and even sceptical about the privacy and security of their workplace technology? For example, I just did a story about how some conference rooms now have smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa so meeting participants can control the AV systems with their voice, or have meetings automatically transcribed. One concern is having these devices constantly listening. Compared to their older colleagues, do younger employees seem more or less concerned about workplace security and privacy?

RA: It’s not something we’ve come across in the workplace, but having grown up tethered to their mobiles, millennials do value their privacy, and whilst they consume great quantities of social media, research from OutSmart shows they are also much more likely than average to use ad-blockers.

Given that younger demographics also spend more time out of home, digital OOH media is particularly effective for reaching and engaging young people. It reaches people in a public space, it can’t be muted, skipped, or blocked and has the potential to creatively challenge and stimulate the viewer. It is also perceived as less intrusive than advertising targeting their private online worlds.

An interesting observation from OutSmart’s research showed that millennials, steeped in digital media like no other generation, are actually less cynical of traditional advertising formats. Trust in OOH (56%) is actually higher than trust in online video ads (46%) and paid online ads (48%). 

TK: How is digital signage evolving to ensure that it reaches younger demographics? For example, is there any research that shows differences in how older and younger demographics respond to DooH? If so, what kinds of challenges and opportunities does that create for the DooH ecosystem and the advertisers it serves? How must the technologies and strategies change?

RA: Younger audiences watch considerably less TV than the rest of the adult population and spend more time out and about, making DOOH an important channel for targeting this elusive and tech-savvy audience.

Aside from the obvious targeting opportunities that DOOH presents for reaching younger audiences, from campuses and retail locations, to leisure venues and nightlife hotspots, real engagement comes from a creative strategy that taps into their context, frame of mind and social behaviours. 

Born into an extremely digitally-driven, socially-networked society, and tethered to their smartphones 24/7, younger audiences like to curate their own content, as well as create and share their own stories.

Socially driven DOOH campaigns can really grab the attention of younger audiences, by amplifying social media campaigns or delivering shareable experiences that gain traction online through social sharing.

A recent Sky campaign for Game of Thrones delivered the best fan reactions shared via the hashtags #GoTS7, #GameofThrones and #WinterIsHere, in the form of tweets, images, and Boomerang videos, to digital billboards across the UK. The campaign delivered an authentic and entertaining UGC endorsement of Series 7, driven by its fanatical fan base.

Engaging stories allow consumers to change or personalise experiences in various ways. Innovative engagement techniques such as augmented reality, touch and gesture, video and Mmobile can really drive interaction amongst younger consumers creating greater brand recall and changing consumer behaviours. 

A unique AR activation created at Waterloo Station [in the UK] during school half term for Sky Q, surprised and delighted young people with a lifelike experience of meeting their favourite TV characters. The bespoke audio-visual tech build was combined with existing digital OOH hardware to produce the slick and memorable experience. Using Sky Q Voice Command participants selected their best-loved TV characters to appear on-screen beside them in an array of fun scenarios.

There was also the legendary Pepsi Max “Unbelievable” campaign which transformed a bus shelter on Oxford Street into a window that augmented unbelievable scenarios into the real world. Passers by were faced with a giant laser-shooting robot, a fiery asteroid hitting the street and more. The captured footage was turned into a social film which became a runaway success garnering over 10 million views and earning PR coverage around the world. Sales for Pepsi Max climbed 35% YoY for the month the creative was live. 

DOOH’s ability to connect with consumers while they’re on the move, through their mobile device, opens up a wealth of opportunities. DOOH is the perfect conduit for steering OOH audiences online. 

A recent Outperform study, commissioned by the out of home body, Outsmart, revealed that OOH activity drives a +17% uplift in smartphone brand actions. Crucially, this is massively higher for millennial audiences with +140% uplift. 

Mobile, social channels and video content are all huge for younger generations, and winning creative will mean embracing the technology to create smart, entertaining socially enabled, physical digital moments. Moments that are plugged into a brands broader cross-channel digital presence.

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