5 min
March 29, 2021

What do store shoppers recall from your DOOH ad campaigns?

In ongoing viewer surveys, we conducted exit polls with over 800 shoppers at a popular hypermarket for their recall of displayed content on the store screens through digital out-of-home advertising.

We ran different media visuals and communications to test how well shoppers remembered them. We performed A/B tests covering various media elements including colors, text, and images to see what resonated the most.

We also displayed specific calls to action (CTAs)for shoppers to perform a specific behavior in exchange for a gift incentive. In addition, we ran an ad for a popular drink brand and asked viewers to pick them from a lineup of similar brands.

Here are three main learnings so far:

The more well-known your brand is, the better your ad will perform.

Well-known brands perform higher in terms of brand recall because of their pre-existing familiarity. In some cases, viewers in our study even thought they recalled other popular brands that were not displayed. For example, I own a new Brand X car, so I have an existing relationship with the brand. I’ll immediately recognize it if it's within eyesight, and it will stand out from my surroundings because it's familiar and relevant.

This reinforces the major impact of top of mind awareness, and it’s why companies like Pepsi continue to invest heavily in channels such as out-of-home advertising to retain their top positioning. They're also able to leverage their brand to bring attention to their new products or offers very effectively.

So what does that mean for newer, lesser-known brands? Put simply, they need to cover that lost ground by consistently running strategic and brand-centric ad campaigns that will in time build familiarity with their customers. By effectively using online and offline channels, they can catch up to their popular competitors and claim a stake in the minds of their targeted audience (provided of course, they offer quality value to their customers that generates great retention and word of mouth referrals). And by using targeted placement with Controlcast, companies can affordably build awareness by running longer ad campaigns.

Bold, animated designs (and video) with intriguing communications draw more attention.

Design cannot be understated when it comes to ad effectiveness. We know that attention is the name of the game in OOH advertising, and we only have a split second to capture it. Unless you have a high profile brand like we discussed above, your weapon will be a well-crafted bold message that jumps out to viewers from the surrounding distractions. Don’t be afraid to be creative and daring.

It also pays to use imagery that is familiar and personalized to the viewer audience. Viewers are especially receptive to the human element, because ultimately satisfaction and happiness are at the core of the value proposition of most products and services. So unless you are marketing an extremely well designed product like a new car or home, focus your visual on the human interaction aspect of your service.

In our experience, borrowing trending themes from online channels also helps to capture a higher portion of attention. In other words, if your brand still isn’t a household name, piggyback on something that is popular to attract more views.

Use a call-to-action when you have an instant, accessible, and desirable incentive.

DOOH will always trail online channels in terms of measurement (at least until we fully connect our brains to the cloud with biotechnology!) It’s infinitely easier to entice someone to tap a button on their smartphone, than to interrupt what they’re doing to perform a different action.

CTAs can be used however, if you have a direct incentive that is physically instantly and accessible to them and aligned with their current behavior. The classic example is an offer for an in-store product. If I’m going in to buy groceries, I can easily interact with a promotion encouraging me to buy a product that is a few feet away from me. These are also to measure through the increased sales figures.

Of course there are existing tools that can be integrated to improve placement and targeting (beacons, cameras, sensors POS integrations), although some have customer privacy implications. Controlcast is currently developing point-of-sale integrations that will improve placement and analytics with AI-based automations for both our corporate and SME segments.

Stay tuned for more insights as we get more granular with visuals and messaging.