How brands are leveraging digital OOH’s storytelling capabilities

Cherian Thomas, head of marketing and GTM, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions

The most successful advertising tells a story. It takes consumers on a journey, actively engages their interest and ultimately delivers on its promise. In many ways, it’s like any good movie — it features a straightforward plot with a beginning, middle and end. 

But what happens when a good story falls off in the middle? What would happen, for example, if the 1975 classic ‘Jaws’ rolled its credits right after the little boy was snatched off his raft by the shark? The audience, one would imagine, would be rightfully confused and disappointed — if not downright angry. Why, then, do marketers expect a consumer’s reaction to be any different when they encounter advertising that only tells half the story?

Unfortunately, traditional out-of-home ad efforts — and underleveraged digital OOH efforts — only tell part of the story. But there’s an opportunity to complete the story by employing a full-funnel DOOH strategy. It’s how brands maximize their marketing dollars and, most importantly, ensure that consumers’ attention is properly rewarded.

Identifying holes in the advertising plot

Today’s leading brands understand the importance of generating awareness among the masses, and that’s why OOH spend has remained strong throughout the years, despite the loose attribution capabilities tied to more-traditional outdoor displays. However, brands also recognize that top-funnel efforts yield only top-funnel behavior. Like a one-way megaphone, they boost broad brand recognition, but it’s difficult to understand the downstream effects such ads have on the metrics that matter most.

For the most part, brands today look elsewhere for that performance, pouring significant spend into bottom-funnel tactics like search, display and social media. But again, these tactics only tell a part of the story: the very end. In pouring money into bottom-funnel tactics, brands are hoping that consumers picked up the beginning of their story somewhere else and are simply waiting for someone to come along and tell them how it ends. The measurability inherent in these bottom-funnel digital tactics leads brands to believe that their stories are working, but nothing compares with the engagement and conversion seen when brands can tell their full story all in one place — and to a captive audience. That’s where full-funnel DOOH comes in.

Engagement insights from DOOH advertising

Traditional OOH channels are limited in their storytelling capabilities, but because screens have become interactive, they enable advertisers to tell their full stories and, more importantly, measure the impact in a granular fashion.

For example, rideshare advertising is one DOOH channel seeing significant growth because of the brand stories it enables. When a consumer hops into an Uber or Lyft vehicle equipped with a connected tablet, their ride becomes an interactive experience during which they can play games or sample content, all while engaging with a brand. 

These interactive ads and entertainment experiences take riders on a brand journey that includes top-funnel awareness via verified ad impressions placed between games and other interactive experiences. They include mid-funnel consideration with click-throughs from riders as ads prompt deeper engagement and bottom-funnel conversions through opt-ins to offers and sweepstakes or a link to purchase by inputting their phone number or email address into the tablet. 

The final bottom-funnel piece of the story enables advertisers to capture conversion metrics and A/B test different offers in real-time. As an added benefit to brands that provide a value exchange, riders can quickly scan a trackable QR code. This allows a seamless transition from a tablet to a personal device for further bottom-funnel conversions.

For example, branded games such as Home Run Derby, The Claw, Slot Machine and Dunk Tank — each using the T-Mobile Advertising Solutions’ rideshare advertising platform — have captured engagement rates of more than 15%, and even higher when paired with a prize. Due to the location-based nature of these experiences, advertisers also have an opportunity to enhance their storytelling capabilities by adapting their creative and offers based on general location, time and contextual elements, such as weather, with brands’ interactive experiences having 2% click-through rates and conversion rates upward of 15%. 

Successful marketing requires brands to connect with consumers through a story, from beginning to end. By tapping into the power of full-funnel DOOH, brands can seamlessly tell their whole story while capturing key engagement metrics to refine their tales over time. 

Sponsored by: T-Mobile Advertising Solutions

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