Let’s face it: the effectiveness of traditional marketing has been declining. Print, broadcast, and direct mail are getting pushed aside in favor of digital media, and pushy sales gimmicks are like customer repellent.
Especially in populated cities, it has become more difficult to catch people’s attention with outdoor advertising. Unless of course, there’s an ad that totally sticks out from the rest. Perhaps it’s time for modern marketers to stir the pot with ambient advertising.
If you’re an advertiser who’s looking to draw attention on the street, then ambient advertising may be your key to success. Here’s all you need to know.
What Is Ambient Advertising?
Ambient advertising is a form of guerilla marketing. It describes the act of placing ads in unexpected locations. These ads often mesh with surrounding natural elements in a clever way. The purpose is to surprise the average passerby and make them remember your brand.
Most people associate OOH (out-of-home) marketing with the literal outdoors. While ambient advertisements are seen on the streets, sidewalks, and parkways, they can appear in any public space. The options of ambient advertising are practically limitless.
When it comes to this area of marketing, you must take note of the characteristics that make a striking ad. Aside from being in an unconventional location, there must be no repetition. If a person can go to another spot and see the exact same, or similar advertisement, then you’ve lost their attention.
Ambient advertising is designed with the idea of customers coming across something they’ve never seen before. It gives them a sense of exclusivity as if they’ve come across a rare gem.
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How Much Does It Cost?
Guerrilla marketing is a pursuit with no set price range. Because of the many ways to practice ambient advertising, the cost will vary. But it tends to be inexpensive. Think of it this way: it can cost anywhere from $1000 to $1500 to get a good billboard on a highway. Compare that to a small painting on the cross-section of a street.
It shouldn’t cost much, right? With the right placement, combined with other eye-catching methods, it can be more effective than that billboard on the highway.
Now, if you’re trying to construct a sculpture on the street, then that’ll be a different story. While it still classifies as an ambient advertisement, a big and outrageous project won’t come at the same cheap price this medium is known for. What it will have, however, is increased effectiveness. Big, unique displays are sure to make heads turn throughout the day.
When deciding on an ambient advertising project, you cannot only take your company’s budget into account. You must also consider the risk factor. Ambient advertising is an unconventional tactic, and knowing how to make the most of it will make any price worth it.
What Are The Benefits of Ambient Advertising?
To determine the benefits of ambient advertising, you must first put yourself in a customer’s shoes.
When walking down the street, you’d expect to see a billboard or two. You probably wouldn’t bat an eye when seeing an ad on the back of a taxi or truck. Though how would you react to an advertisement on a STOP sign? Or on a postbox? How about a public bench?
This is the key to ambient marketing. The intelligent placement of advertisements will create a lasting impact on viewers. In some cases, the placement will cause passersby to take pictures or videos. This can result in your advertisement going viral, reaching more people than ever intended.
Ambient advertising is non-intrusive. Unlike a salesperson or an online pop-up ad, this form of marketing will not get in the way of people’s daily life. If a person is reading your ambient ad, it’s because they want to, not because they were forced to push past it.
Are There Any Downsides?
As stated before, ambient ads are unpredictable by nature. This means that there is a higher likelihood of unexpected technical errors. You may think, for example, that your painting on a street bench will do wonders. However, the rain may cause the paint to fade too quickly.
There may be a lot of trial and error involved with ambient advertising. It’s very possible for people to not see your ad if the location is too obscure. They also may see it, but not know what the ad is about. People may not even recognize it as an advertisement at all.
It is recommended that a marketer hire a team of professionals to make sure the ad is noticeable, with a clear objective. That being said, it can be hard to find an agency that specializes in very particular, unconventional advertising. These companies are certainly out there, but you will have to shop around to figure out what works best for your company.
How Do I Create A Successful Ambient Advertisement?
For any successful guerrilla marketing campaign, you must consider the location. Putting your ambient advertisement in highly populated areas is a must.
You should also contemplate the recognizability of your brand. A company such as Mr. Clean can simply put their mascot on a crosswalk, and gain an immediate understanding. A smaller, local brand needs a logo, as well as a message. Your audience must know why your ad is there, and what your brand can provide.
Finally, you’ll want to consider your colors, font style, and size. When it comes to making any OOH ad noticeable, it is crucial to use colors that are appealing to the eye. A clean and bold font style will also go a long way in getting your message across.
Although ambient advertising is unconventional, it can still be a great marketing move for a brand that’s ready to jump outside the box.
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