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Talon Compass: OOH with an accent – how hyper-local contextual advertising can work even harder for brands

By Jo Jackson

For the past couple of years, everyone’s money has been on context to be the main driver of Out-of-Home (OOH) growth, but now that it’s here, how well is it being used and how far can we push it? Our newly launched Talon Compass team is on a mission to go beyond proximity targeting to offer a sharper, more focused approach allowing brand messaging to be more relevant than ever, and we think context has a huge role to play in this.

Traditionally, OOH has been the go-to advertising option to reach a broad audience within a particular place, providing unmissable impact. However, can a more intimate conversation between brands and their target audiences be achieved through this medium? According to our research, Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) now reaches 64 per cent of all UK adults, and by identifying and tailoring the message based on a geographical context, both classic and DOOH have the power to engage and forge a meaningful connection with consumers on-the-move.

To address this shifting focus of using OOH to serve contextual messaging on a hyper-local level, as a business this year we have reinvigorated one of our core planning teams to propel planning in this area – Talon Compass. The Talon Compass team is made up of experts in the fields of data, proximity planning and geographical targeting, and will be using a selection sophisticated data tools to deliver a more accountable, more efficient and more intelligent service for their clients. Based on three core principles of Precision, Pathways and Purchase, the team will ensure that data is not just collected, but used smartly to maximise client budgets throughout the changes in the OOH landscape.

Specsavers launched their powerful ‘More important than’ campaign across the UK last year which was a playful evolution of the ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ strapline, now iconic in association with the brand. Specsavers wanted to raise awareness of eye health and the importance or regular eye tests in conjunction with National Eye Health Week. They cleverly utilised the immediacy of DOOH and established a ‘war room’ packed with creatives ready to respond to news items in real time with topical one-liners.

By combining bespoke, newsworthy messaging with local contextual relevance it strengthened the impact of the campaign and drove footfall, acquisition and frequency of visits to Specsavers stores.

Rather than simply adapting existing creative to suit an OOH space, considering each environment as unique does, of course, create more work in the short term, but are the rewards great enough to be worth reaping in the long term? The data would suggest yes.

Applying contextual relevance to a campaign can dramatically increase results; through our own studies, we’ve found that this kind of considered approach can provide over 40 per cent uplift in when sales/CTA messaging is used.

When backed up by data, this kind of creative thinking can transcend the tempting pull of an award entry and give a more tangible, accountable reason for investing the extra time.

It’s about balancing the core benefits of reach and impact with emotional engagement. Drawing consumers in by making them feel as though they are part of a small, more exclusive group and capitalising on the effect that will have on your brand.

We believe that by combining creativity that pushes the boundaries with a sophisticated fusion of data tools, we can offer the precision needed to truly execute contextual campaigns, and provide the tangible data to make them work even harder than ever before.

So what’s next for context? We’ve already seen this thinking being cleverly adopted by brands on seasonal/weather-activated campaigns which work brilliantly to drive spontaneous purchase of ice creams on a hot day for example. But what about tapping into the emotional association people have with their region and using that to create contextual branding connections in local towns across the country?

We’re excited to work alongside more brands looking go beyond a proximity or geographical campaign and think about the way their messaging can speak more directly to people within that place. By marrying this contextual thinking with sophisticated data fusion, this gives us a unique opportunity to maximise effectiveness, minimise wastage and deliver truly relevant campaigns.

Jo Jackson is head of Compass at Talon.

Talon Outdoor is a truly independent Out of Home media specialist and a significant player in the Out of Home agency sector with a focus on delivering smarter, creative, technology-led and integrated OOH communications.

For further information about Talon Outdoor, please see Talon Outdoor or contact Nick Mawditt at [email protected] or Tom Belcher, marketing manager, at [email protected].

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