With Out-Of-Home going Hi-Tech, Grab Opportunities For Life in Lo-Fi

Out-Of-Home media has seen growth both in total spend and the creative opportunities that digital displays and technology are bringing to the equation in the 21st century.  Media and communication analysts, SNL Kagan, point to the upward trend in outdoor ad spending in their newest study, “Economics of Outdoor & Out Of Home Advertising,” with the projection that it will generate $10B annually by 2020.  The ability for marketers to leverage the large format digital billboards and the smaller displays that allow for interaction and actual transactions will be key elements of the growth. But, with that being said, is there any opportunity for small companies to enter the OOH environment to advertise their goods?  Perhaps a great solution for some marketers is to actually go in the opposite direction and make their mark in OOH by going Lo-Fi.

In the case of Baruel foot deodorant in Brazil, they went small-scale, Lo-Fi with a hook.  Agency, Z+ Comunicação, used actual shoelaces as part of their ads placed around cities to bring the bad smells of stinky feet to a more personal level.  Thankfully, they did not use real cheese or fish – or pipe in bad smells – but the texture or depth the laces brought to the execution helped it to stand out.

I think a possible next step or extension of this could be as simple as printing the product information on a board and then affixing an actual shoe to it with real-looking fake fish or chunks of cheese overflowing from the shoe.  They would need to be placed properly and safely, but that disruptive element would make an equal or greater impression. And by disruptive, it could be as simple as just a blip in the corner of someone’s eye that makes them look twice because they are not used to it and it takes them out of their every-day rhythm.

With the costs of printing dropping and properties being open to experimenting with different forms of media, the opportunities to take advantage are there .  You just have to be inventive and creative with them.

With the Baruel example above, they were able to extend the narrative of their product in the “simple” execution that stood out because of its ingenuity and not because of its shock value.  We may not know what kind of ROI they got in return, but the ads themselves have generated a buzz around the world and their cost of implementation was surely on the lower end without the need to book the larger billboard, bus-side and other higher cost placements.

Even wild posting could stand to have some more creativity to make them pop out.  With augmentation and other lo-fi creative solutions,  marketers probably wouldn’t be able to go as wide-spread as they currently can with the wheat paste postings, but with proper placement and creative, the higher quality on the lower quantity can make a difference.

No matter what the economics are, the needs for inventiveness are at a premium – not necessarily huge amounts of money. While many – including myself – love the bright shiny objects, strong imaginative and basic executions can really hit the spot – especially if they are disruptive in the right way. And, no matter how much the world gets deeper into technology, there’s always a place for Lo-Fi.  Don’t be afraid to reach for the Lo-Fi opportunity and grab it.

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