From the very beginning, the motor car and outdoor advertising have been very closely connected. Indeed the development of modern Out Of Home advertising mirrors that of the automobile itself.
As the automobile became the predominant form of road transport, OOH advertising steadily evolved to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly sophisticated motoring audience. The construction of hundreds of miles of A-roads and later motorways provided unprecedented opportunities for automobile advertisers to reach out to thousands of drivers and passengers all over the country through large-scale billboard advertising.
Car manufacturers were quick to recognise the importance of OOH advertising which was uniquely situated to reach out to their target audience. Early on in the 20th century, billboard advertising began to be extensively used for the purpose of brand building by automobile advertisers.
Despite the development of radio, television and more recently even internet advertising, OOH advertising remains as popular as ever with car manufacturers looking to build a brand or increase awareness. The abundance of billboards and poster advertising still to be found along most of Britain’s major roads proves that this simple but effective form of automotive advertising has endured the test of time.
Modern automotive advertising
Just like the automobile industry which has been evolving since the introduction of Ford’s Model-T, OOH advertising has experienced constant innovation with changes in the materials being used, as well as technology developments such as digital screens. Automotive advertising has been quick to embrace these developments.
Nissan chose digital OOH advertising to generate awareness of the distinctive new limited edition Nissan Juke Kuro, a departure from other models in its class. The Urban Adventurers theme was selected to convey a constant brand message to the target market of brave, dynamic and adventurous men. It emphasised the ‘cross over’ nature of the vehicle – both a smart business and a sporty leisure car.
Nissan ran a 14 day campaign on blowUP Media’s high quality Super Motion digital screen in a busy central city area of Birmingham. The interest generated by this campaign contributed to what turned out to be Nissan’s most successful launch ever.
A growing number of automotive brands are starting to integrate OOH advertising into their wider press, TV and social media campaigns to reinforce the marketing message and increase campaign awareness to unprecedented levels. VW ran a three-stage campaign in 33 countries to introduce the VW Golf VII, combining poster advertising with online promotion and TV adverts. Great focus was put on online aspects and interactivity from the start of the campaign. A website was used to instigate lively discussions about the Golf Vll on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+