Manila, Philippines—In this age where phones have increasingly become
an imperative part of every person’s life where access to entertainment,
information, and commerce is enclosed in the four corners of an LCD screen,
one has to wonder how can traditional media can keep up?
Like many others in the ad industry, OOH was heavily affected by the sudden
burst of digital ads and many even thought of its inevitable demise. But true
to its structure, strength, and stance, OOH remains to be unyielding despite
these so-called new “threats”. Importantly though, even the big names in
social media and digital streaming apps seem to think the same.
GOING OUT OF THEIR OWN BOX
Mobile phones are quite literally the extension of someone’s life—from
contacts, interactions, to movies, series, and business, one doesn’t need to
go too far or too big to have it all and for years now, they have taken the bulk
of the most precious of times, whether for personal or for work-related
consumption. It is not surprising then
that advertisers turned towards the direction of digital to implement their creatives.
Simply, they need to be where the viewers are. But as digital becomes an inescapable
and normalized platform, its high time may now also be coming to an end.
With apps used on a one-on-one, literal down-view hardware, the notion of something
so traditional like OOH now becomes (ironically) foreign, new, and exciting despite its
quotidian circumstance. Whether experienced at passing (i.e. rounding shopping malls,
having long-mile road trips) or as a habit (i.e. the everyday commute, the city landscape),
going out and seeing OOH is still a way of life. It is there daily, its grandness and scale
looming over every person’s head—and they only need to look up to get so caught by it.
That in mind, this grandness and bigness of OOH, and then into the context of an app that
is so powerful, so personalized it is a data-collecting machinery, somewhere in that narrative
inevitably comes the need to make this seemingly individualistic and isolated entertainment
method resonate as a large, collective, relatable, and shared (branded) experience—considering
as well that advertisements, in the digital world of exit icons, close buttons, forced exits, and
curated content, is still a hard one to really digest.
THE COMPLETE MERGER
Spotify’s Thank you, 2016. It’s Been Weird campaign is perhaps one of the most
well-known OOH campaigns produced by an-all digital platform. Using their own
brand of wit combined with the app’s consumer data, Spotify was able to bring out
the laughs using OOH in its simplest and truest form—printed visual and copy.
But why OOH as their major outlet? Spotify CMO Seth Farbman only has this to say,
“(OOH) has the ability to really drive clever copy home that other media can’t always do as well.”
At this point in the digital ads and apps journey where evidently consumer data is
one of its main strengths, it is no longer surprising to see brands like Spotify, Netflix,
and Facebook then reach out to OOH for their advertisements in order to expose their
content and tools on a literally larger scale and in a setting still very much relevant to
their audience. Like how mobile devices are undeniably handy, people too, are still
undeniably outside. And when once brands just focus their campaigns solely on OOH or
TV or digital, today, the merging of two or more (if not all platforms applicable) is simply
the most practical way to go.
Progress and change is something that is not entirely terrible and terrifying. With a clear
and sensible perspective, advertising has just gotten really bigger, better, and definitely, real-time.