Australia is famously a land of stark contrasts and environments, from the blistering heat of the tropical north to the freezing rain and snow of the southern highlands. So media buyers adopting a cookie cutter approach to buying national OOH (out-of-home) media packages really are running the risk of missing out on local specialties argues GOA’s CEO Chris Tyquin.
There’s no point putting ad splashes custom-built for Melbourne trams on buses in Brisbane. Nor is there sense in buying only a Central Station Package to reach commuters in Melbourne, as you might in Sydney. And there’s certainly no point expecting a bus shelter ad that worked in Perth to work in Brisbane where a lot of people drive.
Every market is different, with variations in when and where OOH providers are allowed to put outdoor signage or digital campaigns. And with the differences between markets, Tyquin (pictured below) says media buyers need to move away from the “cookie cutter” approach. Out of home should be bought market-by-market.
“OOH relies in a huge part on its environment to be effective, so it begs to question that with audience behaviours, local laws and even products available varying so greatly between locations, what opportunities are being missed by following these set patterns of behaviour?” he said.
“The success of the OOH medium is completely subjective to local council laws, which of course are vastly different across each market.”
OOH industry body OMA (Outdoor Media Association) says it isn’t about what you’re buying, but where you’re buying it.
“When it comes to outdoor advertising you could ask ‘do certain markets have unique opportunities?’ But the real question is ‘what are the better locations for your campaign?’” said Grant Guesdon, general manager of MOVE.
There’s a few things media buyers need to think about when buying outdoor media, said Guesdon– one of which is the environment.
“Think about roadside, train stations, shopping centres, airports – it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” hesaid. “Perhaps your audience takes the tram in Melbourne and drives in Brisbane? The multiple platforms outdoor offers means you can tailor your campaign, giving it maximum impact.”
On top of that, the OOH market has changed dramatically, as with all other markets, thanks to the advancement of technology. It’s more digitised with more offerings available.
“Even with these huge changes, the same national buying models are in place for large-scale advertisers,” said GOA’s Tyquin. “It’s not uncommon for clients to go with one provider for all of their large format OOH in every capital city in Australia.”
And yet, what works in Melbourne – such as the tram wraps which much of the population sees – won’t work somewhere like Brisbane where buses, one of two main public transports spend so much time in dedicated bus lanes or underground – away from audiences. And again, a campaign that might be retail-focussed in Sydney could allow consumers to create their own content in Brisbane, with offerings like GOA Connect.
Putting the concept into further perspective, research by outdoor media company oOh!Media has looked at how people in regional markets see outdoor. Nearly 100 per cent of people in regional areas relied on their car – not public transport. So why would you buy ad space on buses or bus shelters when they’re not used by much of the population?
On the flip side, because people were driving, oOh! claimed around 67 per cent of people in regional areas had seen a billboard in the past week.
“Advertisers can on one hand, buy blanket-coverage national out of home campaigns which will act in the same way that they always have,” said GOA’s Tyquin.
“Or, advertisers can work with their agencies to tailor a bespoke package for their brand which might place emphasis on unique tram advertising in Melbourne and creative digital billboards in Brisbane to capture the imagination of varying audiences.
“‘Cookie cutter’ or bespoke. It’s up to advertisers to decide.”